Global air crash deaths fall

Antelope Valley Press - - Second Front -

FRANK­FURT, Ger­many (AP) — The num­ber of deaths in ma­jor air crashes around the globe fell by more than half in 2019, ac­cord­ing to a re­port by an aviation con­sult­ing firm.

The To70 con­sul­tancy said Wed­nes­day that 257 peo­ple died in eight fa­tal ac­ci­dents in 2019. That com­pares to 534 deaths in 13 fa­tal ac­ci­dents in 2018.

The 2019 death toll rose in late De­cem­ber af­ter a Bek Air Fokker 100 crashed Fri­day on take­off in Kaza­khstan, killing 12 peo­ple. The worst crash of 2019 in­volved an Ethiopian Air­lines Boe­ing 737 MAX plane that crashed March 10, killing 157 peo­ple.

The re­port said fa­tal ac­ci­dents in 2018 and 2019 that led to the ground­ing of Boe­ing’s 737 MAX raised ques­tions about how aviation au­thor­i­ties ap­prove aviation de­signs de­rived from older ones, and about how much pilot train­ing is needed on new sys­tems.

The group said it ex­pects the 737 MAX to even­tu­ally gain per­mis­sion to fly again in 2020.

The re­port said the fa­tal ac­ci­dent rate for large planes in com­mer­cial air trans­port fell to 0.18 fa­tal ac­ci­dents per mil­lion flights in 2019 from 0.30 ac­ci­dents per mil­lion flights in 2018. That means there was one fa­tal ac­ci­dent for ev­ery 5.58 mil­lion flights.

The firm’s an­nual com­pi­la­tion of ac­ci­dent statis­tics stressed that aviation needs to keep its fo­cus on the ba­sics of hav­ing well-de­signed and well-con­structed air­craft flown by well-trained crews.

Last year may have seen fewer deaths but did not equal the his­toric low of 2017, which saw only two fa­tal ac­ci­dents, in­volv­ing re­gional tur­bo­props, that re­sulted in the loss of 13 lives.

This re­port is based on crashes in­volv­ing larger air­craft used for most com­mer­cial pas­sen­ger flights. It ex­cludes ac­ci­dents in­volv­ing small planes, mil­i­tary flights, cargo flights and he­li­copters.

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