hitower3
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Aircraft types with "spotless" safety record?

Thu Dec 12, 2019 2:56 pm

Dear a.netters,

One of the most striking progresses that have been in the commercial aviation over the last decades is in the area of safety. The accident rate has been dropping continuously to the point that tragedies have become a very rare occurrence. This leads me to the question whether we have seen or if we will see aircraft types that did/will spend their whole commercial lifespan without catastrophic accident.

The only type that has completed its commercial career without catastrophic accident:
- Dassault Mercure (ok, a tiny fleet of 12 or so units with one operator)

The following types appear to be on track to fulfill this criteria, so far
- Airbus A318 and A319 (there have been a number of accidents involving the A320 and few A321)
- Airbus A340-200/300/500/600 (really impressive record; hundreds of aircraft, some of them old)
- Airbus A380 (ok, not-so-large and young fleet with a limited number of operators)
- Airbus 220-100/300 (still very young and small fleet)
- Boeing 787-8/9/10 (young fleet, but large number of aircraft with many operators)

What would be your additions to this double list? Any thoughts?

Best regards,
Hendric
 
diverted
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Re: Aircraft types with "spotless" safety record?

Thu Dec 12, 2019 3:17 pm

hitower3 wrote:
Dear a.netters,

One of the most striking progresses that have been in the commercial aviation over the last decades is in the area of safety. The accident rate has been dropping continuously to the point that tragedies have become a very rare occurrence. This leads me to the question whether we have seen or if we will see aircraft types that did/will spend their whole commercial lifespan without catastrophic accident.

The only type that has completed its commercial career without catastrophic accident:
- Dassault Mercure (ok, a tiny fleet of 12 or so units with one operator)

The following types appear to be on track to fulfill this criteria, so far
- Airbus A318 and A319 (there have been a number of accidents involving the A320 and few A321)
- Airbus A340-200/300/500/600 (really impressive record; hundreds of aircraft, some of them old)
- Airbus A380 (ok, not-so-large and young fleet with a limited number of operators)
- Airbus 220-100/300 (still very young and small fleet)
- Boeing 787-8/9/10 (young fleet, but large number of aircraft with many operators)

What would be your additions to this double list? Any thoughts?

Best regards,
Hendric


You could add the A350 in there too, although again, it's still fairly new.
764-small fleet and only two operators
320/330neo's, but again, young fleets.
I don't think the CRJ7/9/K have had a fatality, but I'm not 100% sure


Also depends on you definition of catastrophic accident. AF did put a 343 off the runway in YYZ and it subsequently burned, but no one died, Iberia wrote off a 346 in a runway excursion, but again, no fatalities.
 
hitower3
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Re: Aircraft types with "spotless" safety record?

Fri Dec 13, 2019 11:01 am

Absolutely, I forgot the A350...
 
planecane
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Re: Aircraft types with "spotless" safety record?

Fri Dec 13, 2019 11:36 am

A350 doesn't have enough flights yet to draw a conclusion.

Separating variants makes no sense. Saying the 737-600 has a perfect safety record would make no sense. Just because Airbus chose to name the A320 series by changing the last number doesn't make the A319 a different model from the A320.

You also need to eliminate accidents not caused by design of or failures related to the aircraft. I'm pretty sure the 757 (and I think 767 also) has no accidents related to the airframe or systems. Pretty sure they are all either external factors, pilot error or terrorist attack.
 
Jonne1184
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Re: Aircraft types with "spotless" safety record?

Fri Dec 13, 2019 12:17 pm

The Il-96 will be a hot candidate to be spotless until its retirement. Additionally the Il-86 is now retired without a fatal crash in commercial operation, although with two deadly accidents, one on a flight without passengers and one where a 737 landed on top of a parked plane.
 
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Starlionblue
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Re: Aircraft types with "spotless" safety record?

Fri Dec 13, 2019 12:34 pm

Barring any glaring safety flaws in the design, the operators are the prime factors in aircraft type safety.
"There are no stupid questions, but there are a lot of inquisitive idiots." - John Ringo
 
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AirKevin
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Re: Aircraft types with "spotless" safety record?

Fri Dec 13, 2019 1:18 pm

hitower3 wrote:
- Airbus A340-200/300/500/600 (really impressive record; hundreds of aircraft, some of them old)

Air France 358, an Airbus A340-300, went off the runway in Toronto and burned, so don't think it would make the list. Then there was the Etihad A340-600 that went over the wall before it even flew it's first flight.
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Nicoeddf
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Re: Aircraft types with "spotless" safety record?

Fri Dec 13, 2019 2:23 pm

AirKevin wrote:
hitower3 wrote:
- Airbus A340-200/300/500/600 (really impressive record; hundreds of aircraft, some of them old)

Air France 358, an Airbus A340-300, went off the runway in Toronto and burned, so don't think it would make the list. Then there was the Etihad A340-600 that went over the wall before it even flew it's first flight.


