2011 saw two significant milestones for both aviation safety and aviation security. The security milestone was of course the tenth anniversary of the attacks of 9/11. The past decade has brought on a host of significant changes in attitudes about what is acceptable when it comes to risks, and the steps taken to reduce or eliminate those risks when it comes to sabotage, hijackings, and other intentional threats to the air transportation system. Since 9/11, there have been two bombing attempts, both unsuccessful, involving US airliners, the December 2001 shoe bomber event involving Richard Reid, and the 2009 underwear bomber event involving Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab.
The other, less publicized milestone was the tenth anniversary of the last US crash involving a large passenger jet, the November 11, 2001 crash of an American Airlines A300 in New York. In the 10-year span since that A300 crash, there have been five fatal US passenger airliner crashes involving smaller aircraft, four turboprop aircraft, and a regional jet.
While there have been no fatal crashes involving large passenger jets in the last 10 years, there have been two fatal crashes involving large US cargo jets, a UPS 747 in Dubai in 2010 and a FedEx MD11 in Japan in 2009.
AirSafe.com's primary focus is on plane crashes that kill passengers on large airliners, but this annual list of fatal and signifiant crashes includes fatal crashes of smaller airliners, airliner crashes without fatalities, and non-airline events. Among the 23 events from 2011, some of the more noteworthy included the following:
- The first fatal crash of a large jet airliner in Canada in almost 13 years.
- The sixth fatal crash of a wide-bodied cargo jet airliner in the last three years (three 747s and three MD11s since 2008)
- Three fatal crashes with a sole survivor.
- There were 19 events that involved passenger fatalities and there were no passenger survivors in eight of these events.
There were 12 events in 2011 that led to airline passengers fatalities, with half involving jet transports. The full list of fatal events is below:
- 1 January 2011; Kogalymavia (also known as Kolavia); Tu154M; RA-85588; flight 348; Surgut, Russia: The aircraft was on a scheduled domestic flight from Surgut to Moscow, Russia. The aircraft caught fire while the aircraft was taxiing toward the runway. All eight crew members survived, and three of the 126 passengers were killed.
Other Russian airliner crashes
- 9 January 2011; Iran Air 727-200; Flight 277; Urmia, Iran:
The aircraft was on a scheduled domestic flight from Tehran to Urmia, Iran when it crashed near the destination airport.
Ten of the 11 crew members and 67 of the 94 passengers were killed.
Other crashes involving Iran Air
- 10 February 2011; Manx2 Swearingen Metro III; Flight 7100; Cork, Ireland:
The aircraft was on a scheduled international flight from Belfast, Northern Ireland to Cork, Ireland when it crashed near the destination airport. There were low visibility conditions at the time of the crash. On the crew's third landing attempt, the aircraft crashed adjacent to a taxiway, came to rest upside down, and caught fire. Both crew members and four of the ten passengers were killed.
- 18 May 2011; Sol Líneas Aéreas Saab 340A; LV-CEJ; Flight 5428; near Prahuaniyeu, Argentina: The aircraft was on a scheduled domestic flight from Neuquén near the Andes to Comodoro Rivadavia, Argentina when it crashed about 25 kilometers (15 miles) southwest of the town of Los Menucos. The last contact with the aircraft occurred about 40 minutes after taking off from Neuquén. All three crew members and 19 passengers, including one child, were killed.
Saab 340 plane crashes
- 20 June 2011; RusAir; Tu134A; RA-65691; flight 7R-243; Petrozavodsk, Russia: The aircraft was on a domestic flight from Moscow (Domodedovo)to Petrozavodsk, Russia. The aircraft crashed on a roadway about one kilometer from the destination airport. Eight of the nine crew members and 39 of the 43 passengers were killed.
Crash details at AirSafeNews.com
Russian plane crashes
- 8 July 2011; Hewa Bora Airways 727; 9Q-COP; flight 952, Kisangani, Democratic Republic of the Congo (DR Congo):
The aircraft was on a scheduled domestic flight from Kinshasa to Kisangani, DR Congo when it crashed after missing the runway during a landing attempt. The aircraft came to rest about 300 meters from the runway. At the time, there was heavy rain, limited visibility, and thunderstorms in the area. According to a report about the crash in the Aviation Herald, the runway had no published instrument landing procedures. The aircraft was destroyed in the crash. Five of the seven crew members, and 72 of the 108 passengers were killed.
Fatal 727 plane crashes
- 20 August 2011; First Air; 737-200; flight 6560; Resolute Bay, Canada: The aircraft (C-GNWN) was on a chartered domestic Canadian flight from Yellowknife in the Northwest Territories to to Resolute Bay in Nunavut Territory. The aircraft crashed near the runway during a landing attempt and broke up.
All four crew members and eight of the 11 passengers were killed. Among the three survivors was a seven-year-old girl. However, her six-year-old sister was killed in the crash.
