Airplane Crashes

Commercial scheduled air travel is among the safest modes of transportation; the lifetime odds of dying as an aircraft passenger in the United States was too small to calculate. The disruptions resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic dramatically impacted commercial air travel in 2020. Miles flown by commercial scheduled airlines decreased 42% in 2020 compared to 2019. Miles flown in 2022 rebounded 56% from 2020 lows, but were still below 2019 levels. Reflecting this increase in miles flown, preliminary estimates of the total number of accidents involving a U.S. registered civilian aircraft increased from 1,220 in 2021 to 1,277 in 2022. The number of civil aviation deaths decreased from 373 in 2021 to 358 in 2022. All but 1 of the 358 deaths in 2022 were onboard fatalities. One of these deaths involved a commercial airline but did not occur onboard.

Use the interactive chart to explore aviation accident trends by U.S. air carrier category. Major airlines (scheduled service) experienced no onboard fatalities and had a fatal accident rate of 0.0 per 100,000 flight hours in 2022. This contrasts sharply with general aviation, which experienced 339 onboard fatalities and had a fatal accident rate of 0.945 per 100,000 flight hours.

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