Draft:Analysis of civil aviation accidents and incidents in the twenty-first century

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An Air crash incident's wreck

Although air crash will instantly catch world's attention when it happens, the data shows that, up to 2018, the probability of air crash accidents is only one out of three million,[clarification needed] according to Dutch experts in To70.[1]

With the development of technology, the jet aircraft were invented. In 1952, the first jet aircraft used for commercial airliner was operated by BOAC, flying from London to Johannesburg.[2] The great performance in engine reliability, extreme weather avoidance, speed and safety led jet aircraft substitute the propeller airplane and became the main force in civil aviation.[3] However, from 2000 up to 2019, the total amount of air plane crashes that only for the purpose of scheduled transportation is still 616, which causes eleven thousands one hundred and ninety people dead.[4]

Comparing civil aviation accidents in 21st century with last 20 years in 20th century.[edit]

JL123 at Itami Airport in 1984, before the accident

Total of fatalities :[4][edit]

Airbus A300, the one that involved in the accident that killed 262 people

Total of crashes:[4][edit]

  • 1980–1989 : 774
  • 1990–1999 : 731
  • 2000–2009 : 393
  • 2010–2019 : 223

The accidents that caused the most fatalities:[4][edit]

Boeing 747-168B from Saudi Arabian Airlines, which looks similar to the SV763.

The statistics collected by Bureau of Aircraft Accidents Archives of last 40 years show that the total fatalities and crashes decrease by each decade, especially the crashes happened between 1990-1999 and 2000-2009, fell by 46.2 percent.

The Boeing 777 involved in the accident, taken before the accident

Consequences of the worst air crashed in the latest 40 years: JL123.[edit]


This incident was caused by an inappropriate repair in 1978. During the maintenance, a 36-inches of splice plate with two rolls of rivets should be installed to connect the upper and lower domes. However, only one roll had worked appropriately and carried the load into the upper dome. The rupture was begun in this repair. This overloaded pressure on the rivets resulted in the metal overstressed and fatigue. Therefore, when the plane reached 7000 meters, the splice plate could not bear the difference in pressure and caused the explosion inside the cabinet. This led the passengers in the plane experienced a decompression nearly 24,000 feet. As a result, the JL123 lost most of its vertical fin and the use of all four hydraulic systems, which made the crew lost total control of this giant Boeing 747[9].


According to the report written by NTSB, although the inappropriate installment was mainly responsible for this catastrophic accident, the Safety Board concerned about the 'fail-safe' concept and approved visual inspections procedures. As a result, the Board suggested to the FAA that Boeing should establish an inspection interval for the bulkhead that involved in a more complete examination to evaluate the extent of fatigue[9].

Adjustments that required to take[9]:[edit]
  1. To change the design of Boeing 747 empennage, so that when remarkable pressure gathering in the empennage, the structural integrity of the stabilizers and their respective control surfaces could be protected.
  2. To change the design of Boeing 747 hydraulic systems, so that when remarkable pressures are gathered in the empennage, all four hydraulic systems would not be all significantly damaged.
  3. To reevaluate the design of Boeing 747 and 767 aft pressure bulkheads that to make sure that the repair would not affect the design of concept of "fail-safe".
  4. Reevaluate any progressions that approved to repair Boeing 747 and 767 aft pressure bulkheads.
  5. Reinvestigate the examination of procedure of the Boeing 747's pressure bulkhead.

Reasons for air crash[edit]

Human factor:[edit]

The accidents are caused by the incorrect operations of aircraft related personnel. Between 2000 and 2019, there are approximately 274 air crash including 6581 fatalities happened, which has occupied 44.5 % of total air crash accidents during this time.[10]

There are several aspects that make human take responsible for the air crash:[11]

  1. Poor Judgement
  2. Diverted attention
  3. Could not maintain fly speed
  4. In-flight decision
  5. Lack of experience or operation beyond ability
  6. Perceptual misjudgment
  7. Insufficient or incorrect pre-flying preparation
  8. Improper operations of essential flying control
  9. Medical or alcohol
Representative Accident I: Flight AA587, Nov 12, 2001[edit]

The accident that caused most fatalities happened during 2000 and 2009, Flight AA587, is caused by the improper operations of essential flying control of First officer Molin.

