Deliberate crashes by airliner pilots

Recent plane crashes

The following are recent plane crashes involving airliners, as well as other significant safety or security events that affect airline travel. Numbered events involve the death of at least one passenger, and all events meet significance criteria set by

The list of recent crashes follows the table of links to other plane crash pages.

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Fear of flying

  1. 24 March 2015; Germanwings A320-200; D-AIPX; flight 4U9525; near Barcelonnette, France: The aircraft was on a scheduled international flight from Barcelona, Spain to Düsseldorf, Germany. About a half hour after takeoff, while at a cruising altitude of 38,000 feet, the aircraft began losing altitude, and crashed about ten minutes later. The investigative authorities suspect that the first officer deliberately crashed the aircraft. All six crew members and 144 passengers were killed.
    Lufthansa plane crashes
    A320 plane crashes
    Airliners deliberately crashed by a flight crew member

    5 March 2015; Ryan ST3KR Recruit; N53178; Santa Monica, CA: Ford was the pilot and sole occupant of a Ryan ST3KR Recruit, a two-seat, open cockpit aircraft that was used extensively as a training aircraft by the US military in WWII. According to a preliminary report from the NTSB, Ford reported a loss of engine power shortly after taking off from the Santa Monica airport, and was attempting to return to runway 3 at Santa Monica.

    Ford chose to land on a nearby golf course, clipping the top of a tree before landing. The aircraft was seriously damage, and Ford was hospitalized with serious injuries. This was Harrison Ford's third crash involving an airplane or a helicopter.
    Plane crashes involving Harrison Ford

    5 March 2015; Delta Air Lines MD88; N909DL; flight DL1086; New York, NY: The aircraft was on a scheduled domestic flight between Atlanta and New York's La Guardia Airport, and had a landing excursion that led to an emergency evacuation. The aircraft landed on runway 13 and departed to the left side of the runway, coming to rest on a dike that separated the runway area from the waters of Flushing Bay. At the time of the event, it had been snowing, with freezing fog conditions and below freezing temperatures. The aircraft was also affected by both a crosswind and a tailwind during the landing. An A319 that had preceded the Delta jet had reported good braking action on runway 13. None of the 125 passengers or five crew members were seriously injured.
    MD80 plane crashes
    Other Delta plane crashes

  2. 4 February 2015; TransAsia Airways ATR 72-600; B-22816; flight GE235; near Magong, Taiwan: The aircraft was on a scheduled domestic flight between Taipei and Kinmen Island, Taiwan. The airplane crashed into a river shortly after takeoff from Songshan Airport in Taipei. The aircraft hit a bridge, as well as a vehicle on that bridge, before plunging into the Keelung River. Shortly before hitting the bridge, the aircraft rolled sharply to the left. There were 53 passengers and five crew members on board, and at least 35 occupants, including both pilots, were killed. The two people who were in the vehicle were both injured.

    This was the second fatal plane crash in less than a year for TransAsia Airways. Having two or more fatal passenger events in less than a year has happened over 35 times since 1970.
    ATR 72 plane crashes
    Flight GE235 Wikipedia entry
    Other TransAsia Airways plane crashes

  3. 28 December 2014; AirAsia A320-216; PK-AXC; flight QZ8501; Java Sea: The aircraft was on a scheduled international flight between Surabaya, Indonesia and Singapore, and contact was lost while the airliner was en route. Shortly before contact was lost, the crew requested an altitude change and a deviation from their planned route in order to avoid weather. There were no survivors from among the 155 passengers and seven crew members.
    Other A320 crashes
    AirAsia crashes

    31 October 2014; Scaled Composites; Model 339 (SpaceShipTwo); N339SS; near Cantil, CA: The vehicle, which is designed to fly into the lower reaches of space (above 100 km above Earth) was on its first powered test flight with a new engine fuel and oxidizer combination (nylon and nitrous oxide). SpaceShipTwo was dropped from its carrier vehicle at about 45,000 feet, and ignited its engine.

    Roughly two minutes after release, the vehicle experienced an inflight breakup. One of the two crew members was killed, and the other was able to bail out of the vehicle and was injured.

    Prior to the accident flight, there had been the 54 test flights of SpaceShipTwo, of which 34 involved a release from the carrier aircraft, including three powered flights.