Both hardly attributable to the plane.
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Re: Aircraft types with "spotless" safety record?

Fri Dec 13, 2019 4:00 pm

In a different field of civil aviation, there hasn’t been a fatal hull loss in these entire fleets of bizjets—G 280, GV series including the G500, G550, the G650, Bombardier Challenger 300/350, and all Globals. That’s approaching 3,000 hulls and I’d guess 18 million flight hours. A G550 was damaged beyond repeat by hail; three Globals in a hangar collapse and two in runway excursions, minor injuries in one.
 
VSMUT
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Re: Aircraft types with "spotless" safety record?

Fri Dec 13, 2019 9:02 pm

hitower3 wrote:
- Airbus A318 and A319 (there have been a number of accidents involving the A320 and few A321)


There was the Windjet A319 in Italy. Definitely a serious accident.

The 737-600 seems like it made it through its careers without any accident resulting in hull loss or loss of life.
 
trnswrld
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Re: Aircraft types with "spotless" safety record?

Sat Dec 14, 2019 2:05 am

planecane wrote:
You also need to eliminate accidents not caused by design of or failures related to the aircraft. I'm pretty sure the 757 (and I think 767 also) has no accidents related to the airframe or systems. Pretty sure they are all either external factors, pilot error or terrorist attack.


Although I would agree the 757/767 have been incredibly safe aircraft considering how many built and how long they've been flying, but I do recall early on in the 767 career the Lauda crash which even though there might have been some pilot error involve, I cant remember, but I do believe the reverse thrust deployed un-commanded. A design change was implemented because of it.

This kind of thread sort of needs to be broken down into sections of aircraft that have never had a crash regardless if it was pilot error or not, and another one that has never had a crash due to design.
 
Max Q
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Re: Aircraft types with "spotless" safety record?

Sat Dec 14, 2019 3:48 am

trnswrld wrote:
planecane wrote:
You also need to eliminate accidents not caused by design of or failures related to the aircraft. I'm pretty sure the 757 (and I think 767 also) has no accidents related to the airframe or systems. Pretty sure they are all either external factors, pilot error or terrorist attack.


Although I would agree the 757/767 have been incredibly safe aircraft considering how many built and how long they've been flying, but I do recall early on in the 767 career the Lauda crash which even though there might have been some pilot error involve, I cant remember, but I do believe the reverse thrust deployed un-commanded. A design change was implemented because of it.

This kind of thread sort of needs to be broken down into sections of aircraft that have never had a crash regardless if it was pilot error or not, and another one that has never had a crash due to design.



No pilot error on the Lauda crash

A reverser deployed in flight at a high power setting leading to a loss of control

It was proven that the sequence of events was so rapid it wasn’t possible to react quickly enough to prevent this crash
The best contribution to safety is a competent Pilot.


GGg
 
Max Q
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Re: Aircraft types with "spotless" safety record?

Sat Dec 14, 2019 3:49 am

Not exactly the posters question but the L1011 never had a design caused accident


Simply a superb aircraft
The best contribution to safety is a competent Pilot.


GGg
 
planecane
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Re: Aircraft types with "spotless" safety record?

Sat Dec 14, 2019 3:54 am

Max Q wrote:
trnswrld wrote:
planecane wrote:
You also need to eliminate accidents not caused by design of or failures related to the aircraft. I'm pretty sure the 757 (and I think 767 also) has no accidents related to the airframe or systems. Pretty sure they are all either external factors, pilot error or terrorist attack.


Although I would agree the 757/767 have been incredibly safe aircraft considering how many built and how long they've been flying, but I do recall early on in the 767 career the Lauda crash which even though there might have been some pilot error involve, I cant remember, but I do believe the reverse thrust deployed un-commanded. A design change was implemented because of it.

This kind of thread sort of needs to be broken down into sections of aircraft that have never had a crash regardless if it was pilot error or not, and another one that has never had a crash due to design.



No pilot error on the Lauda crash

A reverser deployed in flight at a high power setting leading to a loss of control

It was proven that the sequence of events was so rapid it wasn’t possible to react quickly enough to prevent this crash


For the context of this discussion would that be considered an airframe issue or an engine issue?
 
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SheikhDjibouti
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Re: Aircraft types with "spotless" safety record?

Sat Dec 14, 2019 1:15 pm

hitower3 wrote:
The only type that has completed its commercial career without catastrophic accident:
- Dassault Mercure (ok, a tiny fleet of 12 or so units with one operator)

Concorde :duck:

Like the Mercure, another tiny fleet with limited production and in this case only two operators.

