Airbus A320: How safe is the plane involved in the EgyptAir crash?

A320s have been involved in 14 fatal accidents since entering service in 1988

Rachael Burnett,Simon Calder
Thursday 19 May 2016 12:15 BST
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A policeman stands guard at Larnaca Airport near a hijacked Egypt Air A320
A policeman stands guard at Larnaca Airport near a hijacked Egypt Air A320 (Reuters)

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The Airbus A320 - one of which has disappeared over the Mediterranean Sea with 66 people on board - is one of the two workhorses of short- and mediium-haul flying. It entered service in 1988, much later than its rival, the Boeing 737. But it has proved extremely popular with airlines and passengers, and nearly 7,000 have been delivered. The airline with the biggest fleet of A320s (and its derivatives, the A318, A319 and A321) is American Airlines, and easyJet has a very large fleet.

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According to AirSafe.com, there have been 14 fatal crashes in over 85 million flights.

A male passenger hijacked an Egyptair A320 on a domestic flight and forced it to land in Cyprus in March. None of the 64 crew and passengers on board the EgyptAir flight from Alexandria to Cairo were harmed.

In March last year, 150 passengers and crew died when co-pilot Andreas Lubitz deliberately crashed Germanwings flight 4U9525 into the French Alps.

Lubitz had locked the captain out of the cockpit and deliberately set the plane on a collision course with the mountainside.

An Airbus A320 operated by AirAsia Indonesia crashed into the Java Sea on its way from Surabaya, Indonesia, to Singapore in December 2014. All 162 people on board Flight QZ8501 were killed.

The accident was caused by a problem with the rudder control system, coupled with the pilots' response, according to Indonesian investigators.

An A320 ditched into the Hudson River in New York after hitting a flock of geese and suffering an engine failure in January 2009.

Captain Chesley Sullenberger was hailed a hero after safely landing the aircraft in the water. None of the 150 passengers and crew were seriously hurt.

PA

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