On August 12, 1985, the largest number of deaths in a single commercial airplane crash occurred when a Japan Air Lines Boeing 747 crashed into Mt. Ogura in Japan, killing 520 passengers and crew members.
The deadliest commercial airplane accident occurred on March 27, 1977, when two Boeing 747s collided on a runway on the Spanish island of Tenerife, killing 583.
December 14, 1920 – Believed to be one of the first known commercial passenger airplane crashes, a British Handley Page HP-16 en route to Paris from London crashes just after takeoff, killing four of the eight people onboard.
November 28, 1979 – An Air New Zealand DC-10 crashes into Mt. Erebus on Antarctica and 257 people are killed. The crash is believed to be the result of a navigational error.
April 28, 1988 – An Aloha Airlines Boeing 737 decompresses, causing an in-air explosion. The pilot manages to land the plane safely, but one person is killed and dozens of passengers and crew members are injured. Later, the NTSB faults the airline’s maintenance program for failing to address signs of metal fatigue and disbonding which ultimately caused the fuselage separation. The Aviation Safety Research Act of 1988 is passed by Congress as a result of this incident.
July 11, 1991 – The landing gear of a Nigeria Airways DC-8 catches on fire shortly after takeoff and upon return to the airport in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, the plane crashes, killing all 261 people onboard.
May 11, 1996 – ValuJet Flight 592 crashes in the Florida Everglades, killing 110 people.
November 12, 1996 – A midair collision between a Saudi Arabian Airlines 747 and a Kazakhstan Airlines II-76 takes place at the New Delhi, India airport. All 349 people on both airplanes are killed.
August 6, 1997 – A Korean Airlines Boeing 747 crashes in the Guam jungle and 228 people are killed.
September 26, 1997 – A Garuda Indonesia Airlines Airbus A300 crashes in Buah Nabar, Indonesia, killing 234 people.
February 16, 1998 – Flying through rain and fog, a China Airlines Airbus A300 crashes into a neighborhood near Taipei, Taiwan, killing all 196 aboard and another seven on the ground.
September 2, 1998 – A Swissair MD-11 crashes off Nova Scotia, Canada, killing 229. The Canadian Transportation Safety Board later concludes that flammable material and faulty wiring generated a fire that spread beyond the crew’s control.
July 25, 2000 – The Air France Concorde, en route to New York, crashes into a Paris hotel shortly after takeoff, killing 113 (all 109 aboard and four on the ground).
August 27, 2006 – Comair Flight 5191 crashes on takeoff from Blue Grass Airport in Fayette County, Kentucky. Forty-seven passengers and two crew members are killed.
February 12, 2009 – Colgan Air Flight 3407 crashes into a house in Clarence Center, New York, killing all 49 people on board the plane and one person in the house.