Aviation Occurrence Statistics 2001 to 2010


A number of changes have been made to this document since it was first published in May 2011. The number of occurrences reported have remained the same, and only the rates of occurrences per departure or hours flown have changed. See page vi of AR-2011-020 for further details.

In 2010, uncontained engine failures occurred on two high capacity aircraft (a Boeing 747 and an Airbus A380); two air transport aircraft almost collided in non-controlled airspace, coming within 40 metres of each other; and a cockpit window blew out of a Metro aircraft at about 20,000 feet, resulting in a rapid cabin decompression. These are some of the occurrences described in a new report on occurrence data for the period 2001 to 2010. The Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB) has tabled a list of frequently occurring events and presents them in this report along with trends over time.

During 2010, the top five most frequently occurring events for air transport relating to accidents and serious incidents were aircraft separation, aircraft control, powerplant and propulsions systems, miscellaneous events and terrain collisions, runway events and ground operations. For air transport incidents they were wildlife strikes, failure to comply, mechanical systems, miscellaneous and airframe events. For general aviation aircraft involved in accidents and serious incidents, the top five most frequently occurring events were terrain collisions, aircraft control, powerplant and propulsion, aircraft separation and runway events. Where general aviation aircraft were involved in an incident, the top five most frequently occurring events were airspace incursion, failure to comply, wildlife strikes, runway events and aircraft separation.

General aviation operations continue to have a fatal accident rate per million departures that is about 4.3 times higher than for air transport. The general aviation accident rate per million departures is about three times higher than air transport. No fatal accidents were recorded in high capacity air transport between 2001 and 2010. During 2010, there was one fatal accident in low capacity air transport, and charter operations recorded no fatal accidents. Between 2001 and 2010, most fatal accidents in air transport were in charter operations. Charter aeroplanes and helicopters have a similar accident and fatal accident rate. In air transport, charter operations offer the best potential target for safety improvement.

In general aviation, there were 147 fatal accidents and 236 people killed between 2001 and 2010. The general aviation accident and fatality rate is not evenly dispersed across all sub-groups or types of aircraft. Of all general aviation sub-groups, private/business flying has the highest fatal accident rate and the greatest number of fatalities (135 people between 2001 and 2010). Agriculture has the highest accident rate and second highest fatal accident rate. This is followed by mustering, survey and photography, and flying training. In aerial work, helicopters have a higher accident and fatal accident rate than aeroplanes. In contrast to this, flying training and private operations helicopters have a higher accident rate than aeroplanes, but overall, are associated with a smaller number of total fatalities.

Type: Statistical Publication
Investigation number: AR-2011-020
Author(s): ATSB
Publication date: 8 July 2011
ISBN: 978-1-74251-150-4
Last update 07 April 2014
Download complete document - Aviation Occurrence Statistics 2001 to 2010
Download complete document
[ Download PDF: 922KB]