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01 January 2015

2014 airline safety review

This is the 19th annual review since was launched in 1996. From 1996 to 2013, the number of fatal events in a year have ranged from a low of five in 2013 to a high of 19 in 1997

This review includes all plane crashes that resulted in a fatal event, specifically events involving passenger fatalities in aircraft which have the capacity to seat at least 10 passengers where those models are used in regular airline service in North America, western Europe, Australia, or Japan. Also included are plane crashes and other significant events that did not qualify as a fatal event, but that either had high media interest or that had noteworthy aviation safety or security implications.

Only the numbered plane crashes listed below qualified as a fatal event. Details on how events are categorized are available at the definitions page.

Quick summary of 2014
While this past year saw massive amounts of media attention for the two events involving Malaysia Airlines, and the crash of an AirAsia A320 in the last week of December, 2014 saw seven numbered fatal events on, which is on the low end for the number of annual fatal events. Six of those events involved Asian airlines, and the seventh involved an airline in Africa. Of the four significant events, only one involved an airliner.

  1. 16 February 2014; Nepal Airlines DHC-6 Twin Otter 300; 9N-ABB; flight 183; en route between Pokhara and Jumla, Nepal: The aircraft was on a scheduled domestic flight from Pokhara to Jumla, Nepal. Radio contact was lost about 30 minutes after takeoff. The crashed aircraft was found the next day, and all three crew members and 15 passengers had been killed.
    Flight 183 Wikipedia entry

  2. 8 March 2014; Malaysia Airlines 777-200; 9M-MRO; flight MH370; unknown location: The aircraft was on a scheduled international flight between Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia and Beijing, China and went missing while en route. The current status and location of the aircraft, along with that of the 227 passengers and 12 crew members on board, is currently unknown. While it is believed that one or more military radar systems in Malaysia detected the aircraft heading back in the direction of Malaysia, there was no corroborating information such as communications from the pilot or information from the aircraft's transponder associated with that radar data.

    Visit the Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 page for additional information, including links to articles and interviews of Dr. Todd Curtis of

  3. 24 June 2014; Pakistan International Airlines (PIA); A310-300; AP-BGN; flight PK756; Peshawar, Pakistan The aircraft was on a scheduled international flight from Riyadh, Saudi Arabia to Peshawar, Pakistan, when it was struck by several bullets shortly before landing. Two cabin crew members and one passenger were hit, and the passenger died of her injuries. There were no other injuries among the 10 other crew members or 177 other passengers.
    Fatal PIA Events

  4. 17 July 2014; Malaysia Airlines 777-200ER; 9M-MRD; flight MH17; near Grabovo, Ukraine: The aircraft was on a scheduled international flight between Amsterdam, the Netherlands and Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. The aircraft in cruise at about 33,000 feet when it experienced a catastrophic in flight breakup. All 283 passengers and 15 crew members were killed.

    Visit the Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 page for additional information, including links to articles and interviews of Dr. Todd Curtis of

  5. 23 July 2014; TransAsia Airways ATR 72-500; B-22810; flight GE222; near Magong, Taiwan: The aircraft was on a scheduled domestic flight between Kaohsiung and Magong, Taiwan. The airplane crashed into a residential area near the airport during a go around following an attempted landing at Magong, Taiwan, which is on Penghu island. Of the four crew members and 54 passengers, at least 48 occupants were killed. At least five people on the ground were also injured. There was heavy rain in the area at the time of the crash.
    ATR 72 plane crashes
    Flight GE222 Wikipedia entry

  6. 24 July 2014; Air Algerie MD83; EC-LTV; flight AH5017; near Gossi, Mali: The aircraft was on a scheduled international flight from Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso and Algiers, Algeria. The airplane contacted air traffic control about 50 minutes after takeoff, requesting a course change due to weather conditions. The aircraft crashed in the area of Gossi, Mali. All six crew members and 110 passengers were killed.
    MD80 series plane crashes
    Flight AH5017 Wikipedia entry

    10 August 2014; Sepahan Airlines HESA IrAn 140; EP-GPA; flight 217; near Nardaran, Azerbaijan: The aircraft was on a scheduled domestic flight from Tehran to Tabas, Iran. The aircraft crashed shortly after takeoff, resulting in 39 fatalities among the eight crew members and 40 passengers. All five crew members and18 passengers were killed.
    This is a not a numbered event as defined by because of the aircraft type used.
    Flight 217 Wikipedia entry

    13 August 2014; AF Andrade Empreendimentos e Participações Cessna 560XLS+ Citation Excel; PR-AFA; Guarujá, Brazil: The aircraft was approaching Guarujá Airport after a charter flight from Santos Dumont Airport in Rio de Janeiro, and crashed into a residential area about 4.3 km fro the runway. Both pilot and all five passengers were killed. Among the passengers were a candidate for president of Brazil, Eduardo Campos, his wife, and one of their five children. This event also raises policy issues for democracies.

    7 October 2014; California Dept of Forestry and Fire Protection; Marsh S-2F3AT Turbo Tracker; N449DF; near Foresta, CA: The fire-fighting aircraft, which was based at Hollister Air Attack Base, CA impacted a forested hillside during a fire suppression operation near the Yosemite National Forest, California. The pilot, and sole crew member, was killed.

    31 October 2014; Scaled Composites; Model 339 (SpaceShipTwo); N339SS; near Cantil, CA: The vehicle, which is designed to fly into the lower reaches of space (above 100 km above Earth) was on its first powered test flight with a new engine fuel and oxidizer combination (nylon and nitrous oxide). SpaceShipTwo was dropped from its carrier vehicle at about 45,000 feet, and ignited its engine.

    Roughly two minutes after release, the vehicle experienced an inflight breakup. One of the two crew members was killed, and the other was able to bail out of the vehicle and was injured.

    Prior to the accident flight, there had been the 54 test flights of SpaceShipTwo, of which 34 involved a release from the carrier aircraft, including three powered flights.

    Scaled Composites, which conducted the flight test, is a partner of Virgin Galactic, which had planned on using SpaceShipTwo to take passengers on suborbital trips into space in the near future.
    Review of NTSB accident investigation findings
    Space flight related deaths
    Fatal events involving NASA astronauts

  7. 28 December 2014; AirAsia A320-216; PK-AXC; flight QZ8501; Java Sea: The aircraft was on a scheduled international flight between Surabaya, Indonesia and Singapore, and contact was lost while the airliner was en route. Shortly before contact was lost, the crew requested an altitude change and a deviation from their planned route in order to avoid weather. There were no survivors from among the 155 passengers and seven crew members.
    Other A320 crashes
    AirAsia crashes

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