It’s been statistically safer to fly than drive for decades now, but did you know that the airline industry is currently at its safest since the dawn of the Jet Age? The New York Times, notes that today marks four years since the last fatal crash in the US.
It’s a record unmatched since propeller planes gave way to the jet age more than half a century ago. Globally, last year was the safest since 1945, with 23 deadly accidents and 475 fatalities, according to the Aviation Safety Network, an accident researcher. That was less than half the 1,147 deaths, in 42 crashes, in 2000.” In the last five years, the death risk for passengers in the United States has been one in 45 million flights, according to Arnold Barnett, a professor of statistics at M.I.T. In other words, flying has become so reliable that a traveler could fly every day for an average of 123,000 years before being in a fatal crash, he said. The last fatal accident involving a commercial flight in the United States was Colgan Air Flight 3407, which crashed near Buffalo, killing 50 people, on Feb. 12, 2009. The pilot’s maneuver was the opposite of what he should have done when ice formed on the wings. Perhaps even more noteworthy, there has not been an accident involving a major domestic carrier since an American Airlines flight to the Dominican Republic crashed after takeoff in Queens in November 2001, killing all 260 people on board.
Check out the full story for reasons behind this achievement and what experts say needs to be done in order to sustain air safety into the future.