Concorde almost achieved an unblemished record, flying for many years in extreme conditions, surviving two in-flight structural failures at supersonic speeds (!),
It also featured daily landings and take-offs at speeds beyond even that of the SR-71 and most other military kit. I believe only the Space Shuttle beat it for landing speed, with neither of these designs possessing flaps.

And then it all went badly wrong, and shortly after that it stopped flying.

So for the majority of it's operational history it was a contender. :cry:
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Starlionblue
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Re: Aircraft types with "spotless" safety record?

Sat Dec 14, 2019 1:40 pm

SheikhDjibouti wrote:
hitower3 wrote:
The only type that has completed its commercial career without catastrophic accident:
- Dassault Mercure (ok, a tiny fleet of 12 or so units with one operator)

Concorde :duck:

Like the Mercure, another tiny fleet with limited production and in this case only two operators.

Concorde almost achieved an unblemished record, flying for many years in extreme conditions, surviving two in-flight structural failures at supersonic speeds (!),
It also featured daily landings and take-offs at speeds beyond even that of the SR-71 and most other military kit. I believe only the Space Shuttle beat it for landing speed, with neither of these designs possessing flaps.

And then it all went badly wrong, and shortly after that it stopped flying.

So for the majority of it's operational history it was a contender. :cry:


Space Shuttle and X-15, but yes.
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Re: Aircraft types with "spotless" safety record?

Sun Dec 15, 2019 2:43 am

B717.
Always keep your number of landings equal to your number of take-offs
 
FGITD
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Re: Aircraft types with "spotless" safety record?

Sun Dec 15, 2019 4:49 am

Concorde had some incredible luck, right up until it didn't. Of course due to the size of the fleet and the uniqueness of the aircraft, smaller occurrences were more noteworthy. But all the same...pieces of the rudder separating mid flight, tires bursting and punching holes in the wing, numerous engine problems, etc etc.

While no doubt a legendary aircraft that remains unrivalled, I think it wouldn't be a wild assessment to say that were it not AF in July 2000, then it Still would have happened sooner or later.

But that's the nature of pushing the edge of that old envelope. Concorde was unlike anything before or since
 
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Re: Aircraft types with "spotless" safety record?

Sun Dec 15, 2019 6:18 pm

Nicoeddf wrote:
AirKevin wrote:
hitower3 wrote:
- Airbus A340-200/300/500/600 (really impressive record; hundreds of aircraft, some of them old)

Air France 358, an Airbus A340-300, went off the runway in Toronto and burned, so don't think it would make the list. Then there was the Etihad A340-600 that went over the wall before it even flew it's first flight.


Both hardly attributable to the plane.


Agreed. But was that one of the criteria?
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flyingturtle
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Re: Aircraft types with "spotless" safety record?

Sun Dec 15, 2019 7:22 pm

For its rather small fleet, the 340 must be a record holder for the most hull losses without any fatality.
Reading accident reports is what calms me down
 
celestar
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Re: Aircraft types with "spotless" safety record?

Mon Dec 16, 2019 7:41 am

Isn't A340-300 Air France crashed one at Toronto among a rainy weather condition?
 
VC10DC10
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Re: Aircraft types with "spotless" safety record?

Mon Dec 16, 2019 8:55 pm

I would argue the Vickers VC-10 had a sterling safety record that should be included on this list. There were several high-profile crashes but they were not related to the aircraft design: the Nigeria Airways crash was caused by pilots losing altitude awareness; the East African Airways crash was caused by striking an object on the runway. (The VC-10 also suffered several high-profile hijackings--3 of the 54 aircraft completed were destroyed by terrorists.)
 
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Re: Aircraft types with "spotless" safety record?

Wed Dec 18, 2019 5:28 am

Believed the 777 is the safest twin for past 23years - although think there are 3 hull losses but these are totall unrelated to the aircraft itself - as for the 2 Malaysian 777, one was shot down while the other was supposedly a rouge pilot who flew it till it ran out of fuel and the 3rd which was a BA 777 which landed in Heathrow landed with both its RR engines out as there was something wrong with the engines due to ice issues..
 
FGITD
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Re: Aircraft types with "spotless" safety record?

Wed Dec 18, 2019 7:05 am

foxtrotbravo21 wrote:
Believed the 777 is the safest twin for past 23years - although think there are 3 hull losses but these are totall unrelated to the aircraft itself - as for the 2 Malaysian 777, one was shot down while the other was supposedly a rouge pilot who flew it till it ran out of fuel and the 3rd which was a BA 777 which landed in Heathrow landed with both its RR engines out as there was something wrong with the engines due to ice issues..



There's been 7 total hull loses, and I think about 500 fatalities from 777s, almost entirely on the Malaysians. There seems to be a surprisingly high number of fires of various types on 777s as well. Cockpit, engines, etc
 
hitower3
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Re: Aircraft types with "spotless" safety record?

