The Hive Law

How Often Do Planes Crash? (69 Startling Plane Crash Statistics)

How Often Do Planes Crash - How Many Planes Crash A Year - What Are The Chances Of A Plane Crashing - How Many Commercial Planes Crash Per Year - Plane Crash Statistics

How often do planes crash?

In this article, you’ll learn about:

  • how many planes crash per year
  • what are the chances of your plane crashing
  • what are your chances of dying in a plane crash
  • are cars safer than planes
  • plane crash survival rates
  • which airlines have the most plane crashes
  • what’s the safest part of a plane
  • can turbulence cause a plane crash

… and so much more.

Let’s dig in.

Table of Contents

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Key Plane Crash Statistics

  • You are 220,000% more likely to die in a car crash than in a plane crash.
  • You have a 0.000009% chance of dying in a plane crash.
  • For every 5,236,888 people flying, there is one that is going to die.
  • On average, the number of planes that crash per year decreases by 5.53% a year.
  • There are 2.32 deaths for every 100,000 hours flown by plane.
  • Every 2.53 days, there is 1 death from a plane crash in the US.
  • There are 17,852,491 flight hours logged per year in the US.
  • There are 7,608,784,863 (7.6 billion) flight miles logged per year in the US.
  • On average, 548.2 people die per year from plane crashes.
  • On average, there are 1,662 plane crashes per year.
  • There are roughly 938 small plane crashes per year (planes under 12,500 lbs).
  • Taxiing planes leads to 54 accidents, 4 deaths, and 24 accidents per year.
  • There are up to 90,000,000 flight hours logged per year globally.
  • Globally, 2,108.5 people die per year from plane crashes.
  • Globally, there are 6,392.3 plan crashes per year.
  • 18.1% are anxious to fly. That’s 1 of every 5.5 people that are anxious to fly.
  • 12.6% are afraid of flying. That’s 1 of every 8 people that are afraid of flying.
  • 13% of people have never flown in the US.
  • 80% of people have never flown globally.
  • 41.8M Americans are afraid of flying.
  • For every 100,000 hours of flight, 1.2 people die.
  • There are 5,670 American commercial flights per day.
  • There are 151,435 flights per day globally.
  • There are 44,945 flights per day in the US.
  • 7,865,375 people fly per day in the US.
  • At any given time, 9,728 flights are in the air carrying 1.27M passengers globally.

Chances Of A Plane Crash

Let’s look at the different statistics of your chances of a plane crash.

How Often Does Someone Die From A Plane Crash?

The average commercial flight is 3 hours long.

And for every 100,000 commercial flight hours, there are 2.32 deaths from plane crashes.

That means for every 33,333 flights, there are 2.32 deaths.

There are 5,670 American commercial flights per day.

So, every 5.87 days, there are 2.32 deaths from plane crashes.

Or, every 2.53 days, there is 1 death from a plane crash in the US.

What Are The Chances Of A Plane Crashing?

The chances of a plane crashing are very small.

The odds of being in a plane crash are 1 in 11,000,000 flights.

Airlines do inspections between every flight to ensure there are no mechanical malfunctions.

And air traffic controllers track weather to make sure flights avoid bad weather.

Pilots go through rigorous training.

Even with this, though, pilot errors are the leading cause of plane crashes.

But, your chances of being in a plane crash are 1 in 11 million, which is very small.

How Many Planes Crash A Year?

This is the average number of plane crashes over the past 30 years.

In the US, there is an average of 1,662 plane crashes per year.

Globally, there are 6,392 plane crashes per year, on average.

But, this is only talking about the number of plane crashes per year.

It’s not talking about how many plane crashes lead to death per year.

The number of plane crashes per year that lead to someone’s death is:

  • 309 per year in the US, on average
  • 1,188 per year globally, on average

But, if you’re looking at the past 10 years, then there are:

  • 1,268 plane crashes per year in the US
  • 4,876 plane crashes per year globally

On average, the number of planes that crash per year decreases by 5.53% a year.

This information comes from the:

  • National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB)
  • Bureau of Transportation Statistics (BTS)

What Percentage Of Planes Crash?

0.000131% of planes crash in the US.

On average there are:

  • 9,549,818 commercial flights per year
  • 12.5 commercial airplane crashes per year

Divide the number of crashes by the number of flights to find what percentage of planes crash.

1 out of every 763,985 planes crash.

Plane Crashes By Year

Plane Crashes By Year - How Many Commercial Planes Crash A Year - How Many Planes Crash A Year

This chart shows the number of plane crashes per year. 

This includes commercial and private airplanes. 

Notice how the number of plane crashes has trended down over the past 30 years. 

There is a 5.53% per year decline in the number of plane crashes. 

