Global Fatal Accident Review 1997-2006

Global Fatal Accident Review 1997-2006


The UK CAA maintains an ‘Accident Analysis Group’ which has been in existence since 1996 when it was the origin of UK CAA CAP 681, a review of Global Fatal Accidents between 1980 and 1996. The key element of the accident data analysis carried out by the Group is the attribution of Factors and Consequences as well as the calculation of Rates. Membership of the Group is not limited to CAA staff.

A second Review of Global Fatal Accidents covering the period 1997-2006 has now been published by the UK CAA based upon this Group’s work, see Further Reading. Only qualifying accidents to jet and turboprop aircraft with MTOM (maximum take-off mass) greater that 5700 kg are included in the analysis.

Key Findings

Key published findings, none radically different to those available from other sources, but often with a more statistically sound basis include:

Fatal Accident Rates per Flight

  • The Turboprop Rate is three times the Jet Rate
  • Aircraft with an MTOM < 15,000 kg have a Rate twice that for aircraft with MTOM >27,000 kg
  • Cargo operations have a Rate six times greater than Passenger operations
  • African Operators have a Rate seven times that for All Operators Combined
  • For the period 2001 - 2006, Rates for cargo operations showed an increasing trend whereas rates for passenger operations showed a decreasing trend

Fatal Accident Factors per Accident

  • 67% with a flight crew-related ’Primary Causal Factor’
  • 7% with an aircraft-related’ Primary Causal Factor’
  • The most frequently-identified ‘Primary Causal Factor’ was ‘Omission of action or inappropriate action’ (22%)
  • 75% involved at least one flight crew-related ‘Causal Factor’
  • 42% involved at least one aircraft-related ‘Causal Factor’

The most frequently identified ‘Causal Factors’ were:

  • Omission of action or inappropriate action (39%)
  • Flight Handling (29%)
  • Lack of positional awareness - in air (27%)

The most frequently identified ‘Circumstantial Factor’ was ‘Non-fitment of presently-available aircraft safety equipment’ (33%) The majority of these cases were non-fitment of the latest versions of TAWS. The second most frequently identified ‘Circumstantial Factor’ was ‘Poor visibility or lack of external visual reference’ (31%)


  • ‘Post crash Fire’ and ‘Loss of Control in flight’ were the two most frequent consequences - each was assigned to approximately 40% of all accidents)
  • ‘CFIT’ was the third most frequent consequence (assigned to 25% of all accidents)
  • Compared to the 1980-1996 analysis, the prevalence of ‘Post crash Fire’ and ‘Loss of Control in flight’ was greater and the prevalence of ‘CFIT’ less.

Related Articles

Further Reading


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