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July 16, 2009 - Airplane Crash Trends Troubling

A recent rash of jet crashes could push accident totals to a number not seen since the 1990s, raising aviation safety concerns, industry observers say.

The number of major aircraft crashes during the past five years is higher than other recent five-year periods, which aviation safety advocates say is a disturbing trend, USA Today reported Thursday.

"If we continue at this pace, we'll be turning the clock back 10 years on safety," said Bill Voss, president of the non-profit Flight Safety Foundation. "This ain't looking so good."

So far this year, 11 major crashes have been reported worldwide, the foundation said, including Wednesday's crash of a Russian-built jetliner in Iran in which 168 people died, the ocean crash of an Air France Airbus A330 jet in which 228 people died, and a Yemenia Airways plane crash-landing in which 152 people were killed.

If the trend continues, the foundation said at least 20 major crashes could be recorded for 2009, the most since 24 jets crashed in 1999, USA Today said. The foundation defines a major crash as one in which the plane was destroyed, multiple fatalities occurred or one person died and the jet suffered significant damage.

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