YearTotal AccidentsTotal Fatal Accidents
20001,837345
20011,728326
20021,716345
20031,741352
20041,619314
20051,671321
20061,523308
20071,654288
20081,569277
20091,481276
20101,441271
20111,471270
20121,471273
20131,223221
20141,222255
20151,211230
20161,269213
20171,234203
20181,275224
20191,220233
20201,085205

How Often Does A Plane Crash?

How often do planes crash?

4.4 planes crash per day in the US.

17.1 planes crash per day globally.

We got this information from the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB).

We know that there are:

  • 1,622 plane crashes per year in the US
  • 6,238 plane crashes per year globally

We can find the average for how often a plane crashes by dividing those numbers by 365 days.

What Causes Planes To Crash?

So, what causes these planes to crash?

Here is what causes plane crashes by percentages:

  • pilot error: 60%-80%
  • bad weather: 10-20%
  • mechanical malfunctions: 10-20%

Human error is the leading cause of plane crashes.

Can Turbulence Crash A Plane?

No, turbulence cannot crash a plane.

Turbulence is not strong enough to cause structural damage.

Turbulence can cause damage to the plane, but not structurally.

These damages are not enough to cause a plane to crash.

Plane Crash Statistics

These plane crash statistics look at the following to gather statistics:

  • how many fatal accidents there are (deaths)
  • how many airplane accidents there are (with and without fatalities)
  • commercial aircraft, general aviation (private aircraft), and air carriers
  • in flight and taxiing accidents
  • crashes that lead to no injury, serious injury, and death

Air travel is the safest mode of transportation.

This is particularly true if you are using commercial airline flights.

Most airplane accidents are from private plane crashes.

Airline accident rates are very minimal and hard to even calculate.

The crew members go through pre-flight checklists to ensure aviation safety.

And air traffic control safely directs flights to avoid collisions.

What Are The Odds Of A Plane Crash?

The odds of a plane crash are 0.07 aviation accidents per 1,000,000 flights.

This data is from the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) for commercial airlines.

The odds of a non-commercial plane crash is 0.36 plane crashes per 100,000 flight hours.

This is the global rate of general aviation aircraft crashes.

General aviation is any aircraft operation that is not conducted by:

  • the military
  • scheduled airline (i.e., Delta, Southwest, United)
  • other commercial air transport services (i.e., FedEx, UPS, Amazon)

General aviation includes operating aircraft for:

  • personal use (private aircraft)
  • recreational flying
  • agricultural and forestry operations
  • air ambulance
  • flight instruction
  • air charter
  • glider and balloon operations
  • aerial photography and sightseeing
  • aerial survey
  • search and rescue

What Are The Chances Of Dying In A Plane Crash?

Your chances of dying in a plane crash are 0.0000191%.

1 out of every 5,236,888 people dies in a plane crash.

There are 44,945 flights per day in the US.

The average flight holds about 175 passengers.

That means that 7,865,375 people fly per day in the US.

Per year, 2.87 billion people fly per year.

(Obviously, there is some overlap from people flying multiple times per year.)

On average, 548.2 people die per year from commercial flights in the US.

That means that your chances of dying are 0.0000191%.

We divided the number of people that die by the number of people that fly per year.

How Many People Die Per Year From Plane Crashes?

Over the past 30 years, an average of 548.2 people die per year from plane crashes. 

There has been a 5.64% per year in airplane-related deaths over that 30-year period. 

How Many People Fly Per Day?

On Average, 7,865,375 people fly per day in the US.

There are 44,945 flights per day in the US.

The average flight holds about 175 passengers.

The average commercial flight holds 150 – 200 passengers.

Some mega planes hold up to 500+ passengers like:

  • the Boeing 747 (542 passengers)
  • the Airbus (853 passengers)

But, we’re looking at averages for commercial aviation.

The number of people that fly per day ranges between 6,741,750 and 8,989,000.

This is looking at the:

  • number of commercial flights per day
  • how many passengers the average commercial airplane holds

How Many Planes Crash A Day?

There are:

  • 4.4 plane crashes per day in the US
  • 17.1 plane crashes per day globally
 Global Plane CrashesUS Plane Crashes
Per Day17.14.4
Per Week119.631.1
Per Month512.7133.3
Per Year6,2381,622

Let’s look at how many planes crash per day in the US.

There are 1,622 plane crashes per year, which comes out to be:

  • 4.4 planes crash per day.
  • 31.1 planes crash per week.
  • 133.3 planes crash per month.

Let’s look at how many planes crash per day globally.

There are 6,238 plane crashes per year, which comes out to be:

  • 17.1 planes crash per day.
  • 119.6 planes crash per week.
  • 512.7 planes crash per month.

Are Cars Safer Than Planes?

The risk of dying in a car crash is 1 in 5,000.

