2010 an average year for aviation safety

In 2010, a total of 816 people worldwide lost their lives in accidents involving aircraft, which is a slightly lower number than the annual average of 830 deaths, according to the NLR-Air Transport Safety Institute (NLR-ATSI).
NLR safety pic 1A major crash in 2010 was that of an Afriqiyah Airways A330, which killed 103 people, the majority of whom were Dutch. The aircraft crashed short of the runway during a landing at Tripoli airport.

Bird strikes continued to present safety problems. Approximately 20,000 bird strikes occurred worldwide in 2010, but only a relatively limited number of these resulted in major incidents. In the Netherlands such an incident occurred involving a Royal Air Morocco B737 that struck a flock of geese upon takeoff from Amsterdam Airport Schiphol.

In 2010, cargo planes were once again involved in a relatively large number of accidents. Of the 26 fatal accidents worldwide, 6 involved cargo planes. The probability of a cargo plane being involved in an accident is more than 10 times greater than for a passenger plane.
2010 was an average year regarding aviation safety, with 152 accidents involving commercial aircraft reported worldwide, of which 26 had fatal consequences for the people on board. Over the past ten years there has been an average of 135 accidents per year, of which 28 resulted in fatalities. These figures pertain to commercial aircraft weighing more than 5.7 tons. Of the 26 fatalities recorded in 2010, only one was in Europe.

The probability of a fatal crash occurring in 2010 was comparable to the average probability for the previous three years (approximately 1 fatal crash per 1.5 million flights). There has only been marginal improvement in aviation safety since 2006, and in Europe, the United States and other regions a similar trend has occurred. This trend has seemingly continued in 2010.

In 2010, the largest aviation disaster happened in India, where an Air India Express Boeing 737-800 overran a runway at Mangalore-Bajpe airport, killing 158 people. In 2010 a total of 85 runways excursions were reported worldwide, with half of these incidents resulting in damage to the aircraft and three resulting in fatalities. At Amsterdam Airport Schiphol a Boeing 737 was unable to stop during landing, but this runway excursion did not result in fatalities or damage to the aircraft.
Michel Piers


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