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Any More "perfect" Safety Records?

Wed Mar 08, 2000 7:17 am

This Sunday Southwest finally "crashed". No fatalities, but they lost a plane. That's something that hadn't happened since day one of the company.

Are there any other "major" airlines that have "perfect" safety records? By major, I mean airlines with substantial fleets that have been around for years. By perfect, I mean no loss of life OR equipment.

Quantas came to mind, and a look of the database reported that they've had two crashes: the Bangkok 747 (which isn't a loss) and a Lockheed Constellation runway overrun in 1960. There were no fatalities on either incident, but the fate of the Connie wasn't specified. Does anyone know if that was a write-off?
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RE: Any More "perfect" Safety Records?

Wed Mar 08, 2000 7:39 am

The Connie, VH-EAC, was written off in Mauritius in 1960, but noone was killed. But Qantas had some other write-offs earlier, before WW2. And the difficulty with such a statistics-operation; Qantas inherited and took over some other companies which DID have some (but not many) crashes. Like (Trans)Australian Airlines. So you can't say they have a PERFECT record.
America West had no real crashes but they declared a 737 N198AW a write-off, but that was because it was an oldie. If they knew they would be judged on it, they might have fixed it.
Other major airlines whitout crashes: Singapore Airlines, BWIA, Kuwait Airways (only loss are aircraft destroyed by Iraqi's), Tunis Air, Hawaiian Air, Monarch Airlines, Japan Transocean, Emirates Airlines, Royal Brunei, klm UK, Midway Airlines, American Trans Air, Air Malta, Transavia Holland, Aero Lloyd, PremiAir, Tower Air, Virgin and Meridiana.
But the real majors have just made too many flights in a time when accidents did happen ten times as much as now.
So in fact, airlines like Continental, SAS and BA have more impressive records than most of these smaller lucky airlines.
nobody has ever died from hard work, but why take the risk?
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Safety Comes In Different Flavors...

Wed Mar 08, 2000 8:54 am

...or rather, it has different criteria.

SWA 1455 at BUR was not the first time an aircraft was damaged. There have been a few taxiway excursions (icy taxiways) over the years, and aircraft were returned to service with little damage, if any. In the mid-1980s, a 737-300 slid off at AMArillo in a driving rain and ripped off the nosegear. In 1996, a 737-300 made a partial gear-up landing at ONTario. In both cases, the aircraft were repaired and returned to service.

SWA 1455 does appear to be the first "hull loss" for SWA based upon the severity of damage and the cost to repair it.

The most critical aspect of a measurement of safety, in my book, are passengers. SWA's record of never having suffered a passenger fatality in 29 years of operations is still intact
ALL views, opinions expressed are mine ONLY and are NOT representative of those shared by Southwest Airlines Co.
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CP (Canadian Airlines)

Wed Mar 08, 2000 9:07 am

Canadian Airlines has not had a single fatality in its history (about 2 million flights).

On the other side of the scale, China Airlines (Taiwan) has had 9 fatal events in less than half as many flights.

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RE: Any More "perfect" Safety Records?

Wed Mar 08, 2000 11:49 am

Isn't there some story regarding QANTAS and its no-fatality record? I remember reading somewhere about a little old lady or man falling to his/her respective death from a jetway, after being told not to walk down the jetway.

I'm not meaning to split hairs here, but I think it illustrates how one might be safer in the air on a plane versus walking around at those dangerous airports!
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RE: Any More "perfect" Safety Records?

Wed Mar 08, 2000 12:14 pm

EL AL has a very good saftey record..
1 airplane crash and one accident.
Till today they still think that it was onpurpose to loosen the engine screwes. now I really dont know what happend.. but for engines to fall off like that is messed up. Poor 747 and flight crew died.. taking 47 people in the building it ran into. PLus last year they skidded off the runway.. so its not much of a crash .. its an accident.


Wed Mar 08, 2000 1:49 pm

I wouldn't say that Singapore Airlines is crash free, as you have to take into account Malaysia-Singapore Airlines (MSA) which did have numerous crashes before the two airlines were split up. Two F27 and 1 DC-3 in the late 60s/early 70s.

The only company that I know that QANTAS took over is Australian Airlines (formerly Trans Australia Airlines). Because for so many years, Qantas was the only airline allowed to operate international services (and not domestic services) there was no other carrier that they could take over. Any crashes by TAA cannot be included in any statistics for QANTAS, as they had no control over the operations of TAA. This is like saying that the Merpati Itan Do-228 which crashed near Miri in Malaysia a few years ago, is a crash for Royal Brunei Airlines, as the flight was being operated for RBA. This is not a tarnish on the record of RBA, as it was not their plane, merely an aircraft operated on their behalf.

The QF 747 'incident' in BKK is not a crash, but is merely, as I said, an 'incident'. QF is one of the few airlines of its size that has never had a crash since the beginning of jet operations. The guys at the Jet Base take safety as being their number one priority, and this shows in what I would say is QF's perfect JET record.

