Accident Survey Sends Chilling Message

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Accident Survey Sends Chilling Message : Airline safety in the first six months of 2002 plunged to its worst level for several years as a huge increase in accidents, in which 716 people lost their lives, sent out a chilling message. The figures come from Flight International's six monthly review of airline safety. Since they were compiled a further 71 people have died in the mid-air collision over southern Germany on July 1. The shocking statistics would have been even worse had the review included the fatal crash of a China Northern Airlines MD-82, in which 112 people died. They have been excluded because there is growing suspicion that the crash was caused by sabotage. A total of 18 fatal accidents happened between January and June this year, a relatively low figure compared to the average for the past ten years. However, seven involved mainline passenger aircraft which, says the review, is an unusually high number. There was only one fatal accident involving a regional passenger plane. The review points out that there was a massive increase in one category, Controlled Flight Into Terrain (CFIT). On average this is the accident category that causes most deaths because it involves the kind of crash least likely to have survivors. Human error was a likely factor in 13 of the 18 fatal accidents and in all of the CFIT crashes, says the survey. Flight International concludes by saying that the first half of the year is usually the better part from the accident point of view, but the second half of 2002 has started disastrously with the mid-air collision last month. The work of safety organizations seems to have been in vain, says the widely respected aviation industry journal. The message is: "Back to the drawing board." ***** Again a bad year for aviation.... :(
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