A320 Safety Record

Discussion in 'General Discussion | Travel' started by MX, Mar 25, 2015.  |  Print Topic

  1. MX

    MX Gold Member

    Messages:
    2,215
    Likes Received:
    4,805
    Status Points:
    2,545
    After major aviation disasters there are often concerns and fears whether the affected equipment models are inherently flawed. So I thought I would look up some hard statistical facts about the A320 series. Fortunately, both Boeing and Airbus publish excellent annual summaries with cumulative stats for all aircraft in commercial passenger service. Their data are identical, though I slightly preferred Boeing's format. Here's the latest available chart for cumulative crash stats by aircraft type:
    statsum_P20.png
    The stat of a particular interest would be the cumulative number of fatal crashes per million departures. For the whole A318-321 series, that number is 0.14 through the end of 2013. When that number is updated with the departures and one more fatal crash since then, it might be slightly higher. The applicable average for that statistic is quoted at 0.28. So by that measure the A318-321 series is considerably safer than average.

    The corresponding number for the main competitor in that category - B737/600-900 - is quoted to be 0.11. Interestingly in another comparable aircraft series (A330 vs B767), Boeing ranks safer as well. Both are extremely competent, but perhaps Boeing's longer experience in business makes a difference. Some experts also cite as a negative the excessive reliance by Airbus on automation. Some of their models were even marketed as "idiot pilot-proof". It would be interesting to find out if Airbus has more customers in regions where pilot training or safety regulations are lacking.
     
    flyforawg, Dublin_rfk, uggboy and 2 others like this.
  2. HaveMilesWillTravel
    Original Member

    HaveMilesWillTravel Gold Member

    Messages:
    12,503
    Likes Received:
    20,197
    Status Points:
    16,520

    The first A320 entered service in 1988.

    The first B737NG entered service in 1998 (?).

    When the A320 was designed and introduced, its main competitor was thus presumably the 737 Classic. Which appears to have a much higher accident rate.

    Overall, I think this is a pointless comparison, though. The numbers are sooo small that I am much more worried about the crazy guys on the freeway that I will encounter on my drive home from work tonight.
     
  3. MX

    MX Gold Member

    Messages:
    2,215
    Likes Received:
    4,805
    Status Points:
    2,545
    That's a great point, as the data does not appear to be parsed by aircraft age. Also, the A320 crashes are all added up whether they happened in the 1990's or much more recently.

    Heck, these numbers are miniscule even compared to those killed by falling coconuts. But where's the outpouring of sympathy for the coconut victims? We're all irrational in so many ways, and air disasters are just more emotionally disturbing.
     
  4. HaveMilesWillTravel
    Original Member

    HaveMilesWillTravel Gold Member

    Messages:
    12,503
    Likes Received:
    20,197
    Status Points:
    16,520
    Yikes. Note to self: don't spend beach vacation reading at the beach in the shade of a coconut tree.
     
    flyforawg, mht_flyer and MX like this.
  5. DTWBOB

    DTWBOB Silver Member

    Messages:
    748
    Likes Received:
    921
    Status Points:
    750
    How do you count the recent Delta incident where the plane will probably be written off because the cost to repair it is likely to be prohibitive?

    DTWBOB
     
    Dublin_rfk and MX like this.
  6. MX

    MX Gold Member

    Messages:
    2,215
    Likes Received:
    4,805
    Status Points:
    2,545
    Hull Loss without fatalities (dark blue bars on Boeing charts).
     

Share This Page