Wed Dec 18, 2019 10:39 am

celestar wrote:
Isn't A340-300 Air France crashed one at Toronto among a rainy weather condition?


Dear celestar,

Yes, there was a crash landing of an AF A340-300 at Toronto Pearson on August 2nd, 2005, flight AF358.
Miraculously, there were no fatalities while the aircraft burned down after the evacuation.
According to the common definition, this occurrence counts as "accident", not as "catastrophy".

Best regards,
Hendric
 
trijetsonly
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Re: Aircraft types with "spotless" safety record?

Wed Dec 18, 2019 10:39 am

FGITD wrote:
foxtrotbravo21 wrote:
Believed the 777 is the safest twin for past 23years - although think there are 3 hull losses but these are totall unrelated to the aircraft itself - as for the 2 Malaysian 777, one was shot down while the other was supposedly a rouge pilot who flew it till it ran out of fuel and the 3rd which was a BA 777 which landed in Heathrow landed with both its RR engines out as there was something wrong with the engines due to ice issues..



There's been 7 total hull loses, and I think about 500 fatalities from 777s, almost entirely on the Malaysians. There seems to be a surprisingly high number of fires of various types on 777s as well. Cockpit, engines, etc


And don't forget about the Asiana 777 that crashed on the approach to SFO.
Happy Landings
 
Jonne1184
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Re: Aircraft types with "spotless" safety record?

Wed Dec 18, 2019 12:07 pm

Well to conclude in regards to the initial question the list of jet airliners with no catastrophic accidents, no matter the cause, would be:

-Dassault Mercure
-Airbus A340
-Airbus A380
-Bombardier C-Series
-Boeing 787
-Ilyushin Il-96
(Without respecting subtypes, with them the list would be a lot longer.)

The Boeing 787 is the most built from that list, the Il-96 has the longest time in service.
 
hitower3
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Re: Aircraft types with "spotless" safety record?

Wed Dec 18, 2019 5:04 pm

Jonne1184 wrote:
Well to conclude in regards to the initial question the list of jet airliners with no catastrophic accidents, no matter the cause, would be:

-Dassault Mercure
-Airbus A340
-Airbus A380
-Bombardier C-Series
-Boeing 787
-Ilyushin Il-96
(Without respecting subtypes, with them the list would be a lot longer.)

The Boeing 787 is the most built from that list, the Il-96 has the longest time in service.


Thank you for summarizing!
Now it would be interesting to know which type of this list has accumulated the most in-service hours. My gut feeling is A340.

Best regards,
Hendric
 
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lugie
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Re: Aircraft types with "spotless" safety record?

Wed Dec 18, 2019 8:37 pm

I'm not sure if it fulfills your criteria for "spotless" as there have been a few smaller accidents but there has never been a single fatality on an ERJ-135/140/145.

Considering over 1200 were built and, being regional jets, those have probably produced an insane cumulative number of cycles, that's a rather impressive record to me.
DH4 E75 E90 CR9 CRK M88 319 320 321 332 333 359 733 73G 738 739 748 764 772 77W 788
X3 LH 4U TP US SN EI FR IB LX LA CM UA DL AA AS WN AC
FRA STR HAM TXL MUC ZRH ACE BRU BLL DUB MAN ARN MAD OPO LIS FNC AMS PHL RDU LGA CLT EWR ORD ATL SFO MDW YYZ SJO PTY
 
GalaxyFlyer
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Re: Aircraft types with "spotless" safety record?

Wed Dec 18, 2019 8:47 pm

lugie wrote:
I'm not sure if it fulfills your criteria for "spotless" as there have been a few smaller accidents but there has never been a single fatality on an ERJ-135/140/145.

Considering over 1200 were built and, being regional jets, those have probably produced an insane cumulative number of cycles, that's a rather impressive record to me.


That is impressive!
 
Jonne1184
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Re: Aircraft types with "spotless" safety record?

Wed Dec 18, 2019 9:19 pm

lugie wrote:
I'm not sure if it fulfills your criteria for "spotless" as there have been a few smaller accidents but there has never been a single fatality on an ERJ-135/140/145.

Considering over 1200 were built and, being regional jets, those have probably produced an insane cumulative number of cycles, that's a rather impressive record to me.


I totally forgot to check Embraer. That indeed is impressive.
 
Jonne1184
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Re: Aircraft types with "spotless" safety record?

Wed Dec 18, 2019 9:25 pm

While checking regional jets another came up: Dornier 328JET. Very rare though.
 
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Re: Aircraft types with "spotless" safety record?

