The comments to https://aviation.stackexchange.com/q/33416/128 demonstrate some like (e.g. these 4 upvotes and 1 supportive comment) and mislike of it, and so should it be reopened?

I reply to some of the disapproving comments here for readability, and rather than there:

This question feels like an XY-problem. Since you are using this information to determine which airlines to avoid, why pick these particular issues and not others (e.g., falling asleep while flying the plane)? Wouldn't it be more useful to inquire about general safety and perhaps crash incidents per airline? That would be easier to find and would include causes that while moral, could be just as lethal. – Dan Pichelman 14 hours ago

No; this question is not a XY-problem, because I consider these free, informed, voluntary transgressions more blameworthy by being more immoral. E.g., I care to know not only that 2 airlines suffer a similar number of crashes, but reasons that general statistics distinguish not: e.g., one was caused by Acts of God, but the other by pilot's intoxications and readings of pornography inflight.

"your answer is provided along with the question, and you expect more answers" – David Richerby 13 hours ago

No; the first clause appears wrong. My question exemplifies only a limited number of airlines and transgressions: I wish to see all available.

  • 2
    $\begingroup$ I think you're misreading the "supportive" comment; it reads to me as sarcastic (especially the bit about Airbuses and their "obscene joy-sticks"). $\endgroup$
    – cpast
    Nov 26, 2016 at 20:10
  • $\begingroup$ I suggest that you look up the term "loaded question" and "begging the question" and "assuming the answer in a question" before you proceed. Reporting varies by nation. Now, look up the term "confirmation bias" and see if you are even asking the correct question. First point: the question's scope is badly defined. Second: "moral" objection to standard human failings would not prevent you from dying in the recent Lufthansa accident where the FO drove the plane into a mountain. Lastly: you want someone to do your work for you. $\endgroup$ Nov 28, 2016 at 20:33

2 Answers 2


It seems to me that people are reacting to two main issues with your question.

First, you apparently want to see accident statistics based on the 'morality' of the cause (you also used the word in your other, similar question). Unfortunately, what "moral" means depends on you: others may have completely different opinions. And accident investigations don't moralize, they just gather and state the facts behind what happened. Your personal opinion on which accident causes are more 'serious' then others is really irrelevant to what actually happens. For example, would you rather fly on an airline that had just one crash in 10 years, caused by drunkenness; or on one that had one crash every year in 10 years, caused by inadequate crew training?

Second, people feel that you're wasting your time because accidents are so rare, statistics are difficult to compare directly between airlines, other dangers are much more significant for you and your family etc. In my opinion they're right, but on the other hand that has nothing to do with answering the question you asked.

I can only suggest that you reword your question to be more objective. Specifically, don't ask about "moral" issues, ask about per-airline incident/accident statistics.

Finally, if you're really worried about this stuff then simply avoid any airline that's been banned by the EU or US. Those are the only airlines that are 'dangerous' in any mainstream sense of the word. Any airline that's allowed to operate in Europe and the US is certainly 'safe' because of the strict regulations that are in place (and enforced).


It's a good idea to ask here about the reception of your question, and this is certainly something to your credit.

On the form of the question

You should simplify your question and choose your approach, e.g.:

  • Facts explained in context, statistics,
  • Recount out of context, like in news,
  • Morality, which is undefined and linked to personal beliefs.

But don't mix them as if they were equivalent. One can help you finding official reports of incidents in a given country without specially sharing your personal view on what is a safe airline.

There are no immoral conduct databases, but there are incident databases.

On the method you want to use

If you want to rely on press tendentious articles and arguable moral concepts for your safety, it's ok, but you don't expect others to follow you here, this is not on-topic.

Now if safety is actually the purpose of your post, and you want to use statistics to do some classification, you should think about the actual level of aircraft incidents and accidents, and how many times alcohol or sex have been endangering a passenger or crew life.

Read about statistics theory and what can be deducted from 100 incidents over many years, when 100,000 flights occur each day (assuming you have some luck, as so far you listed only 5 events).

There are common biases using statistics and one is misunderstanding the confidence interval notion. Statistics are valid only on large numbers of events.

Finally on the result you'll obtain with this method

Now let's look at your intention of helping your family by suggesting them how to choose their airline. It's all about reacting to isolated events.

The Deming funnel experiment is a very good demonstration of what not to do. The idea is you can position a funnel as you want over a surface, and your try to drop marbles using the funnel pipe into a specific location of the surface. How to increase the number of marbles reaching the point? Answer: Don't adjust the funnel location based on isolated events, wait for the events to be statistically meaningful. Watch:

enter image description here

What does that mean in your case? By reacting to isolated events, not statistically meaningful, you statistically increase your odds of flying what you consider an unsafe aircraft.

In some way, by trying to protect your traveling family, you (guided by the press articles) are actually shooting yourself in their feet, because of your approximate use of statistics.


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