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List of accidents involving brand new passenger aircraft
20 March 2019

This brand new (38 days; TT 202 hours) Boeing 737-800 crashed in September 2006

Two recent accident involving brand new Boeing 737 MAX aircraft caused a global grounding of the type over fears relating to a malfunctioning safety feature specific to the 737 MAX. How does the age of both aircraft relate to previous aircraft accidents?

Focussing on fatal aircraft accidents involving passenger flights, the ASN databases shows (for available data! *) that there was at least one aircraft that crashed within a month of having first flown. A Braniff Lockheed Electra crashed 25 days following its first flight and just 11 days after having been delivered to the airline. A subsequent accident in March 1960 under similar circumstances revealed an engine mount problem on the outboard engines that allowed propeller oscillations to be transmitted to the wings, resulting in a structural failure of the wing in flight. This finding led to operational speed restrictions of the aircraft before modifications were carried out.

Age (days) Date Aircraft type Operator Fatalities
25 1959-09-29 Lockheed L-188A Electra Braniff 34
34 1967-03-11 DHC-6 Twin Otter 100 Aeralpi 4
38 2006-09-29 Boeing 737-8EH Gol 154
52 1968-03-05 Boeing 707-328C Air France 63
69 1959-02-03 Lockheed L-188A Electra American Airlines 65
72 1960-01-19 Caravelle SAS 42
74 1961-09-23 Fokker F-27 Friendship THY 28
75 1968-04-20 Boeing 707-344C SAA 123
87 1948-01-30 Avro 688 Tudor 1 BSAA 31
90 1965-08-16 Boeing 727-22 United Airlines 30
91 2018-10-29 Boeing 737 MAX 8 Lion Air 189
94 1989-01-08 Boeing 737-4Y0 BMA 47
95 1968-11-23 DHC-6 Twin Otter 200 Cable Commuter 9
107 1961-09-17 Lockheed L-188C Electra Northwest 37
107 1962-07-19 DH-106 Comet 4C United Arab 26
118 1961-09-12 Caravelle III Air France 77
119 1962-06-22 Boeing 707-328 Air France 113
125 1977-09-08 DHC-6 Twin Otter 300 Burma Airways 25
126 1934-12-20 Douglas DC-2 KLM 7
131 2019-03-10 Boeing 737 MAX 8 Ethiopian Airlines 157

Looking at flight hours instead of age since first flight, the ASN databases shows (again, for available data! *):

Flight hours Date Aircraft type Operator Fatalities
19 1948-07-01 Fiat G.212PW ALI 8
35 1948-08-01 Latécoère 631 Air France 52
46 1968-03-05 Boeing 707-328C Air France 63
47 1926-08-18 Blériot 155 Air Union 4
51 1949-05-13 Ilyushin Il-12P Aeroflot 25
70 2002-12-23 Antonov An-140 Aeromist Kharkiv 44
92 1949-08-25 Ilyushin Il-12P Aeroflot 14
109 1960-02-26 Antonov An-10A Aeroflot 32
111 1971-05-23 Tupolev Tu-134A Aviogenex 78
111 1961-09-23 Fokker F-27 THY 28
113 1948-09-04 Lisunov Li-2 Aeroflot 6
124 1974-05-02 Yakovlev Yak-40 Aeroflot 1
124 1961-07-11 Douglas DC-8-12 United Airlines 17
128 1969-03-20 Ilyushin Il-18D United Arab 100
132 1959-09-29 Lockheed L-188A Electra Braniff 34
154 1963-04-04 Ilyushin Il-18 Aeroflot 67
164 1966-10-01 Douglas DC-9-14 West Coast Airlines 18
166 1947-12-18 Ilyushin Il-12P Aeroflot 7
188 1993-03-05 Fokker 100 Palair 83
202 2006-09-29 Boeing 737-8EH Gol 154

The LionAir Boeing 737 MAX 8 that crashed in 2018 had logged 895 flying hours; total hours for the Ethiopian aircraft has not yet been reported.

Important notes:

  • For 54% of all accidents the first flight date nor total aircraft time in flight hours are known. These lists can thus only be used as indicative.
  • For most Russian accidents just the aircraft’s flight hours are known, hence the over-representation of these accidens in the flight hours-table.