First officer was mistakenly trained to assume that strong wake turbulence could lead aircraft into extremely negative situation. The first officer over-pressed on the rudders, which the aircraft could not stabilize in one position. The movement of pulling back and forth on the rudders creates huge stress on the vertical fin of the plane. The plane fell from the sky when the vertical fin broke under the strain.[12]

Improvement made according to the accidents:

American Airlines changed the training procedure for dealing with the wake turbulence, by reviewing existed training guidance in order to examine whether there is needed for modification to ensure that pilot would not misuse the rudder which could consequence in sideslip angle.[13]

Representative Accident II: Flight AF447, Jun 1, 2009[edit]

This accident is caused by the poor judgement of First officer Bonin.

The accident was happened during the shifts of aircrew when captain went to take a rest. The ice crystal had enveloped the pitot tubes, which caused the airspeed reading unreliable. Therefore, the computer could not measure the speed of the plane, so it instantly disconnected the auto-pilot mode. The first officer Bonin took control and believed that the plane was descending due to unknown reason. However, his action of lifting the nose of plane put Air France 447 into a stall situation. Although the other officer Robert alarmed him to watch the dropping airspeed, which in this situation the pilot should push the plane nose down to get speed, Bonin insisted on pulling up the plane based on basic instinct. These series actions of poor judgement lead the aircraft hitting the ocean surface with speed of almost two hundred kilometers an hour and caused the death of 228 people including the crew.[12]

Improvement made according to the accidents:

Air France adjusted the new training for the crew to help them understand how to operate the airplane when airspeed is not valid and when there is a situation of bad storm. The airlines were recommended to allocate more budget on primary manual flying training and cooperation training among crews on board.[14]

Weather factors:[edit]

The accidents are caused by the extreme weather. Between 2000 and 2019, there are approximately 43 crashes that related to the bad weather. It is 7% of the total air crash accidents happened during that time.[15]

Weather that caused air crush normally will incur other influences to disturb pilot for making decision:[16]

  1. Heavy weather leads to poor visibility
  2. Thunder storm leads to lost of control
  3. Hurricane
  4. Lighting

Representative Accident III: Flight FV612, Aug 22, 2006

This accident is caused by the thunder storm.

According to the limitation of language, there is only one official investigation report produced by the Interstate Aviation Committee in Russia.[17]The general announcement made by the Russian government indicated that after interacting with a thunder storm, the pilots lost control of the plane and pushed it into a stall. The flying data shows that the plane has been through a sudden climb, a stall, a flat spin and a descend till crash.[18]

Representative Accident IV: Flight CRN883, Nov 4, 2010

This accident is caused by the influence of hurricane.

The flight 883 was the last flight before the close of Santiago de Cuba Airport for Hurricane Thomas. The flight was witnessed as flying unstable with smoke and fire appearing on the engine, and crashed 210 miles from Havana.[19] With collaboration between Cuba Government and BEA, the report indicated that the extreme weather caused icing which led to the inappropriate reaction of crews on board was the main reason for this accident.[20]

Technical factors:[edit]

The accidents are caused by various technical issues. Between 2000 and 2019, there are approximately 147 crashes that related to the technology problem. It is 23.9% of the total air crash accidents happened during that time.

Representative Accident IV: Flight CI611, May 25, 2002

This accident is related to three main technical reasons.

  1. CI611's disassembly could be the result of disfunction of bottom structure of the plane.
  2. The inefficient operating maintenance of 1980 touched down of tail of the aircrafts could not endure the stress.
  3. The metal fatigue caused by the tail strike accident in 1980 was incurred by the MSD cracks especially the one with 15-inch crack. However, the repair was not made in accordance with the Boeing's structural repair manual.
  4. Insufficient record for the earlier maintenance caused difficulties in investigation.

There are still doubts and suspicions in this incident according to limitations of recording.


