How Many Planes Crash Every Year, And How Many People Die In Plane Crashes? [CHART]

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Correction: This story has been amended to reflect that figures refer to all airplanes in the world, not just those flying on commercial scheduled services. 

The Malaysia Airlines plane that has been missing since Saturday, Flight 370 en route to Beijing, is the 22nd plane to crash so far in 2014. All 227 passengers and 12 crew members are presumed dead.

This year's rate of crashes isn’t unusually high -- there were 138 plane crashes in 2013, and 155 in 2012, according to data from Bureau of Aircraft Accidents Archives, a Swiss organization that tracks such data.

But in terms of fatalities, 2014 is on track to be a pretty bad year. In just the first two and a half months of the year, 376 people have died in plane crashes, compared to a total of 462 for the whole of last year.

These figures refer to all airplanes flying in the world, including private aviation. When considering just commercial aviation, or large airplanes flying passengers in scheduled service, the picture changes radically: the Malaysian Boeing 777 is the only large airliner accident this year. 

More planes crashed in 1943 than in any single year since then, according BAAA data. That year saw 562 planes crash, and 2,266 fatalities.

But 1972 was an even worse year for flight-related deaths: 3,329 people died in plane crashes around the world, according to BAAA data.

Here’s a chart that looks at plane-crash data from 1918 to 2014, up to date as of March 8, 2014. The top 10 years for both deaths and crashes are highlighted in a darker color:

plane crashes-01 Plane crashes and deaths, by year

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