'Most dangerous' aircraft revealed in safety study

A comprehensive analysis of safety records and crash rates of aircraft currently in active service has highlighted which planes passengers can feel safest in, and which they might prefer to avoid.

According to statistics from the AirlineRatings.com study of 55 aircraft over the last decade, the Boeing 777 and Airbus A380 top the list in terms of safety. Passengers boarding the LET410, Antonov AN-12, Ilyushin 76 and Twin Otter, however, may want to pay extra attention to the preflight safety demonstration.

"We have used the Boeing database which is an industry standard and supplemented that with our own records and those of Aviation-Safety.net and Ascend," said AirlineRating’s editor Geoffrey Thomas.

The twin-engine short-range transport aircraft LET 410, manufactured in the Czech Republic since 1969, leads the 2003-12 crash rating with 20 fatal crashes during the monitored decade. Canadian Twin Otter takes the second position, having had crashed 18 times, followed by Russian Ilyushin 72 and Antonov AN-12 with 17 fatal crashes on record.

The survey ignores piston-powered planes and those smaller aircraft used mainly for charter work. "Seven out of the ten aircraft with bad crash-rates are turboprops; on the other hand Aircraft such as the 777, A380, A340, 717 and 787 have never had a fatality," said Mr Thomas, indicating that flying on purely jet-powered aircraft is evidently much safer.

He also said that not only the aircraft, but also who, how and which region operates it has a critical effect on the aircraft’s safety. "For instance, operating [over] mountainous regions in a third-world country with limited navigation aids can be dangerous," he said.

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