Safe 2011 – Looking Back

The year gone past – 2011 – should be considered reasonably safe as per the statistics released by Aviation Safety Network [1].

It is heartening to note that third lowest number of fatalities (507, excluding 14 on ground) occurred due to a total of 28 fatal airline accidents, the second lowest number in aviation history since 1945 [1]. This year also marks the longest period of 79 days, as on 31 December 2011, without any fatal accident [2]. Interestingly since 2002, twelve days is the average number of days between two fatal airline accidents.

Another encouraging happening in the year gone by was that accidents in Africa, with the poorest aviation safety records, too showed a declining trend. African, accounting for about 3% of aviation activities, had 14% of all fatal accidents in 2011 [1].

Russia joined the DR Congo and Somalia among the nations for an increased number of aviation fatalities [1]. Unites States, on the other hand, remains the country with the safest aviation records. US has been maintaining this lead position for almost a decade now, with only 2 deaths for every 100 million passengers flying.

The likely reasons for such improvements are: accident investigations resulting in improved aircraft and engine designs, and modifications in standard operating procedures; and consistent focus on maintenance and safety measures [1].

Here is wishing ‘Blue Skies and Safe Flying’ in 2012 and beyond…


1. ASN releases preliminary airliner safety statistics 2011.

2. News: This week marked the longest period without a fatal airliner accident 

Acknowledgement  Image courtesy Wikimedia Commons