Safety in the Airline Industry

All I know I learned from Frontline and from a book called The Tipping Point by Malcolm Gladwell.  Which is to say I have had a small view into one part of the airline industry.  But on a recent trip to visit family, I wondered if my choice in airline would have changed after viewing reliable safety data/ratings on airline carriers.

How do we get reliable information?  That I don’t know yet.  The FAA appears to be reorganizing their online data, and the few links that looked promising, lead to nowhere.  The NTSB website had similar events.  This blog article on Pay Dirt (5 April 2011) has a good summary of research options, but their links to the NTSB website also appear to be part of the malfunction.  You can see a list of Accidents involving Passenger Fatalities in the US.

Airline Safety has some captivating headline articles, and maintains a list of accident rates for major US airlines.  This is where my limited knowledge from Frontline comes in handy; accidents on flights operated by regional carriers for the major airlines will not be included in these statistics.  So these accidents rates do not provide a full picture.  For more insightful representation, I would like to review the number of safety violations for each carrier; likely hidden away in the malfunctioning FAA website.  This summary of crash info for major carriers on is helpful, but I don’t know if it provides an accurate representation of the actual safety for those airlines.  If you find a source, let me know.

Aviation Safety Network provides detailed information for the industry around the world.

I plan to update this information with useful links, and adding those links to some of my other blog pages.  For now, think twice about flying with small airlines abroad.  Some of them have been banned from the E.U.

See my later post on timing your ticket purchase for the best price.


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