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Passenger plane accident rate at record low

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Here’s some good news for the Western travellers who may harbour a slight fear of flights. Figures have shown that 2012 had the lowest accident rate on record for typical passenger planes.

Last year’s global accident rate for western-built passenger jets was the lowest in aviation history, according to The International Air Transport Association (Iata). There were just three fatal crashes on such planes and none on any of the association’s 240 member’s planes, who represent virtually all of the major airlines.

Globally, the crash rate for modern aircraft was one accident for every 5m flights. We like those odds.

Overall on all aircraft types worldwide, there were six crashes and 75 accidents with flying accounting for 414 deaths, compared to 486 from 92 accidents in 2011, from a total of almost 3 billion passengers.

It is not all good news though. Flying in sub-Saharan Africa remains considerably more of a risk, and the accident rate is only worsening. Figures suggest a passenger on a western-built jet in Africa was around 10 times more likely to see the plane crash in 2012 than the next most dangerous region, Latin America.

“The industry’s 2012 record safety performance was the best in history. Each day approximately 100,000 flights arrive safely at their destination. Nevertheless, there is still work to do. Every accident is one too many and each fatality is a human tragedy.” Iata’s director general, Tony Tyler said.

Pilots losing control in flight have caused the most flight fatalities in the past four years, whilst planes coming off the runway are the most common type of accident – accounting for 28% of all incidents.

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