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Is already the second time we have such a question in a few days:

Why is the fatality rate in the Diamond DA40 so remarkably lower than the SR20/22?

Why does the Boeing 737 have 5 x the passenger fatalities of the Airbus 320?

As mentioned in the Airbus-vs-Boeing answers, such comparisons are not meaningful, because partial lack of data or impossibility to filter relevant data from global gross figures.

For what I can tell, the answers will then be all in the realm of speculations.

Am I missing something and thus we should allow this kind of questions? Or I understood the situation correctly and we should avoid them?

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I think that there are situations where these questions could have good answers. Specifically the F-104 comes to mind, as it had an unusually high accident rate. It, was considered a difficult airplane to fly, and a question about the reasons behind this would seem to be on topic and not too broad. There are other cases where incidents can be traced back to design or maintenance issues. If the question is specific enough to address this, it may not be too broad.

On the other hand, you are correct in your observation that most general cases are much harder to answer. The regulation of the aviation industry makes it difficult for a certain airplane to be significantly more dangerous. If a repairable flaw is known, the repair is mandated. Otherwise, the airplane is grounded. Because of this, historical questions may be more likely to have good answers.

So I don't think the whole category of questions should be off limits. If the question is specific enough, it could have a good answer.

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  • $\begingroup$ I admit I did not thought of exceptional cases like F-104, but, as you also say, it is special "per se", it is not "F-104 vs Mirage" (or whatever else), it is simply "why the F-104 had an unusual high accident rate for its category". Bearing in mind what you write, I would avoid face-offs between specific airplanes, but allow ariplane-vs-category. $\endgroup$ – Federico Sep 2 '14 at 20:40
  • $\begingroup$ @Federico I agree that comparing a plane to its category is generally better than a specific airplane, but the case of the 737 vs. A320 is difficult, there isn't much else in the category to compare to. $\endgroup$ – fooot Sep 2 '14 at 22:04
  • $\begingroup$ Depends on what you mean by "category" at that point. For Easa is CS-25, for example. $\endgroup$ – Federico Sep 3 '14 at 6:10
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There is way to many factors that contribute to accidents to allow comparison and non-biased evaluation of such accident statistics. I would discourage these type of questions that ask for "A vs B". I agree with the other answer that questions similar to "Why is aircraft A prone to stalls?" are still welcome, as they allow technical explanations to be given.

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