This week marked the longest period without a fatal airliner accident 1) in modern aviation history. As of today, Saturday December 17, 2011 , there have been no fatal airliner accidents since October 13. An accident-free period of 65 days and counting.
On October 13 a DHC-8 turboprop airplane crashed in a forest near Madang, Papua New Guinea, killing 28 passengers. Three crew members and one passenger survived the accident. This accident marked the start of the longest period without a fatal airliner accident since 1945 according to Aviation Safety Network data.
The previous longest period was in 1985. Sixty-one days passed between a Fokker F-27 turboprop accident in Burma (4 fatalities) on October 12 and the December 12 tragedy involving a McDonnell Douglas DC-8 of Arrow Air that crashed on takeoff from Gander, Canada, killing all 256 on board.
The average period between two fatal airliner accidents since 2002 is twelve days.
1) ASN defines an airliner accident as: “An occurrence associated with the operation of a commercial multi-engine airplane model, with a certificated maximum passenger configuration of 14 or more passengers, which takes place between the time any person boards the aircraft with the intention of flight until such time as all such persons have disembarked, in which a person on the airplane is fatally injured and the airplane is damaged beyond repair.”