Meaning that for every 5,000 people driving, there is one that is going to die.

You have a 0.02% chance of dying in a car crash.

The risk of dying in a plane crash is 1 in 11,000,000.

Meaning that for every 11,000,000 people flying, there is one that is going to die.

You have a 0.000009% chance of dying in a plane crash.

You are 220,000% more likely to die in a car crash than in a plane crash.

How Much Safer Is Flying Than Driving?

According to the US Department of Transportation, the fatality rate for:

  • commercial flights in the US is 0.07 deaths per 100M miles flown
  • driving is 1.18 deaths per 100M miles driven

Your chance of dying is 1,686% higher in a car than in a commercial airline.

Commercial planes have to get certified by the Federal Aviation Administration.

Without these strict regulations to ensure the plane is safe, they cannot fly.

Planes get designed:

  • to withstand the immense forces of a plane crash
  • to reduce the impact and spread of a plane crash

Planes get equipped with safety features like:

  • many emergency exits
  • fire suppression systems
  • structural reinforcements

What Are The Chances Of Dying On A Plane?

Your chances of dying on a plane are 0.0000191%.

1 out of every 5,236,888 people dies on a plane.

What Is The Plane Crash Survival Rate?

95.7% of people survive airplane crashes globally.

Out of every 100 people involved in a plane crash, 95.7 people survive.

This data is from the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB).

What Is The Safest Part Of The Plane?

The safest part of a plane is the rear cabin.

The rear cabin is:

  • made of stronger material than the front cabin
  • further from the point of impact
  • equipped with safety features like reinforced walls and stronger seatbelts

The rear cabin is reinforced because it’s where the engines are attached.

For the shell of the cabin to hold the wings and engine, it has to be reinforced.

The rear of the cabin is also closer to the plane’s center of gravity.

This makes it more resistant to the effects of turbulence.

Commercial Plane Crashes

Commercial airplane crashes are rare but still happen often.

Since 2020, dozens of commercial planes have wrecked.

And hundreds of lives have been lost to these crashes.

The leading cause of commercial airplane crashes are:

  • mechanical failure
  • pilot error
  • poor weather conditions

Aviation authorities have implemented strict safety protocols.

These have reduced plane crashes by roughly 5.3% per year over the past 20 years.

How Many Commercial Planes Crash Per Year?

There are 12.8 commercial plane crashes per year in the US.

How Many Commercial Planes Crash Per Year - How Often Do Commercial Planes Crash - Commercial Plane Crashes - Commercial Airline Crashes

There are 28.3 commercial plane crashes per year globally.

YearGlobal Commercial Plane CrashesUS Commercial Plane Crashes
20014119
20023417
20035117
20042316
20053414
20062611
20072615
20081915
20092614
20102810
2011296
20122311
20131816
20142912
20152716
20162611
20173010
2018285
20193612
2020113

How Often Do Commercial Planes Crash?

There is a commercial plane crash every 16.7 million flights.

For every 1,000,000 flights, 0.06 planes crash.

That tells us that for every 16.7 million flights, there is one commercial plane crash.

How Common Are Boeing 737 Crashes?

Boeing 737s have been involved in several major crashes.

There have been 4 fatal crashes in the past 20 years with a Boeing 737.

These 4 Boeing 737s crashing led to 590 fatalities.

For reference, there were roughly 10,000 Boeing 737s in operation in those 20 years.

That means that 0.04% of Boeing 737s will be in a crash.

0.04 Boeing 737s crash for every 100 that are in commercial airline use.

Airline With The Most Crashes

Let’s look at the airlines with the most crashes.

The top 5 airlines with the most crashes:

  1. American Airlines: 11 crashes
  2. United Airlines: 7 crashes
  3. Southwest Airlines: 3 crashes
  4. Delta Air Lines: 2 crashes
  5. Alaska Airlines: 1 crash

And the number of deaths for the airlines with the most crashes are:

  1. American Airlines: 858 fatalities
  2. United Airlines: 288 fatalities
  3. Southwest Airlines: 1 fatality
  4. Delta Air Lines: 134 fatalities
  5. Alaska Airlines: 88 fatalities

Plane Crashes By Airline

The airlines with the most crashes in history are:

  • Aeroflot (1,244 plane crashes)
  • China Airlines (1,176 plane crashes)
  • American Airlines (741 plane crashes)
  • Air India (590 plane crashes)
  • United Airlines (517 plane crashes)

What Airline Has Never Had A Crash?

The KLM Royal Dutch Airlines have never had a crash.

They are the longest-running airline, too.

They were founded in the Netherlands in 1919.

Data For How Often Planes Crash

We pulled data from the:

  • National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB)
  • Federal Aviation Administration (FAA)
  • Bureau of Transportation Statistics (BTS)

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