Posts: 8211
Joined: Mon May 24, 1999 1:12 am

Why Did USAir Have So Many Accidents?

Sun Jun 20, 1999 9:05 am

In the space of a few years, USAir lost five planes: Pittsburg, 737, jet upset LA, 737, collision on landing LaGuardia, 737, pilot error Charlotte, DC9, mishandling in windshear LaGuardia, F28, ice All were serious fatal accidents (except the LaGuardia 737, where the death toll was luckily only two, all of these accidents killed between 50 and 130 people each). This is a streak completely unrivalled by any other Western airline, yet they always seemed safe and I flew them a lot. I really liked their service and thought their engineering ops (as much as I could tell from a passenger's eye view) were extremely good and the planes were well-maintained and always spotlessly clean. Never left a minute late on any of about 20 flights (including 4 trans-Atlantic) with them, and never felt at all unsafe with them. They didn't pick up an undue number of FAA fines a la Eastern (whose actual safety record was near-perfect) either, so why all these terrible crashes? Just bad luck?
fly Saha Air 707s daily from Tehran's downtown Mehrabad to Mashhad, Kish Island and Ahwaz

RE: Why Did USAir Have So Many Accidents?

Sun Jun 20, 1999 9:35 am

Keep in mind that USAirways operates alot of flights in the East Coast, therefore increasing the chance of being involved in an accident.

Posts: 199
Joined: Tue May 25, 1999 11:30 am

RE: Why Did USAir Have So Many Accidents?

Sun Jun 20, 1999 10:14 am

Fate is the Hunter my friend.
I think that with each accident the US (and world) aviation industry learns a bit more - whether it be about human factors, aircraft design, weather, etc...

One thing is for certain nearly ever major airline in the world has had an accident or incident...no one dares tempt fate and tout their safety record over another.

Fate is the Hunter.
Posts: 438
Joined: Mon May 24, 1999 11:24 am

Major Accidents

Sun Jun 20, 1999 1:38 pm

Of the airlines that are familiar to everyone, which ones have not suffered a major accident? Im pretty sure Southwest hasnt had one. Any others?

Posts: 8211
Joined: Mon May 24, 1999 1:12 am

RE: Why Did USAir Have So Many Accidents?

Sun Jun 20, 1999 9:14 pm

Some of the safest airlines of the last 20 years: Southwest, Eastern (until their demise), Alaskan, Air France, Virgin, Iranair, Emirates, Singapore (not counting SilkAir subsidiary), Qantas, Varig, Middle East Airlines, Alitalia...there's loads of big airlines that don't necessarily have good service or come from a country known for a reliabilty-inducing national character that have never lost a jet airliner, such as Olympic of Greece. I guess fate is trully the hunter (anyone read that fabulous book by Ernest K. Gann?). Is the Northeast US that much more dangerous than the rest of the country (I guess that would explain Southwest's spotless record)?
fly Saha Air 707s daily from Tehran's downtown Mehrabad to Mashhad, Kish Island and Ahwaz
Posts: 199
Joined: Tue May 25, 1999 11:30 am


Sun Jun 20, 1999 10:00 pm

The northast is not so much "more dangerous" than the rest of the US, but there are certain factors that make the northeast US a more difficult environment in which to fly.
- Most congested piece of airspace on the planet is the Washington-Boston corridor.
- Winter weather in the northeast can be very severe compared to other parts of the country.
These are not conditions that are isolated in the NE United States, but they do take a certain expertise to run a safe, on-time airline in that area.
Southwest takes care of the 'on time' part by "padding" times. Without ACARS (automatic reporting system that most airlines use to report out/off/on/in times among other things) - Southwest is free to write in whatever times they like. (Heck, if I did that I would ALWAYS be on time!)
As far as SWA's "spotless" safety record, I know of numerous incidents that the "cowboy's" have been involved in that go unreported. Southwest is the current media golden-child in the US...much the same as Valujet was a few years ago. One significant accident and they may likely go the same way as the critter. Southwest is not by any means unsafe, but they are also no more safe than any other major airline in the US.
As far as US Airways is concerned, the new management (Wolf/Gangwal) are ultra-concerned with safety. I know of no other airline that operates a better, safer airline in the northestern corridor! They are truly becoming the "Airline of Choice"...and the 400 new Airbus narrowbody along with the 30+ Airbus 330/340 widebodies that begin delivery next year only further display this carriers desire to become the next global air carrier....a world class airline!

RE: SouthWest Airlines

Sun Jun 20, 1999 10:47 pm

they did have an incident a few years ago

30/4/96, Boeing 737-400, REG: N331SW, Ontario , Canada.

The plane suffered a crash landing due to the left gear not opening...132 uninjured though thankfully




Steven Wolf Factor

Tue Jun 22, 1999 1:24 am

US Air is I think totally different than US Airways....The airline used to be a loust east cost airline with a shaky safety record. Bu these days are over, the new management is just great...Wolf is an amaizing executive along with an Indian origin guy whose name I dont recall right now....I dont think you have anything to fear...I would take US Airways rather than NW Airlines or TWA!
Posts: 199
Joined: Tue May 25, 1999 11:30 am

RE: Steven Wolf Factor

Tue Jun 22, 1999 2:18 am

Mr Wolf and Mr Gangwal are, without a doubt, phenominal airline managers. The recent success of US Airways, however, should attributed to the efforts of her employees. For the first time in a decade the employees of US Airways are excited, enthusiastic, and proud of their performance. With 30 new pilots being hired each Monday morning, more than 1000 new flight attendants being hired each year, 400 narrow body, and 40 wide body aircraft on order they certainly have something to be excited about!
This is not your father's USAir. It is US Airways, the Airline of Choice!
Posts: 61
Joined: Tue May 19, 2009 2:44 am

RE: Steven Wolf Factor

Tue Jun 22, 1999 5:38 am

Hey airwaysdc9 , You don't see them hiring anyone else.And yes MORALE is at an all time low with the MECHANICS.Airline of choice !!!!
P from NYC

RE: Steven Wolf Factor

Tue Jun 22, 1999 6:03 am

I totally agree with you AirwaysDC9 .... it is just that someone had to start the process....Same thing happened in CAL too, another great turnaround story.

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