Where are commercial plane crashes most common?

A look at the past five years of crashes shows something surprising: No country or region is especially dangerous for air travel. Tragedy has struck from Russia to Colombia, and for reasons as varied as pilot error, system failure or terrorism.

Here are thumbnail sketches of the 18 crashes since 2014, based on information from the Aviation Safety Network, the BBC and Washington Post reports.

• March 2014. A Boeing 777 operated by Malaysia Airlines took off in Malaysia, bound for China, but disappeared into the Indian Ocean with 239 aboard. The cause of the crash is unknown.

• July 2014. A Boeing 777 operated by Malaysia Airlines left the Netherlands, but never made it to Malaysia. It was shot down over eastern Ukraine, killing all 298 aboard.

• July 2014. An ATR 72 from TransAsia Airways, scheduled to fly from Taiwan to Penghu Island, crashed into a building as it approached the airport, killing 48 people. The cause: noncompliance with standard operating procedure.


• July 2014. A malfunctioning anti-icing system was blamed for the Mali crash of a McDonnell Douglas MD-83 flown by Air Algerie. All 116 on board, who were headed from Burkina Faso to Algeria, were killed.

• December 2014. An Airbus A320 operated by Indonesia AirAsia and headed to Singapore from Indonesia went down over the Java Sea. Crew miscommunication was a contributing factor to the crash, which claimed the lives of 162 people.

• March 2015. An Airbus A320 operated by Germanwings and headed from Spain to Germany crashed into the French Alps, killing all 150 people aboard. It was believed the pilot was suicidal and intentionally downed the plane.

• August 2015. An ATR 42-300 operated by Trigana Air Service and traveling within Indonesia crashed, killing 54. Investigators determined that crew members did not adhere to standard approach procedure while going over mountainous terrain.

• October 2015. 224 people were killed when an Airbus A321, operated by Kogalymavia and traveling from Egypt to St. Petersburg, was blown up over the Sinai Peninsula.

• March 2016. Adverse weather was blamed for the crash landing of a FlyDubai Boeing 737 traveling from the United Arab Emirates to Russia; 62 people were killed.

• May 2016. An EgyptAir Airbus A320 headed to Egypt from France crashed into the Mediterranean Sea after the pilot lost control of the plane; 66 people were killed.

• November 2016. An Avro RJ85 operated by LaMia carrying a Brazilian soccer team from Bolivia to Colombia crashed; 71 of the 77 people on board died. Flying with extremely limited fuel contributed to the crash.

• December 2016. Engine failure was to blame for the crash of an ATR 42-500 operated by Pakistan International Airlines. The plane was carrying 48 people.

• February 2018. An Antonov An-148 operated by Saratov Airlines crashed shortly after taking off from Moscow, claiming 71 lives. The accident was caused by loss of control of the plane.

• February 2018. An ATR 72 flown by Aseman Airlines went down in Iran, killing 66. Crew errors and bad weather were contributing factors.

• March 2018. A Bombardier Dash operated by US-Bangla crashed in Nepal before completing its journey from Bangladesh. The pilot’s lack of “emotional stability” is blamed for the accident.

• May 2018. A Boeing 737 leased by Cubana, Cuba’s national airline, crashed, killing 112. The company that owned the plane blamed pilot error.

• October 2018. A Lion Air Boeing 737 Max crashed in Indonesia with 189 people aboard. A preliminary investigation blamed a malfunctioning sensor.

• March 2019. An Ethio­pian Airlines Boeing 737 Max, flying from Ethi­o­pia to Nigeria, went down shortly after takeoff. All 157 people on board died. An investigation has been launched.