Today marks ten years since the last time a mainline U.S. air carrier had a multi-fatality accident:
There have been several terrible accidents involving regional planes — all of which have been discussed in this column, from the Air Midwest crash in 2003 to the 2006 Comair crash at Lexington, to the Colgan disaster outside Buffalo in 2009. And in 2005 a young boy in a car was killed when a Southwest Airlines 737 skidded off a snowy runway at Chicago’s Midway airport. Yet amazingly, an entire decade has passed since the last large-scale crash involving a mainline U.S. carrier. Somewhere on the order of 5 billion passengers have flown aboard the country’s biggest airlines in that span, aboard some 35 million flights.
Ten years is a record unsurpassed in virtually the entire history of U.S. commercial aviation.
Ten years, in fact, is about 10% of the entire history of U.S. commercial aviation. And while today is the anniversary of a terrible accident, how cool that we haven't had another of its kind since.