Wed Dec 18, 2019 11:02 pm

trijetsonly wrote:
FGITD wrote:
foxtrotbravo21 wrote:
Believed the 777 is the safest twin for past 23years - although think there are 3 hull losses but these are totall unrelated to the aircraft itself - as for the 2 Malaysian 777, one was shot down while the other was supposedly a rouge pilot who flew it till it ran out of fuel and the 3rd which was a BA 777 which landed in Heathrow landed with both its RR engines out as there was something wrong with the engines due to ice issues..



There's been 7 total hull loses, and I think about 500 fatalities from 777s, almost entirely on the Malaysians. There seems to be a surprisingly high number of fires of various types on 777s as well. Cockpit, engines, etc


And don't forget about the Asiana 777 that crashed on the approach to SFO.


Which was 100% the fault of the pilots.
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reidar76
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Re: Aircraft types with "spotless" safety record?

Sat Dec 21, 2019 10:39 pm

The A380 (2007), 787 (2011), A350 (2015) and A220 (2016) haven't been involved in any incidents that have resulted in fatalities. But these clean-sheet aircraft families are all relatively new.

If we instead look at the previous generation, aircraft families that were clean-sheet in the 1990-ties, we can see that these aircraft have an excellent safety record.

The A340 entered service in 1993, and has been in service for 26 years. Total deliveries 377 passenger aircraft. Zero fatalities.

The A330 entered service in 1994, and has been in service for 25 years. Total deliveries stand at 1409 passenger aircraft. Total of 339 fatalities. Deadliest: AF447, 228 fatalities, frozen pitot tubes/ pilot error.

The 777 entered service in 1995, and has been in service for 24 years. Total deliveries stand at 1443 passenger aircraft. Total of 541 fatalities. Deadliest: MH17, 298 fatalities, aircraft broke up mid-air after been hit by an anti-aircraft missile.

I would say that these aircraft families (A330/A340 and 777) have an excellent safety record. Considering how many aircraft has been build, and how many years and flight hours these aircraft have been in service, I would say the safety record is (near) spotless.

Looking at these numbers it is easy to understand why the 737 MAX is grounded. The number of fatalities in its short service life is very high, and the crashes are caused by the aircraft itself, not by external factors like an anti-aircraft missile.
 
CRJ900
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Re: Aircraft types with "spotless" safety record?

Sun Dec 22, 2019 11:51 am

I don't think the CRJ NextGen (CRJ700/900/1000) has ever had a hull loss or fatality.
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petertenthije
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Re: Aircraft types with "spotless" safety record?

Sun Dec 22, 2019 1:47 pm

The Fokker F70 has zero casualties. Not even a hull loss. The only one to have had a serious crash landing was repaired. (Austrian OE-LFO)

It's larger brother, the F100, did have a few accidents and fatalities.
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FlyHossD
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Re: Aircraft types with "spotless" safety record?

Sun Dec 22, 2019 2:05 pm

Just thought of the Dash / DHC-7 - were there any accidents in this fleet? My caffeine deprived mind can't think of one at the moment.
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mikeinatlanta
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Re: Aircraft types with "spotless" safety record?

Wed Jan 01, 2020 5:18 pm

Discussion is almost pointless unless you exclude pilot error or external. Can't blame the airframe if it's taken out by a missile or a pilot. Maybe a more relevant question would be: What airframes have run their full service life without a mechanically induced crash, and which ones are on track to do so?

Two that come to mind would be the L-1011 and the Convair 880.
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strfyr51
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Re: Aircraft types with "spotless" safety record?

Sat Jan 04, 2020 8:05 am

trijetsonly wrote:
FGITD wrote:
foxtrotbravo21 wrote:
Believed the 777 is the safest twin for past 23years - although think there are 3 hull losses but these are totall unrelated to the aircraft itself - as for the 2 Malaysian 777, one was shot down while the other was supposedly a rouge pilot who flew it till it ran out of fuel and the 3rd which was a BA 777 which landed in Heathrow landed with both its RR engines out as there was something wrong with the engines due to ice issues..



There's been 7 total hull loses, and I think about 500 fatalities from 777s, almost entirely on the Malaysians. There seems to be a surprisingly high number of fires of various types on 777s as well. Cockpit, engines, etc


And don't forget about the Asiana 777 that crashed on the approach to SFO.

if I'm noyt mistaken? That was pilot error;;
 
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longhauler
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Re: Aircraft types with "spotless" safety record?

Sat Jan 04, 2020 7:01 pm

strfyr51 wrote:
trijetsonly wrote:
And don't forget about the Asiana 777 that crashed on the approach to SFO.

if I'm not mistaken? That was pilot error;;


Yes, it was “pilot error”, but ..... it would not have occurred in an Airbus.

And that is the biggest error with these types of comparisons. Is a “pilot error” accident a Mulligan for the airframe, or is it less safe than others? Much like AF447, pilot error? or less safe cockpit design?

