Wed, Dec 13, 2006 - Page 2 News List

Room for improvement in Taiwan's flight safety: ASC

STAFF WRITER , WITH CNA

Taiwan's airline industry recorded 28 accidents involving fixed-wing aircraft between 1996 and last year, with a total of 467 people killed in seven of these accidents, tallies released yesterday by the Aviation Safety Council (ASC) showed.

Accident rate decline

These numbers translate into an accident rate of 2.10 per million departures, lower than the rate of 2.17 per million departures recorded for the 1995 to 2004 period and 2.82 per million departures recorded for the 1994 to 2003 period, ASC officials said.

However, the world's total air accident rate for the period from 1996 to last year was 0.89 per million departures, meaning that there is much room for improvement for flight safety in Taiwan, the officials said.

Of the 28 air accidents, 13 -- or 46.4 percent -- occurred during landing, they said.

While the aircraft swerved off the runway in seven cases, six accidents occurred on rainy days and five happened during typhoons, they said.

The officials said that in addition to poor weather conditions, air crew failure to follow standard operational procedures or lack of understanding of aircraft systems were responsible for most of the accidents.

Human error

Eighty-eight percent of air accidents recorded by the Taiwanese airline industry over the past 10 years were as a result of human error, 42 percent were related to environmental factors and 19 percent to aircraft problems, the ASC said.

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