The year 2023 was one of the safest in commercial aviation with only two fatal accidents, according to data collected by Dutch consultancy To70.
Both aircraft were turboprops, which meant there were no deaths attributed to commercial jets, a milestone repeated in 2017.
The accidents that killed 86 people occurred in January in Nepal, with the crash of a Yeti Airlines ATR 72-500, and in September, in Brazil, after a twin-engine Embraer EMB-110 Bandeirante crashed after trying to take off in the Amazon region.
The Yeti accident had an investigation report released in December where investigators state that the pilots inadvertently placed both condition levers of the propellers in the feathered flight position, causing a stall during the approach.
Aviation consultant Adrian Young, however, highlighted the significant number of non-fatal incidents and accidents that make safety precautions a major challenge.
“Regardless of how low the accident rate in 2023 has been, there is no cause for complacency. Aviation remains a risk-laden industry and as airports around the world report that movements are reaching the same level as in 2019, before the COVID-19 crisis, a number of issues have not gone away,” Young wrote in an article published earlier this month.
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To70 uses its own methodology to classify accidents, which, according to it, reached 50. As a reference, in 2022 there were 33 accidents of which six resulted in fatalities with the loss of 178 lives.
“The fatal accident rate for large airplane accidents in commercial air transport (including the death of the ground handler) is 0.09 fatal accidents per million flights, compared with 0.10 per million in 2022. This is a rate of less than one fatal accident every fifteen million flights and it is significantly lower than the ten-year average of 0.20 fatal accidents per million flights that we note from the data”, noted the consultant.
175 fatalities in 2023
The Aviation Safety Network (ASN), which is linked to the Flight Safety Foundation, has not yet published its compiled data for 2023, but its public database records 137 accidents and incidents, including business and general aviation.
In total, 175 fatalities were reported, including 10 people involved in the crash of an Embraer Legacy 600 executive jet carrying Wagner Group leader Yevgeny Prigozhin, which occurred on August 23.
In 2022, ASN recorded 237 fatalities in 16 accidents, the most serious of which was the crash of a China Eastern Airlines Boeing 737-800 in March.