The Czech-made LET 410 has the worst safety record according to, image by Aero Icarus.

Safest and Most Dangerous Airplanes
18 has released a study of the aircrafts with the best and worst safety ratings. Topping the list with 20 fatal crashes is the Czech twin-engine short-range transport aircraft, LET 410. The Russian-made Ilyushin 72 and Antonov AN-12 also recorded a high of 17 fatal crashes, a tie for the second most dangerous aircraft. As for the safest planes, Boeing, Airbus, Embraer, and Bombardier top the list in a four-way tie.

The list was complied using historic crash data from the last 10 years. According to Airline Ratings editor, Geoffrey Thomas, crash records from the 1970s and 1980s are no longer relevant because the planes are no longer in service today.

“We only looked at aircraft that are carrying passengers in 2013,” said Mr. Thomas on the company’s website.

The study focuses on commercial planes, ignoring piston-powered planes and smaller aircraft used for charter work. Statistics from 2003 to 2012 were used in calculating plane safety.

“Clearly flying on pure jet powered aircraft is far safer as seven out of the ten aircraft with bad crash records are turboprops,” said Mr. Thomas.

Worst Crash Record                  Fatal Crashes

LET 410                                    20

Ilyushin 72                               17

Antonov AN-12                          17

Twin Otter                                18

CASA 212                                11

DC-9/MD80                              10

B737-100 / 600                        10

Antonov 28                               8

Antonov 32                               7

Tupolev 154                             7


Best safety record

Boeing 777                                0

Boeing 717                                0

Airbus A380                               0

Airbus A340                               0

Boeing 787                                0

Boeing 767/757                          0

Embraer 135/145                        0

CRJ 700/1000                            0

Airbus A330                               2

Airbus A320 / Boeing 737NG        5


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  • zone5

    The type of aircraft is one of the least relevant causal factors in aviation accidents. Most accidents occur for reasons to do with Human Factors (not “pilot error”)… Jet aircraft fare better because of the standards system that is in place for the organizations operating them…

  • Mr. Mxyzptlk

    The LET is an old aircraft, and was built as a cheap transport using less than optimum fields. Thus it is operated in third world areas with lower standards of maintenance, inspection, pilot training and operator investment – small operator with dubious safety procedures and financial weaknesses. The best years of this type are gone and comparison with modern craft safety issues is an apples vs oranges issue. One might better compare its safety record with those of the DC-6, when it was phased out of first-class operator fleets and began to be operated in sub-optimal countries.

    On the other hand if you read through the accident descriptions (the most fatal ones) you’ll see how often the cause of the accident was either overloading the aircraft, flying in poor weather, midair collision, etc. – all causes not to be attributed to the aircraft as such. One accident was caused by a passenger stampede when a live alligator escaped in the cabin. Not much chance of that in a Dreamliner yet.

    There are also several disasters caused by pilot’s actions such as practicing engine failure routines with 13 passengers or attempting a barell-roll at 100m.

  • dantheman

    The twin otter specializes at remote airstrip landings with the accompanying bad weather so of course it has more casualties as its mission is more difficult. The Russian aircraft are designed for unpaved runways too – so though poor maintenance post soviet union is partly to blame so is the more harsh environments they fly in.
    As folks comment a pretty weak survey.

  • Si Bleech

    Agree totally with MJ. The DC9 is on the worst list, yet the 717 (basically the same plane, later model) is on the best list. A 10 second look at Wikipedia tells us that seven fatal 767 569 occupant fatalities. Aircraft like the Let and Twin Otter typically operate in dangerous environments (e.g short strips and high altitude in Africa, Nepal etc). These statistics are meaningless without further explanation. Mr Thomas needs to improve his stats or get a new job.

  • Simon

    Some of those Antonov’s were shot down in conflict over Afghanistan so how does that make them unsafe. Some of these aircraft are brand new and have barely flown. Journalists should do some real research and stay away from Google.

    • lakota

      The Russians always have good shows. Whether it is commercial or military, they will create the biggest impact clouds…..Don’t underestimate them.

  • Keith M

    These numbers are rubbish… B767 zero fatalities. Tell that to Nikki Lauda!

    • frank

      erm Niki Lauda is still alive?

      • Keith M

        Duhhhh… Google Lauda 767 crash.

        • Phil

          Duhhhh, look at the date of that crash & let me know if it fits in the 2003-2013 period used.
          The numbers are rubbish though.

  • Mark Ah Yee

    If you be going, be going on a Boeing, nothing but fuss if you travel on Airbus

  • Lee

    The Twin Otter is one of the safest and toughest aircraft ever built. It has been used for years flying in rough terrain often into and out of impossible airstrips. The article is ridiculous!

  • eva

    It`s not fair to compare different sizes of airplanes, as the bigger airplane is, the safer and more stable in the air…

  • Bendgoat

    I believe the past 10 years have been the safest yet since we are eliminating more and more pilot input. At this point, the IT staff makes as much or more income than the pilots for a reason. Typically on modern aircraft, the pilot is the weakest link. I would bargain to say that Qantas has the safest aircraft as their pilot training and attention to safety protocol is industry leading. Sully would agree.

    • Keith M

      Take away the pilot and see how safe flying is. FGS get a grip.

    • ME

      Pilots are not driving the bus anymore, computers are. Look at the recent crash in SF and the crash of an AirFrance Airbus out of Brazil. Once pilot input was required a mishap happened. Computers don’t fly the plane, the pilot does!!!!!!! Look at Sully in the Hudson. A former military pilot. Cheers,

  • R

    These numbers are largely worthless unless you divide the total number of flight hours of each plane during the period by the number of accidents.

  • Tom

    Some of these planes have been around for years and years others are quite new. It would be nice to know roughly how many individual planes and miles, hours or years are involved. If you have 5000 737′s over 40+ years and compare that to 50 777′s over 10 years, you don’t really know which is safer. The 777′s wouldn’t have enough of a track record to compare.