rjm777ual
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Posts: 237
Joined: Wed Nov 16, 2011 11:32 pm

US Airlines Safety Record

Tue Dec 06, 2011 2:05 am

Does anybody know which of the four US ailines ( UA AA DL or US ) has the best safety record of least amount of crashes (not counting september 11)? I am sorry if this has been asked already.
Greetings from Dulles!
 
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United787
Posts: 2231
Joined: Fri May 20, 2005 12:20 pm

RE: US Airlines Safety Record

Tue Dec 06, 2011 1:54 pm

I would consider all four airlines to be very safe. Since there are many ways to summarize the data, I would recommend you look at the data yourself.

http://aviation-safety.net/database/...r/airline-country.php?id=N&part=A%

Keep in mind that if you want data on the airline's regional carriers, you would have to look them up separately since the are a different airline. Regionals for DL and CO have had fatal accidents in the last ten years. Otherwise, I don't think any US airline has had any fatal accident in the past ten years with the exception of WN at MDW. There have been some non fatal accidents with AA and CO...

[Edited 2011-12-06 06:51:51]
 
richierich
Posts: 3308
Joined: Sat Nov 04, 2000 5:49 am

RE: US Airlines Safety Record

Tue Dec 06, 2011 3:07 pm

Quoting United787 (Reply 1):
Keep in mind that if you want data on the airline's regional carriers, you would have to look them up separately since the are a different airline. Regionals for DL and CO have had fatal accidents in the last ten years. Otherwise, I don't think any US airline has had any fatal accident in the past ten years with the exception of WN at MDW. There habmve been some non fatal accidents with AA and CO...

The past 10 years have been the safest on record for all US major airlines - and I certainly don't want to jinx that.
With the literally thousands of commercial flights that take off and land each day in the USA, these are the fatal crashes involving US airlines that I am aware of since September 11, 2001:

- American 587 in Belle Harbor, Queens (265 fatalities); November 2001
- Southwest 1248 in Chicago/Midway (1 ground fatality); December 2005
- Comair (Delta Connection) 191 in Lexington, KY (49 fatalities); August 2006
- Colgan Air (Continental Connection) 3407 in Clarence Center, NY (50 fatalities); February 2009

Each of these accidents was very tragic and different in its own way, of course. There were several other accidents that involved the write-off of aircraft but did not result in a loss of life.

I think every airline in the US is reasonably safe and I am very thankful for that. Accidents can, do and will happen but the numbers speak for themselves - the 2000s were very safe no matter who you fly!
None shall pass!!!!
 
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United787
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Joined: Fri May 20, 2005 12:20 pm

RE: US Airlines Safety Record

Tue Dec 06, 2011 3:18 pm

It may be fair and relevant to look at the last 20 years of data, not including 9/11/01. My admittedly over-simplification of the accidents:

AA (TW) fatal accidents:
2001 - A300 near JFK - Pilot Error Contributing to Airline Mechanical Failure?
1999 - MD82 at LIT - Pilot Error
1996 - 741 near JFK - Aircraft Design Failure
1995 - 752 near CLO - Pilot Error

DL (NW) fatal accident:
1996 - MD88 at PNS - Airline Maintenance Failure

UA (CO) fatal accidents:
1997 - 741 near NRT - Turbulence

US (HP) fatal accidents:
1994 - 733 near PIT - Airline Mechanical Failure?
1994 - DC9 at CLT - Pilot Error
1992 - F28 at LGA - Mostly Pilot Error?

As you can see, most of the accidents were in the 1990s with now mostly retired aircraft types. I believe the design of the newer aircrafts in combination with better pilot training greatly reduce the risk of accidents.

There have been some additional non-fatal accidents that are worth looking at as well, I just didn't list them here.

Please feel free to add to or correct my list above...with all of the mergers I am sure I missed something.

For the record, even though AA has had the most accidents, I wouldn't hesitate to fly them in a heartbeat!

[Edited 2011-12-06 07:20:17]
 
BoeingGuy
Posts: 4031
Joined: Fri Dec 10, 2010 6:01 pm

RE: US Airlines Safety Record

Tue Dec 06, 2011 4:08 pm

Quoting United787 (Reply 3):
It may be fair and relevant to look at the last 20 years of data, not including 9/11/01. My admittedly over-simplification of the accidents:

AA (TW) fatal accidents:
2001 - A300 near JFK - Pilot Error Contributing to Airline Mechanical Failure?
1999 - MD82 at LIT - Pilot Error
1996 - 741 near JFK - Aircraft Design Failure
1995 - 752 near CLO - Pilot Error

DL (NW) fatal accident:
1996 - MD88 at PNS - Airline Maintenance Failure

UA (CO) fatal accidents:
1997 - 741 near NRT - Turbulence

US (HP) fatal accidents:
1994 - 733 near PIT - Airline Mechanical Failure?
1994 - DC9 at CLT - Pilot Error
1992 - F28 at LGA - Mostly Pilot Error?

Great analysis. Unfortunately, AS 261 is in there too. Personally, I'd call it pilot error too, not just a mechanical and maintenance issue, They should have already been on the ground, rather than troubleshooting in the air. (I'd say the same about SW 111 and AC 797 too - probably survivable if they'd landed sooner.)
 
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DeltaMD90
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Joined: Tue Apr 15, 2008 11:25 pm

RE: US Airlines Safety Record

Tue Dec 06, 2011 5:12 pm

It is very hard to come up with a good answer. Tallying up deaths is VERY misleading. For example, if a DL flight crashes due to some unseen circumstance yet UA, AA, and US train their pilots the same way and did not foresee these circumstances, would this make DL any less safe? DL would be the unfortunate airline and bad luck fell on them, but the other airlines were just as dangerous. Another example, poor pilot training that kills 5 people, IMO, is more dangerous that a crash that kills 230 due to a manufacturer flaw. The airline had control over the first situation, but not in the 2nd (assuming it is only the manufacturer's fault.) How about a crash that kills 60 people where about half the blame lies with the pilot/airline and half with ATC? Does this mean the airline is more dangerous than an airline that has a crash that kills 50 people but ALL blame goes towards the pilots/airline? How far back should one go? Airtran is a very safe airline but if we trace back just far enough and include the ValuJet crashes, it makes Airtran look very bad. Conditions, management, and the airline are 100% different, so including these crashes is not fair.

Just my opinion. The best indicator of safety is how the airline operates RIGHT NOW. Unfortunately, this is the hardest measure to find...
Ironically I have never flown a Delta MD-90 :)

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