  1. ^ "Aviation Consultants". To70. Retrieved 2019-05-12.
  2. ^ Hopkin, Michael (2006-07-19). "When Germany ruled Britain". Nature. doi:10.1038/news060717-8. ISSN 0028-0836.
  3. ^ "Accident Analysis: Jet versus Turboprops". www.aopa.org. 2017-01-08. Retrieved 2019-05-12.
  4. ^ a b c d "Accident Archives". Bureau of Aircraft Accidents Archives. Retrieved 2019-05-12.
  5. ^ "Crash of a Boeing 747-200 near Yokota AFB: 520 killed". Bureau of Aircraft Accidents Archives. Retrieved 2019-05-13.
  6. ^ "Crash of a Boeing 747-100 in New Delhi: 312 killed". Bureau of Aircraft Accidents Archives. Retrieved 2019-05-13.
  7. ^ "Crash of an Airbus A300-600 in New York: 265 killed". Bureau of Aircraft Accidents Archives. Retrieved 2019-05-13.
  8. ^ "Crash of a Boeing 777-2H6ER near Moskovs'ke: 298 killed". Bureau of Aircraft Accidents Archives. Retrieved 2019-05-13.
  9. ^ a b c Burnett, Jim (December 5, 1985). "Safety Recommendations A-85-137" (PDF). National Transportation Safety Board: 3.
  10. ^ "Accident Archives". Bureau of Aircraft Accidents Archives. Retrieved 2019-05-31.
  11. ^ Department of Transport and Regional Development, Bureau of Air Safety Investigation (1996). "Human Factors in Fatal Aircraft Accidents" (PDF). Air Navigation Act: 4–7 – via National Transportation Safety Board; US Department of Transportation.
  12. ^ a b Bedford, Paul (Spring 2017). "Air crash investigation". Pathology. 49: S23. doi:10.1016/j.pathol.2016.12.053. ISSN 0031-3025.
  13. ^ National Transportation Safety Board. "In-Flight Separation of Vertical Stabilizer American Airlines Flight 587, Airbus Industry A300-605R, N14053 Belle Harbor, New York, November 12, 2001" (PDF). Aircraft Accident Report: 135–160 – via National Transportation Safety Board.
  14. ^ Bureau d’Enquêtes et d’Analyses (Summer 2012). "Final Report on the accident on 1st June 2009 to the Airbus A330-203 registered F-GZCP, operated by Air France flight AF 447 Rio de Janeiro - Paris" (PDF). Pour la sécurité de l’aviation civile: 194–215 – via Bureau d’Enquêtes et d’Analyses.
  15. ^ "Accident Archives". Bureau of Aircraft Accidents Archives. Retrieved 2019-05-31.
  16. ^ Kushwaha, Madhavi (2014). "Impact of Environmental Factors on Aviation Safety" (PDF). Advances in Aerospace Science and Applications. 4: 73–78 – via Research India Publications.
  17. ^ Interstate Aviation Committee (2006). "ИНФОРМАЦИЯ ТЕХНИЧЕСКОЙ КОМИССИИ ПО РЕЗУЛЬТАТАМ РАССЛЕДОВАНИЯ КАТАСТРОФЫ, САМОЛЕТА ТУ-154М АВИАКОМПАНИИ, «ПУЛКОВО» ПОД ДОНЕЦКОМ 22 АВГУСТА 2006 ГОДА" (PDF). ПРЕСС-РЕЛИЗ комментарии - Донецк: 1–16 – via Interstate Aviation Committee.
  18. ^ "ANALYSIS: 2006-08-22 Crash of Pulkovo Flight 612 near Donetsk". Aviation Impact Reform. 2015-01-07. Retrieved 2019-05-31.
  19. ^ Guasimal (Nov 5, 2010). "Rescuers find black box of crashed Cuban plane". Reuters. Archived from the original on 2010. Retrieved May 19, 2019.
  20. ^ Bureau d'Enquêtes et d'Analyses pour la Sécurité de l'Aviation Civile (July 2011). "The ATR 72, registered CU-T1549, operated by the Cuban airline AeroCaribbean". BEA. Archived from the original on 2010. Retrieved May 31, 2019.