RE: CP (Canadian Airlines)

Wed Mar 08, 2000 1:56 pm

Canadian Airlines is NOT fatality free at all.

They had a DC-3 which crashed on 22/12/1950 into Okanagan Mountain in which two people were killed.

Also a DC-6B on 8/7/1965 caused by an explosion in which 52 people were killed.

Boeing 707-138B on 7/2/1968 which was a runway overrun in which 1 person was killed.

And then there is Wardair and Pacific Western Airlines, which cannot be included in CP

El Al

Wed Mar 08, 2000 2:19 pm

El Al has had more than one accident/crash, as listed below:

DC-4 5/2/1950 skidded off runway although no fatalities

DC-4 24/11/1951 crashed at Zurich...6 people killed

L-149 Connie 27/7/1955 attacked by Bulgarian Air Force fighters with 58 fatalities.

747-258F 4/10/1992 crashed into an apartment building in Amsterdam with 4 fatalities (although one could say this was a Cargo Air Lines flight, it is included in El Al's record as the aircraft was theirs, flying for them, and Cargo Air Lines is a subsidiary of El Al which does not really operate independently of LY)

RE: CP (Canadian Airlines)

Wed Mar 08, 2000 3:03 pm

Brissie lions, please be careful in jumping to conclusions here! While you're right these crashes in Canada you mentioned did happen, they were under Canadian Pacific Airlines(later CPAir). I think CPDC10-30 meant the record SINCE 1988 when PWA took over CPAir and merged. (they still kept the CP airline code, that's why the PWA and Wardair accidents couldn't be included).


CPAir & Their Safety Record

Wed Mar 08, 2000 3:15 pm

There was one other crash of CPAir in the 1960s which I am all too well aware of as the day after, a BOAC 707 crashed having taken off from the same airport....

On March 4th 1966, CPAir DC-8-43 reg. CF-CPK operating as flight 402 from Hong Kong, in stages, to Vancouver via Tokyo Haneda Airport crashed on approach to Tokyo. The aircraft landed short of the runway, hitting a sea wall, bouncing off it and sliding down the runway. The aircraft then exploded into flames.

64 passengers & crew were killed, while 10 people were seriously injured.

Reason for accident: The pilot initiated too steeper rate of descent. Poor visibility due to fog meant he landed to early.

Hope this helps!


RE: CPAir & Their Safety Record

Wed Mar 08, 2000 3:26 pm

The '66 DC-8 at Haneda was not the only CP crash at Haneda

I manage to uncover a couple more CP crashes

9/2/1950 C-4-1 Argonaut at Tokyo Haneda overran the runway, no fatalities

21/7/1951 C-54 between Sitka-Yakutat disappeared without trace with 37 fatalities

3/3/1953 Comet CF-FUN overran the runway at Karachi with 11 fatalities. This was the first accident involving a jet airliner with fatalities

29/8/1956 DC-6 crashed at Cold Bay in Alaska with 15 fatalities

22/7/1962 Bristol Britannia crashed after an engine blowout with 27 fatalities

RE: CP (Canadian Airlines)

Wed Mar 08, 2000 3:37 pm

I understand what you have said here regarding Canadian Airlines, but even the airline themselves say that they are older than 13 years, so in effect, Canadian Pacific Air Lines = CP Air = Canadian Airlines. But point taken anway, sort of :0)


Wed Mar 08, 2000 3:44 pm

One of the most amazing accidents was one which involved a JAT DC-9-32 YU-AHT, on 26/1/1972, which was blown up in-flight by a bomb. There were 28 people on board the aircraft and there was only 1 survivor, a flight attendant who survived a 15,000 feet fall while in the tail section of the aircraft. A world record to this day, for the highest fall and survive.

Hey Brissie_lions, What About Ansett Australia!?

Wed Mar 08, 2000 5:26 pm

I'm a little surprised that no one mentioned Ansett, which I thought has had just as spotless a record as Qantas! Is it true?

BTW, about your curious username, is it a favorite footy team of yours or are you actually from Brisbane yet living in the other end of Australia(or vice versa)?


RE: Hey Brissie_lions, What About Ansett Australia!?

Wed Mar 08, 2000 6:10 pm

Ansett (and it's predecessors/subsidiaries), unfortunately, do not have a perfect record.

