2018 airline safety and security review

There were eight events that involved the death of at least one airlne passengers, plus two other noteworthy events during 2018. This year was in some ways a continuation of 2017 and in other ways a departure from last years record in several ways:

  • North American fatal events - In both 2017 and 2018, there was only a single fatal event, with a single fatality, that occurred in North American and that involved the type of airliner models operated in countries or regions with the strictest regulatory environments, specifically the US, Canada, western Europe, Japan, and Australia.
  • Many more fatal events - In 2017 there was only one fatal event, but in 2018, there were eight, the most since 2011.
  • Fatal crash of the newest 737 model - A 737 MAX, the newest version of the 737 crashed in late October, killing all on board. This 737 aircraft was less than three months old, and this aircraft model was certified by the FAA only last year.
  • Four fatal 737 events in 2018, the most since 2007 - 2007 also had four fatal 737 events. The most in one year was 2005 with five.
  • First deliberate crash of an airliner in the US since 9/11 - An airline employee who had access to parked aircraft, and no formal flight training, was able to take an airliner on an unauthorized flight in the Seattle metropolitan area, and appeared to have deliberately crashed the aircraft. Fortunately the crash was in an uninhabited area and the only person killed was the airline employee.
  • First fatal 757 event since 9/11 - One passenger was killed after the airliner had a runway excursion after landing.

This review includes important safety or security related occurrences from 2018. There are two types of events in this review, numbered events and significant events. Numbered events must meet the following criteria:

  • There is at least one passenger fatality,
  • The flight was open to the general public, and
  • The aircraft was a large jet or turboprop driven model that is typically used in airline service.

Significant events are those that don't meet the criteria for a numbered event, but would likely be of interest to airline passengers and the aviation safety and security community. These events may include non-fatal airline accidents, events unrelated to an airline flight, hijackings, military actions, criminal activities, or acts of sabotage.

Definitions used by AirSafe.com

  1. 11 February 2018; Saratov Airlines Antonov An148 ; RA-61704; flight 703; near Stepanovskoye, Russia: The aircraft was on a scheduled domestic flight from Moscow to Orsk, Russia. Within a few minutes after takeoff, the aircraft entered a rapid descent and crashed. All six crew members and 65 passengers were killed.
    Crashes involving countries of the former Soviet Union
    More on this event

  2. 18 February 2018; Iran Aseman Airlines ATR 72-212; EP-ATS; flight 3704; near Yasuj, Iran: The aircraft was on a scheduled domestic flight from Tehran to Yasuj, Iran. About 50 after minutes takeoff, the aircraft crashed crashed in a mountainous area about 10 nm from its destination. All six crew members and 59 passengers were killed.
    ATR 42 and ATR 72 plane crashes
    More on this event

  3. 12 March 2018; US-Bangla Airlines Dash 8-402Q; S2-AGU; flight 211; Kathmandu, Nepal: The aircraft was on a scheduled international flight from Dhaka, Bangladesh to Kathmandu, Nepal. The aircraft was cleared to land on runway 20 but for reasons that are unclear the aircraft attempted a landing on the opposite runway 02. All four crew members and 47 of the 67 passengers were killed.
    Dash 7 and Dash 8 plane crashes
    More about this crash

  4. 17 April 2018; Southwest Airlines 737-700; N772SW; flight 1380; near Philadelphia, PA: The aircraft was on a scheduled flight from New York, NY to Dallas, TX. Shortly before reaching cruising altitude, the left engine experienced a catastrophic failure, with engine debris striking the side of the aircraft. One passenger window was breached by engine debris and the aircraft had a rapid decompression. The flight crew executed an emergency descent and diverted to Philadelphia. All five crew members survived and one of the 143 passengers was killed.
    Boeing 737 plane crashes
    Southwest plane crashes
    More about this event

  5. 18 May 2018; Cubana 737-200; XA-UHZ; flight 972; Havana, Cuba: The aircraft was on a scheduled domestic flight from Havana to Holguin, Cuba. The aircraft crashed shortly after takeoff. All six crew members survived and 112 of the 113 passengers were killed.
    Boeing 737 plane crashes
    Cubana plane crashes
    Sole survivor plane crashes
    More about this crash

    31 July 2018; Aeromexico Connect Embraer ERJ-190AR; XA-GAL; flight AM2431; Durango, Mexico: The aircraft crashed shortly after takeoff on a domestic flight from Durango to Mexico City, Mexico. There were no fatalities among the 99 passengers and four crew members.
    Embraer ERJ-190 plane crashes
    Aeromexico plane crashes
    More about this event

    10 August 2018; Horizon Air Dash 8-402Q; N449QX; near Seattle, WA The aircraft was taken on an unauthorized flight by Richard Russell, a ground service operator with the airline who not certified as a pilot, and did not have authorization to be in the aircraft. After departing from Seatac Airport, Russell flew the aircraft for about 75 minutes in an area south of Seattle, performing number of extreme maneuvers, before crashing on an island in Puget Sound about 40 kilometers south of the departure airport. Russell, the sole occupant of the aircraft, was killed.
    Crashes caused by airline insiders
    Dash 8 plane crashes
    Horizon Air plane crashes
    More about this event

  6. 28 September 2018; Air Niugini 737-800; P2-PXE; flight PX73; Chuuk, Micronesia: The aircraft was on a scheduled domestic flight from Pohnpei to Chuuk, Micronesia. The aircraft impacted the water of Chuuk Lagoon about 1,500 ft (460 m) short of the runway threshold. As the aircraft sank, all but one of the occupants were able to escape the aircraft. All 12 crew members survived and one of the 35 passengers were killed.
    Aviation Herald article about the crash
    Boeing 737 plane crashes
    More on this crash

  7. 29 October 2018; Lion Air 737 MAX 28; PK-LQP; flight JT610; near Jakarta, Indonesia: The aircraft was on a scheduled domestic flight from Jakarta to Pangkal Pinang, Indonesia. The aircraft reportedly crashed in the sea a few minutes after takeoff. All eight crew members and 181 passengers were killed.
    Boeing 737 plane crashes
    Lion Air plane crashes
    More on this crash

  8. 9 November 2018; Fly Jamaica 757-200; N524AT; flight 924; Georgetown, Guyana: The aircraft was on a scheduled international flight from Georgetown, Guyana to Toronto, Canada. The crew experienced a hydraulic system failure during climb, stopped the climb at FL200, and elected to return to the departure airport. The aircraft had an excursion off the right side of the runway, coming to rest just short of the end of the runway off to the right. The right main landing gear collapsed, the right engine separated from the aircraft, and the right wing was damaged. All eight crew members survived, and one of the 120 passengers was killed.
    Boeing 757 plane crashes
    More about this event

Other Years
1996, 1997, 1998, 1999

2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004
2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009

2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014
2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019


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Related information
Recent plane crashes
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Plane crash rates by model

2018 airline safety and security review
http://www.airsafe.com/plane-crash/review-2018.htm -- Revised: 1 January 2019