So my thinking, is that if we are to compare airframes for a “spotless safety record” it is all or nothing. Namely, no crashes, period.
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426Shadow
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Re: Aircraft types with "spotless" safety record?

Sat Jan 04, 2020 9:10 pm

longhauler wrote:
strfyr51 wrote:
trijetsonly wrote:
And don't forget about the Asiana 777 that crashed on the approach to SFO.

if I'm not mistaken? That was pilot error;;


Yes, it was “pilot error”, but ..... it would not have occurred in an Airbus.

And that is the biggest error with these types of comparisons. Is a “pilot error” accident a Mulligan for the airframe, or is it less safe than others? Much like AF447, pilot error? or less safe cockpit design?

So my thinking, is that if we are to compare airframes for a “spotless safety record” it is all or nothing. Namely, no crashes, period.


By that metric this list will never stay static.

An A350 is going to crash one day just due to number in service just as likely as a 787 will. The A380 might make it out unscathed just due to lack of numbers. The A220 will one day crash when its out in large numbers. Any plane that has more than 1000 flying is likely to crash at some point regardless of who the manufacturer is. Does that make the low volume airplanes that don't crash safer? Of course not, because by that metric the Concorde was pretty unsafe, even though we know it wasn't.
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Francoflier
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Re: Aircraft types with "spotless" safety record?

Sun Jan 05, 2020 3:45 am

longhauler wrote:
strfyr51 wrote:
trijetsonly wrote:
And don't forget about the Asiana 777 that crashed on the approach to SFO.

if I'm not mistaken? That was pilot error;;


Yes, it was “pilot error”, but ..... it would not have occurred in an Airbus.

And that is the biggest error with these types of comparisons. Is a “pilot error” accident a Mulligan for the airframe, or is it less safe than others? Much like AF447, pilot error? or less safe cockpit design?

So my thinking, is that if we are to compare airframes for a “spotless safety record” it is all or nothing. Namely, no crashes, period.


I agree, and this is why there is some value in comparing absolute accident numbers, be they from pilot error, a less that ideal design or a rogue missile...

The idea is that pilots, being humans, are going to make errors. And they are going to make errors at a similar rate and of similar magnitudes across all aircraft types. Additionally, accidents are never the issue of a single cause.
Similar mistakes, failures or external factors may have different outcomes in different airplanes as you rightly pointed out.

The overall accident rate for a type is worth what it is, especially in these days of very high safety standards where a few freak outliers can screw up the whole statistical curve, but they are no worse than the almost impossible act of trying to classify accidents by their causes, which are often intertwined and open to subjective interpretation.
I'll do my own airline. With Blackjack. And hookers. In fact, forget the airline.
 
User avatar
Francoflier
Posts: 5002
Joined: Wed Oct 31, 2001 12:27 pm

Re: Aircraft types with "spotless" safety record?

Sun Jan 05, 2020 4:01 am

426Shadow wrote:
longhauler wrote:
strfyr51 wrote:
if I'm not mistaken? That was pilot error;;


Yes, it was “pilot error”, but ..... it would not have occurred in an Airbus.

And that is the biggest error with these types of comparisons. Is a “pilot error” accident a Mulligan for the airframe, or is it less safe than others? Much like AF447, pilot error? or less safe cockpit design?

So my thinking, is that if we are to compare airframes for a “spotless safety record” it is all or nothing. Namely, no crashes, period.


By that metric this list will never stay static.

An A350 is going to crash one day just due to number in service just as likely as a 787 will. The A380 might make it out unscathed just due to lack of numbers. The A220 will one day crash when its out in large numbers. Any plane that has more than 1000 flying is likely to crash at some point regardless of who the manufacturer is. Does that make the low volume airplanes that don't crash safer? Of course not, because by that metric the Concorde was pretty unsafe, even though we know it wasn't.


It is not meant to be static, at least until the type is eventually completely retired.

I agree that accident rate per flown hours or cycles is probably a better metric overall, but I disagree that the Concorde was a safe design.
As said above, the airplane flew much less hours and cycles than other airplanes and yet did flirt with disaster a few times before what was probably an inevitability happened...
It was just a design that operated closer to any limit than anything other than a military or space design before or since. Consequently, its safety margins were lower than any other contemporary design and I believe that the eventual accident record reflected the safety level of the airplane somewhat accurately.
As much as I love the Concorde and respect what it achieved for its time, I don't think it was a safe commercial design, even back then.
I'll do my own airline. With Blackjack. And hookers. In fact, forget the airline.
 
FGITD
Posts: 574
Joined: Wed Jun 15, 2016 1:44 pm

Re: Aircraft types with "spotless" safety record?

