Re: Airbus Safety

Date:         07 Oct 98 02:49:27 
From:         Joseph Edward Nemec <>
Organization: Massachusetts Institute of Technology
References:   1 2
Followups:    1 2
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Karl Swartz wrote:
> There have been six A320 family hull losses to date, all involving the
> A320 (no A319 or A321 has been lost):
> 22-Mar-1998  PR 137   RP-3222  A320-214    3   Bacolod, PH

I didn't hear about this last one. Can you give me some information
about it?

> Having thus checked the statistics, your assertion that the A320 family
> has a higher hull loss rate than the 737 does not appear to be factual.

It isn't, but as you know, comparing hull-loss statistics between
the A320 and all models of the 737 are misleading. First of all,
the A320 is a much newer airplane than the 731/2. This in and
of itself makes a big difference, if one doesn't even take into
account the fact that older aircraft tend to get farmed off to
airlines that don't have the same maintenance procedures as the
big Western airlines. (I'll never forget the 727 I flew from
Nepal to Delhi in March, 1997. Bought used from JAT, you could
see bullet holes in the fuselage that had been repaired! I refused
to get on the plane until I learned that Lufthansa did the maintenance
for Royal Nepal). But then again, I've read that several of the
hull loses seem to be due to pilots who weren't used to the A320's
FBW system, so maybe it balances out. What would be relevant is to
break down the numbers by airline. Then we could see where the biases

> >What Id like to know is why Euro press jumped on every possible MD-11
> >glitch lately, but no reports were made on Sabena A340 landing gear
> >collapse last week...
> Because after 229 people were killed on a Swissair MD-11, the MD-11 is
> news.  The A340 hasn't earned itself the limelight.

I think this is the only reason for it. When the FedEx MD-11 crashed
at Newark last year, I didn't see a peep out of any newspapers, except
for the NY Times in a small blurb. People dead in airplane crashes
sell newspapers. Lots of people dead in airplane crashes sell lots of

Joseph Edward Nemec
Operations Research Center