    Scaled Composites, which conducted the flight test, is a partner of Virgin Galactic, which had planned on using SpaceShipTwo to take passengers on suborbital trips into space in the near future.
    Review of NTSB accident investigation findings
    Space flight related deaths
    Fatal events involving NASA astronauts

    7 October 2014; California Dept of Forestry and Fire Protection; Marsh S-2F3AT Turbo Tracker; N449DF; near Foresta, CA: The fire-fighting aircraft, which was based at Hollister Air Attack Base, CA impacted a forested hillside during a fire suppression operation near the Yosemite National Forest, California. The pilot, and sole crew member, was killed.

    13 August 2014; AF Andrade Empreendimentos e Participações Cessna 560XLS+ Citation Excel; PR-AFA; Guarujá, Brazil: The aircraft was approaching Guarujá Airport after a charter flight from Santos Dumont Airport in Rio de Janeiro, and crashed into a residential area about 4.3 km fro the runway. Both pilot and all five passengers were killed. Among the passengers were a candidate for president of Brazil, Eduardo Campos, his wife, and one of their five children. This event also raises policy issues for democracies.

    10 August 2014; Sepahan Airlines HESA IrAn 140; EP-GPA; flight 217; near Nardaran, Azerbaijan: The aircraft was on a scheduled domestic flight from Tehran to Tabas, Iran. The aircraft crashed shortly after takeoff, resulting in 39 fatalities among the eight crew members and 40 passengers. All five crew members and18 passengers were killed.
    Flight 217 Wikipedia entry

  4. 24 July 2014; Air Algerie MD83; EC-LTV; flight AH5017; near Gossi, Mali: The aircraft was on a scheduled international flight from Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso and Algiers, Algeria. The airplane contacted air traffic control about 50 minutes after takeoff, requesting a course change due to weather conditions. The aircraft crashed in the area of Gossi, Mali. All six crew members and 110 passengers were killed.
    MD80 series plane crashes
    Flight AH5017 Wikipedia entry

  5. 23 July 2014; TransAsia Airways ATR 72-500; B-22810; flight GE222; near Magong, Taiwan: The aircraft was on a scheduled domestic flight between Kaohsiung and Magong, Taiwan. The airplane crashed into a residential area near the airport during a go around following an attempted landing at Magong, Taiwan, which is on Penghu island. All four crew members and 44 of the 54 passengers were killed. At least five people on the ground were also injured. There was heavy rain in the area at the time of the crash.
    ATR 72 plane crashes
    Flight GE222 Wikipedia entry

  6. 17 July 2014; Malaysia Airlines 777-200ER; 9M-MRD; flight MH17; near Grabovo, Ukraine: The aircraft was on a scheduled international flight between Amsterdam, the Netherlands and Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. The aircraft in cruise at about 33,000 feet when it experienced a catastrophic in flight breakup. All 283 passengers and 15 crew members were killed.

    Visit the Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 page for additional information, including links to articles and interviews of Dr. Todd Curtis of

  7. 24 June 2014; Pakistan International Airlines (PIA); A310-300; AP-BGN; flight PK756; Peshawar, Pakistan The aircraft was on a scheduled international flight from Riyadh, Saudi Arabia to Peshawar, Pakistan, when it was struck by several bullets shortly before landing. Two cabin crew members and one passenger were hit, and the passenger died of her injuries. There were no other injuries among the 10 other crew members or 177 other passengers.
    PIA plane crashes

  8. 8 March 2014; Malaysia Airlines 777-200; 9M-MRO; flight MH370; unknown location: The aircraft was on a scheduled international flight between Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia and Beijing, China and went missing while en route. The current status and location of the aircraft, along with that of the 227 passengers and 12 crew members who were on board, is unknown.

    Visit the Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 page for additional information, including links to articles and interviews of Dr. Todd Curtis of

  9. 16 February 2014; Nepal Airlines DHC-6 Twin Otter 300; 9N-ABB; flight 183; en route between Pokhara and Jumla, Nepal: The aircraft was on a scheduled domestic flight from Pokhara to Jumla, Nepal. Radio contact was lost about 30 minutes after takeoff. The crashed aircraft was found the next day, and all three crew members and 15 passengers had been killed.
    Flight 183 Wikipedia entry

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1996, 1997, 1998, 1999
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Recent plane crashes -- Revised: 26 March 2015