Sun Jan 05, 2020 8:55 am

Francoflier wrote:

I agree that accident rate per flown hours or cycles is probably a better metric overall, but I disagree that the Concorde was a safe design.
As said above, the airplane flew much less hours and cycles than other airplanes and yet did flirt with disaster a few times before what was probably an inevitability happened...
It was just a design that operated closer to any limit than anything other than a military or space design before or since. Consequently, its safety margins were lower than any other contemporary design and I believe that the eventual accident record reflected the safety level of the airplane somewhat accurately.
As much as I love the Concorde and respect what it achieved for its time, I don't think it was a safe commercial design, even back then.



This is the truth that nostalgia blinds many from. Concorde was marvelous, ahead of its time and a technological wonder. But it's also damn near miraculous that it took until July of 2000 for one to finally crash. There were structural failures, engine issues, and much more. Even the tire burst/fuel tank situation had already happened. It was flying in uncharted territory, so to speak. Even in military applications, aircraft just simply didn't spend nearly as much time as concordes did at those speeds and altitudes. Had they not gone in 2003, structural issues and fatigue most certainly would have caught up to them. Whether it be while in maintenance or in flight is the question.

One of my favorite stories is that an SR-71 operating near Cuba was advised of traffic at their attitude and near their speed. The two pilots, wearing spacesuits with life support systems, and years of flight training watched as an AF concorde out of Caracas cruised on nearby, full of passengers in normal attire, sipping champagne.
 
timh4000
Posts: 320
Joined: Fri Dec 07, 2018 1:14 pm

Re: Aircraft types with "spotless" safety record?

Sun Jan 05, 2020 1:16 pm

I'm going to assume the OP's use of spotless means that it's never fallen from the sky and killed everyone.

As has been mentioned, newer planes and less frames does not make for a fair comparison of aircraft that have been flying for 30 years or more and has several hundred frames at least.

The OP has also not figured in problems that call's for an immediate landing. There has been some close calls with some of the modern generations aircraft. The most notable was from an A380. One of its engines exploded in flight taking out or damaging dozens of systems. There were over 100 ecam messages. They did have things going on their side. One of which was a total of 5 pilots in the cockpit. The usual 2 plus a relief pilot and 2 check pilots. All had much experience. The captain has gone on record saying that a safe landing was made possible by the experience of the entire crew and the CRM was as good as can be.

There are numerous accounts of serious mid air emergencies of these so called "spotless" aircraft. The 787 had serious battery issues including catching on fire in flight. It's also had problems with fuel leaks early on shortly after it started actual service. The 787 had been iou due to these issues. Every plane will have problems and quirks that pilots have to deal with, or ground crew and maintenance has also been pushed to hard tasks.

No one (almost) wants to see the 747 go yet even without hijacking several have been lost, some due to gross error by pilots. Tenerife obviously comes to mind. But there have been several others which have crashed. The most recent hull loss I believe was in 2013 in Afghanistan. National airlines flight 102, a cargo flight crashed and killed all 7 on board when the cargo was improperly secured. The captain ordered/announced the take off would be increased to 30° deck angle to climb at a faster rate rate to avoid anti aircraft fire. 30°
May not seem to be drastic, and is within limits, although as a passenger the experience would be almost double what pax typically experience. Whether or not the steep take off made a difference, the cargo should have withstood the steep take off, but were improperly loaded and detached and thousands of tons of cargo slammed into back of cargo hold causing a center of gravity that was more than the plane could handle.

Nothing but human error to blame for that one.
 
426Shadow
Posts: 188
Joined: Tue Sep 11, 2007 8:13 am

Re: Aircraft types with "spotless" safety record?

Sun Jan 05, 2020 10:48 pm

FGITD wrote:
Francoflier wrote:

I agree that accident rate per flown hours or cycles is probably a better metric overall, but I disagree that the Concorde was a safe design.
As said above, the airplane flew much less hours and cycles than other airplanes and yet did flirt with disaster a few times before what was probably an inevitability happened...
It was just a design that operated closer to any limit than anything other than a military or space design before or since. Consequently, its safety margins were lower than any other contemporary design and I believe that the eventual accident record reflected the safety level of the airplane somewhat accurately.
As much as I love the Concorde and respect what it achieved for its time, I don't think it was a safe commercial design, even back then.



This is the truth that nostalgia blinds many from. Concorde was marvelous, ahead of its time and a technological wonder. But it's also damn near miraculous that it took until July of 2000 for one to finally crash. There were structural failures, engine issues, and much more. Even the tire burst/fuel tank situation had already happened. It was flying in uncharted territory, so to speak. Even in military applications, aircraft just simply didn't spend nearly as much time as concordes did at those speeds and altitudes. Had they not gone in 2003, structural issues and fatigue most certainly would have caught up to them. Whether it be while in maintenance or in flight is the question.

