Aviation Accident Data in R

A couple of months ago, following the devastating crash of a Germanwings plane in the French Alps killing all those on board, I wrote some code to scrape historical data on aviation accidents for further analysis in R. The code is written in pure (or nearly pure) old-school R, and gathers data from planecrashinfo.com.

The code was then expanded upon using the Hadleyverse by hrbrmstr at R-bloggers. Check it out here.

The planecrashinfo.com accident database includes:

  • All civil and commercial aviation accidents of scheduled and non-scheduled passenger airliners worldwide, which resulted in a fatality (including all U.S. Part 121 and Part 135 fatal accidents)
  • All cargo, positioning, ferry and test flight fatal accidents.
  • All military transport accidents with 10 or more fatalities.
  • All commercial and military helicopter accidents with greater than 10 fatalities.
  • All civil and military airship accidents involving fatalities.
  • Aviation accidents involving the death of famous people.
  • Aviation accidents or incidents of noteworthy interest.


Here are a couple quick plots from the data

Average proportion of fatalities. We see very little improvement since the early 50s.


Crash fatalities vs. passengers from 2000 to 2015


Aviation Accident Data in R

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