• Distribution of Accidents
    by Accident Category

Definition of accident categories

Aviation organisations define more than 40 different accident categories.
However the seven listed below are the categories with the most number of accidents.

CONTROLLED FLIGHT INTO TERRAIN (CFIT)

In-flight collision with terrain, water, or obstacle without indication of loss of control.

LOSS OF CONTROL IN FLIGHT (LOC-I)

Loss of aircraft control while in flight not primarily due to SCF.

RUNWAY EXCURSION (RE)

A lateral veer off or longitudinal overrun off the runway surface, not primarily due to SCF or ARC.

FIRE

A fire which occurs while an aircraft is airborne.

ABNORMAL RUNWAY CONTACT (ARC)

Hard or unusual landing,  not primarily due to SCF, leading to an accident.

SYSTEM/COMPONENT FAILURE OR MALFUNCTION (SCF)

Failure or malfunction of an aircraft system or component, related to either its design, the manufacturing process or a maintenance issue, which leads to an accident. SCF includes the powerplant, software and database systems.

Undershoot/Overshoot (USOS)

An Undershoot/Overshoot of a runway occurs in close proximity to the runway and includes offside touchdowns and any occurrence where the landing gear touches off the runway surface.

The biggest cause of fatal accidents over the last 20 years was the loss of control in flight (LOC-I)

LOC-I accidents are significantly reduced by technologies already existing on fourth generation aircraft.

CFIT accidents continue to decrease thanks to the availability and continued development of glass cockpit and navigation technologies available on both third and fourth generation aircraft.

Runway Excursions (RE), including both lateral and longitudinal types, are the third major cause of fatal accidents and the primary cause of hull losses. Emerging technologies (energy-based and performance-based) are very promising for addressing longitudinal events.

Fatal accidents distribution per accident category 1999-2019

 
Percentage of fatal accidents by accident category 1999-2018

Hull losses accidents distribution per accident category 1999-2019

 
Percentage of hull losses by accident category 1999-2018