Here is a list of their crashes/accidents

Airlines of New South Wales

12/12/60 DC-3 Crashed on pilot training flight 3 killed

1/4/65 DC-3 Crashed just after take-off 0 killed

Ansett Airlines

25/3/71 F-27 Destroyed in hangar fire 0 killed

Ansett Airlines of Papua New Guinea

17/7/72 DC-3 Damaged beyond repair 0 on board 0 killed

1/9/72 Shorts Skyvan Crashed in Mt Siluwe 4 killed

Ansett Airways

10/3/46 DC-3 Crashed on climb 25 killed


12/1/56 DC-3 Crashed on final approach 1 killed

30/11/61 Viscount Crashed on climb 15 killed

17/3/65 F27 Crashed on final approach 0 killed

22/9/66 Viscount Crashed after engine fire 24 killed

Australian National Airlines

26/6/50 DC-4 28 killed

16/10/52 DC-4 undershot runway at SYD 0 killed

Butler Air Transport

3/6/47 DC-3 Crashed on training flight 0 killed

15/12/55 DC-3 Crashed after engine failure 0 killed

East West Airlines

4/11/57 DC-3 Crashed after engine failure 0 killed

31/5/74 F27 Crashed on final approach 0 killed

MacRoberton Miller Airlines

31/12/68 Viscount Crash on descent 26 killed

Skywest Airlines

13/5/80 Metro Crashed after engine failure 0 killed

Although these stats may paint a shocking picture, Ansett has, fortunately, has a perfect jet record. The only jet crash involving an Australian operator was on 29/10/91 when a Royal Australian Air Force 707 crashed off Melbourne with the loss of 6 lives.

The 'most' fatal accident in Australian skies was a Trans Australia Airlines F27 on 10/6/60 with the loss of 29, which crashed into the sea after holding off Mackay (in Queensland) for 70mins due to fog.

As to my tag, the Brisbane Lions is my footy team and I live on the other side of the country...weird huh?

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RE: Any More "perfect" Safety Records?

Wed Mar 08, 2000 7:24 pm

Didn't Virgin have that gear collapsed A340 at Heathrow a couple of years ago.

Was it a write off/crash/incident whatever?


Wed Mar 08, 2000 9:34 pm

You mentioned before a couple of carriers that have never crashed.

Here is a list of some incidents of airlines you mentioned

Kuwait Airways

6/4/62 Avro York Crash landed at Lahore (0 killed)

30/6/66 Trident Crash landed 3.5 miles short of runway at KWI (0 killed)

Japan Transocean Air (known as Southwest Airlines at the time)

26/8/82 737-200 Overran runway at Ishigaki Jima and caught on fire (0 killed)

Although these may not be crashes I just thought I would bring them to your attention
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RE: CP (Canadian Airlines)

Thu Mar 09, 2000 3:16 am

Boeing 777 is right. I was only mentioning the modern-day Canadian airlines...sorry to confuse people by using CP - but that is still their code.
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Excalibur 'LOL'

Thu Mar 09, 2000 3:50 am

british charter company Excalibur had a nice sizeable fleet of A320's from day 1 (1992). then in 1996, they bought a knakered old DC10 it ruined them.

passengers lost confidence, the airline died


RE: Excalibur 'LOL'

Thu Mar 09, 2000 4:41 am

Little wonder...My parents in Northern Alberta don't feel very comforatable flying on DC-10s at all. That's why my dad chose to take an ANZ 747-400 out of LAX to SYD (nonstop) last time he wanted to go to SYD, rather than be stuck on a CP DC-10-30 from YVR to HNL on the way to SYD.

My mom, being an Englishwoman, is glad they're not flying CP DC-10s to LHR anymore. (She'll be taking a BA flight from YYZ to LHR after connecting from YEG to YYZ on CP this summer.) With the DC-10s gone, CP will be able to maintain its safety record without having to worry about something askew on their DC-10s!

RE: Any More "perfect" Safety Records?

Thu Mar 09, 2000 6:02 am

About a year or so ago I got a package from britannia. Inside it had a leaflet with infomation on the airline,
At Britannia we pride ourselves on our strict maintanance and service on our aircraft.
We have one of the worlds best safety records with nearly 40 years flying experience"
Then 4 weeks later G-BYAG crashed at gerona.
How much do crashes, like the britannia and southwest damage the airlines reputation?
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RE: Any More "perfect" Safety Records?

Thu Mar 09, 2000 10:03 pm

UK Fly, it is very interesting to see how different people react on publicity about crashes.
UK and US newspapers are a bit more "sensational" to put it mildly, in their approach to accidents and incidents. Tragedy's and incidents can be brought very dramatically.
A good example is Excalibur, a nice airline who didn't hurt a single passenger, had a dramatic publicity after a DC-10 was delayed time after time due to technical snags. Crying passengers who got afraid or who missed their holidays, were frontpage news and broadcasted life...
In the US, intensive media coverage about the Air Florida crash in 1982 and the Valujet crash in 1996 were the cause of the first one bankrupting and the second one having to rename (AirTran). Also the Pan Am and TWA 747 crashes of 1988 and 1996 may also be a factor in the financial troubles; passengers reluctant to fly them.
On the other hand, in many other countries the public don't seem to care much.
Martinair, a Dutch charter company, had two big jets crashed (while their fleet is only 10 or so) in approach accidents. Although the reports blame the airline (pilots felt pressure by the management to avoid diverting in adverse weather conditions). Although both accidents have been extensively covered by Dutch media, the passengers never seem to care and Martinair didn't loose a single passenger. (I also trust Martinair again, I flew them 4 times last year).
nobody has ever died from hard work, but why take the risk?

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