Prior to this fatal crash, the airline had two prior serious, though nonfatal, incidents involving of their 737 fleet. In 2001, a First Air 737 landed short of the runway Yellowknife and was seriously damaged. While the aircraft was too damaged to be repaired, none of the 98 passengers or six crew members were injured. In a 2004 landing incident in Edmonton, Alberta, the aircraft landed to the side of the runway and struck a number of lights and a sign before the crew was able to come to a stop on the runway. This aircraft returned to service, and was the same one involved in the fatal Resolute Bay crash.
- 6 September 2011; Aerocon; Metro III; CP-2548; flight 238; near Trinidad, Colombia: The aircraft was on a scheduled domestic flight from Santa Cruz to Trinidad, Colombia, and crashed in the jungle during the approach to Trinidad. The crew was reportedly executing a non-precision approach. Both crew members and six of the seven passengers were killed. The sole survivor was found about a day after the crash.
- 7 September 2011; Yak Service Yak-42D; RA-42434; Yaroslavl, Russia: The aircraft was on a nonscheduled international flight from Yaroslavl, Russia to Minsk, Belarus when it crashed shortly after taking off from Yaroslavl Airport. The aircraft apparently ran off the runway took off several hundred meters beyond the end of the runway. After lifting off, the aircraft struck a radio mast about 450 meters from the end of the runway, and crashed at the edge of the Volga River. Seven of the eight crew members, and all 37 passengers were killed. Among the passengers were the coaching staff and players of the Lokomotiv Yaroslavl professional hockey team. The team included several former NHL players as well as several members of the Russian national hockey team.
This was the 23rd sole survivor airline crash since 1970, three of which occurred in 2011.
Wikipedia entry on this crash
Fatal crashes of airlines of the former Soviet Union
Sole survivor plane crashes
- 20 September 2011; SALSA d'Haiti (Services Aeriens Latinosamericains, S.A. d'Haiti); Beech 99A; HH-APA; ;flight 112; Lorie, Haiti: The aircraft was on a scheduled domestic flight from Port-au-Prince to Cap Haitien, Haiti, and crashed in a field near Lorie, Haiti, There was heavy rain in the area at the time of the crash. Both crew members and the single passenger were killed.
- 25 September 2011; Buddha Air Beechcraft 1900D; 9N-AEK; near near Kotdanda, Nepal:
The aircraft was on a scheduled domestic sightseeing flight which was to start and end at Kathmandu, Nepal. The aircraft crashed during approach at the end of the flight and the crash location was several miles short of the runway. All three crew members and 16 passengers were killed.
- 13 October 2011; Airlines PNG Dash 8; P2-MCJ; Flight 1600; near Madang, Papua New Guinea: The aircraft was on a scheduled domestic flight from Lae to Madang, Papua New Guinea, and crashed into a dense forest about 20 km south of Madang while on approach. All three crew members survived but 28 of the 29 passengers were killed. This is the second fatal passenger flight involving this airline. On 11 August 2009, both crew members and all 11 passengers were killed in the when a Twin Otter Airlines PNG aircraft crashed into a mountain near Kokoda Airport.
Other Significant Events
The following events included several that killed passengers, but did not could in the previous list either because they involved aircraft that are not used in airline service in North America or western Europe or because they did not fit other AirSafe.com requirements for inclusion in the fatal airline events list. Other crashes that did not involve airline aircraft were included because they were noteworthy in other ways.
- 14 February 2011; Central American Airways; Let 410; HR-AUQ; near Cerro de Hula, Honduras: The aircraft was on a domestic flight from San Pedro Sula to Tegucigalpa, Honduras, and crashed into a forest while en route to its destination. Both crew members and all 12 passengers were killed.
- 1 April 2011; Southwest Airlines 737-300; flight 812; near Yuma, AZ: The airline was on a scheduled flight from Phoenix, AZ to Sacramento, CA, when it experienced a rapid loss of cabin pressure after a rupture developed in the upper fuselage about 18 minutes after takeoff when the aircraft was climbing through 34,000 feet. After the loss of cabin pressure, the crew was able to divert to Yuma, AZ without further incident. There were no serious injuries among the 117 passengers and five crew members on board. The rupture was about five feet long and about a foot wide.
The NTSB launched a major investigation of this event, and additional details about this investigation are available at AirSafeNews.com. Because no passengers were killed, this event was not counted as a fatal event as defined by AirSafe.com.
Wikipedia entry on this event
Other Southwest Airlines EventsDr. Curtis Interview on BBC's The World Today
Audio: MP3 | Video: YouTube
- 4 April 2011; Georgian Airways Canadair CRJ-100; 4L-GAE; flight 834; Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo (DNC): The aircraft was on a domestic unscheduled flight from Kisangani to N'Djili airport in Kinshasa, and was attempting an instrument approach to runway 24 around 14:00L during heavy rain and under low visibility conditions. The aircraft missed the runway, broke up, and caught fire. , and crashed into a forest while en route to its destination. All four crew members and 28 of the 29 passengers were killed.