One of my favorite stories is that an SR-71 operating near Cuba was advised of traffic at their attitude and near their speed. The two pilots, wearing spacesuits with life support systems, and years of flight training watched as an AF concorde out of Caracas cruised on nearby, full of passengers in normal attire, sipping champagne.


Ok we are on the same page then because I don't actually know or care if the Concorde was safe, I only said that so I wouldn't have a bunch of Europeans eating me alive and calling every kind of name you can imagine.
We are all just fanboys, our opinions don't make or break businesses.
 
BravoOne
Posts: 3775
Joined: Fri Apr 12, 2013 2:27 pm

Re: Aircraft types with "spotless" safety record?

Sun Jan 05, 2020 10:56 pm

FGITD wrote:
Francoflier wrote:

I agree that accident rate per flown hours or cycles is probably a better metric overall, but I disagree that the Concorde was a safe design.
As said above, the airplane flew much less hours and cycles than other airplanes and yet did flirt with disaster a few times before what was probably an inevitability happened...
It was just a design that operated closer to any limit than anything other than a military or space design before or since. Consequently, its safety margins were lower than any other contemporary design and I believe that the eventual accident record reflected the safety level of the airplane somewhat accurately.
As much as I love the Concorde and respect what it achieved for its time, I don't think it was a safe commercial design, even back then.



This is the truth that nostalgia blinds many from. Concorde was marvelous, ahead of its time and a technological wonder. But it's also damn near miraculous that it took until July of 2000 for one to finally crash. There were structural failures, engine issues, and much more. Even the tire burst/fuel tank situation had already happened. It was flying in uncharted territory, so to speak. Even in military applications, aircraft just simply didn't spend nearly as much time as concordes did at those speeds and altitudes. Had they not gone in 2003, structural issues and fatigue most certainly would have caught up to them. Whether it be while in maintenance or in flight is the question.

One of my favorite stories is that an SR-71 operating near Cuba was advised of traffic at their attitude and near their speed. The two pilots, wearing spacesuits with life support systems, and years of flight training watched as an AF concorde out of Caracas cruised on nearby, full of passengers in normal attire, sipping champagne.


That story is so full of holes that it would make a Concorde pilot blush.
 
Rossiya747
Posts: 146
Joined: Sat Dec 21, 2019 2:56 am

Re: Aircraft types with "spotless" safety record?

Sun Jan 05, 2020 11:24 pm

Il-86. Pulkovo crash in 2002 was due to pilot error.
In total 23 casualties, no passenger casualties.
223 319 320 321 332 333 346 388 734 737 738 739 38M 744 752 753 763 764 772 773 77W 788 789 208 CRJ2 E145 E190 UA DL AA WN AC CM 4O AV 2K FI DY D8 SK LH EI FR U2 IB OS LX BA VS BT PS MS SA SW QR EY HY AI 9W TG SQ MH AK D7 QZ BR NH CA QF MI
 
FGITD
Posts: 574
Joined: Wed Jun 15, 2016 1:44 pm

Re: Aircraft types with "spotless" safety record?

Mon Jan 06, 2020 12:28 am

BravoOne wrote:
FGITD wrote:
Francoflier wrote:

I agree that accident rate per flown hours or cycles is probably a better metric overall, but I disagree that the Concorde was a safe design.
As said above, the airplane flew much less hours and cycles than other airplanes and yet did flirt with disaster a few times before what was probably an inevitability happened...
It was just a design that operated closer to any limit than anything other than a military or space design before or since. Consequently, its safety margins were lower than any other contemporary design and I believe that the eventual accident record reflected the safety level of the airplane somewhat accurately.
As much as I love the Concorde and respect what it achieved for its time, I don't think it was a safe commercial design, even back then.



This is the truth that nostalgia blinds many from. Concorde was marvelous, ahead of its time and a technological wonder. But it's also damn near miraculous that it took until July of 2000 for one to finally crash. There were structural failures, engine issues, and much more. Even the tire burst/fuel tank situation had already happened. It was flying in uncharted territory, so to speak. Even in military applications, aircraft just simply didn't spend nearly as much time as concordes did at those speeds and altitudes. Had they not gone in 2003, structural issues and fatigue most certainly would have caught up to them. Whether it be while in maintenance or in flight is the question.

One of my favorite stories is that an SR-71 operating near Cuba was advised of traffic at their attitude and near their speed. The two pilots, wearing spacesuits with life support systems, and years of flight training watched as an AF concorde out of Caracas cruised on nearby, full of passengers in normal attire, sipping champagne.


That story is so full of holes that it would make a Concorde pilot blush.


Well that's why I said stories, rather than giving it factual basis.

I learned long ago that with pilot stories, you double the distance, and half the speed.

However nonsensical it is, really makes you appreciate concorde. Not too many commercial airliners that could even begin to operate in the realm of supersonic spy planes.

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