Number of Russian civil air accidents reaches five-year high

KAPO Avia's An-26B accident in March 2015 KAPO Avia's An-26B accident in March 2015 (Photo by Interstate Aviation Committee)

During the course of 2015, the number of civil aircraft accidents in Russia was counted at 41—the largest number that occurred in a single year for the previous five years—according to a report from the CIS-wide Interstate Aviation Committee (IAC), the organization committed to the safety of flights in the countries under its jurisdiction.

By comparison, the latest peak, 38 accidents, occurred in 2014 (38 accidents occurred in 2011, as well). The lowest number in the past five years was experienced in 2013, with 29 recorded accidents.

Despite the peak in the total number of accidents, in terms of air disasters with deaths, 2015 was not the worst—last year, human casualties occurred in 20 accidents. In 2013, the number was 13. 2014 was the worst, at 22 accidents with casualties.

In terms of the total number of deaths, last year showed the best statistics out of the past five years (the crash of the Metrojet Airbus A321 in Egypt is not counted in the statistics, as it has no relation to aviation safety.) 2015 showed 60 total deaths in aviation accidents, whereas in 2014 there were 70. The worst year in terms of aviation deaths was 2011, during which a total of 139 people died.

56 accidents occurred in 2015 in the twelve former Soviet nations that fall under jurisdiction of the IAC (including Russia), the highest number in the past five years. In 2014, there were 48 accidents. Last year was also considered the worst in other terms: 1.57 accidents occurred per 100 thousand flight hours.

The reports concluded that about 70% of air accidents were a result of human error. In 24% of cases, the failure and malfunction of equipment were to blame, and 6% were a result of external factors.

The number of fatal accidents in 2015 that occurred within the jurisdiction of the IAC was 27; more than the 26 in 2014, but less than in 2011 and 2012, with 28 and 31 respectively. Last year was not the worst year in terms of deaths in the five-year period: 0.76 fatal accidents per 100 thousand flight hours involved loss of life.

The number of deaths in 2015 (116 people) was higher only in comparison with 2014 (80 people).

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