At the time of the crash, the airplane operated on behalf of the United Nations Organization Stabilization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUSCO). Because this was not a regular airline flight, this crash was not counted as a fatal event as defined by AirSafe.com. This was also one of those rare airliner crashes with a sole survivor.
CRJ plane crashes
- 7 May 2011; Merpati Nusantara Airlines Xian MA60; PK-MZK; near Kaimana, Indonesia: The aircraft was on a domestic scheduled flight from Sorong to Kaimana, Indonesia, and crashed into the sea about 600 meters short of the runway. The aircraft broke up and sank, and all 19 passengers and six crew members were killed.
Xian MA60 background information
- 11 July 2011; Angara Airlines Antonov 24RV; RA-47302; flight 5007; near Strezhevoy, Russia: The aircraft was on a scheduled domestic flight from Tomsk to Surgut, Russia, and the crew executed an emergency landing in the Ob River near the town of Strezhevoy, Russia. The crew reported an engine fire while en route, about 90 minutes after takeoff. All four crew members survived, but six of the 33 passengers were killed.
- 13 July 2011; NOAR Linhas Aéreas; Let 410; PR-NOB; ;flight NRA-4896; Recife, Brazil: The aircraft was on a domestic flight from Recife to Natal, Brazil, and crashed in a populated area about one minute after takeoff, narrowly missing several buildings. The aircraft was destroyed by the impact and post crash fire. Both crew members and all 14 passengers were killed.
- 28 July 2011; Asiana Airlines; 747-400F; HL7604; flight 991; near Jeju, South Korea: The aircraft was on an international cargo flight from Seoul, South Korea, to Shanghai, China. About an hour after takeoff, the crew reported on onboard fire and diverted toward Jeju, South Korea. Both pilots were killed in the crash.
- 29 September 2011; Nusantara Buana Air CASA-212; PK-TLF; near Bohorok, Indonesia: The aircraft was on a scheduled domestic flight from Medan to Kutacane, Indonesia. Contact was lost with the aircraft a few minutes after departure, and had crashed into a forest while en route. All four crew members and 14 passengers were killed.
- 1 November 2011; LOT 767-300; SP-LPC; flight 16; Warsaw, Poland: The aircraft was on scheduled international flight from Newark, NJ to Warsaw, a flight that was uneventful until shortly before landing when the crew was unable to lower the landing gear. The crew continued to fly and burn off fuel for about 90 minutes, giving emergency crews time to foam the runway, and allowing the authorities to dispatch a pair of F-16s to inspect the LOT aircraft. The crew executed a successful gear up landing that resulted in no injuries among the 220 passengers and 11 crew members.
More information, including videos
- 17 November 2011; Piper Cherokee; N7746W; near Perryville, AR: Oklahoma State University (OSU) women's basketball coach Kurt Budke, assistant women's basketball coach Miranda Serna, the pilot, and one other passenger were killed in a crash that took place about 40 miles northwest of Little Rock, AR. The coaches were heading to Little Rock on a recruiting trip at the time of the crash. While the aircraft was privately owned, the plane's pilot was a certified commercial pilot. Early reports indicate that the pilot, a former Oklahoma state senator, was an OSU alumnus and donor, but had not previously flown OSU coaches prior to the accident flight.
This is not the first fatal crash involving OSU athletics. On 27 January 2001, two OSU basketball players, an OSU basketball executive and five staffers and broadcasters associated with the program were killed when their ; Beechcraft King Air crashed shortly after takeoff from the Jefferson County airport near Denver, CO. The two crew members were also killed. The chartered aircraft was bound for Stillwater, Oklahoma when it took off during snowy conditions.
After the 2001 crash, OSU changed their travel policies for student athletes, including rules requiring two pilots to be on board for all OSU travel involving student athletes and aircraft to be powered by two or more turbine engines. However, these policy changes did not apply to recruiting trips involving only coaches.
- 28 December 2011; Kyrgyzstan Airlines Tu134A; EX-020; flight 16; Osh, Kyrgyzstan: The aircraft was on scheduled domestic flight from Bishkek to Osh, Kyrgyzstan. The airplane reportedly landed hard rolled over, broke up, and caught fire. The right wing was completely separated from the aircraft, and the aircraft came to rest inverted, but all of the occupants were able to escape. There were no fatalities among the 95 passengers and six crew members, but there were at least 31 injuries. At the time of the crash, airport conditions were foggy with reduced visibility.
More information, including photos
Fatal and serious events by year
1996, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002,2003
2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011
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