In the past months I heard about several aircraft accidents that happened to occur in Russia, Indonesia, Malaysia... and I was wondering if some countries are actually more connected to accidents than other.

Is there some statistics on this topic? and if so, do they confirm this alleged over-representation, and do we know the reasons behind?

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    $\begingroup$ The Russians make fake airports and then put big rocks on the runways. $\endgroup$ – Tyler Durden Jun 23 '16 at 17:57
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    $\begingroup$ Because you are only watching very specific TV news, apparently ... have a look here: avherald.com/h?list=&opt=7680 $\endgroup$ – expeditedescent Jun 23 '16 at 17:57
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    $\begingroup$ thanks @J.Hougaard you are right, Probably it is because of spesific media companies. $\endgroup$ – abidinberkay Jun 23 '16 at 17:59
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    $\begingroup$ Certainly some countries (and some aircraft operators within the same countries) don't have the same aviation safety standards as others, but aircraft crashes are hardly unique to Russia, Indonesia, and Malaysia. The most recent airliner crash to make international news was flying from France to Egypt, for example. $\endgroup$ – reirab Jun 23 '16 at 18:39
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    $\begingroup$ I don't agree that this is off topic; discussing aviation safety is certainly on topic. But it would be a much better question if it were more along the lines of this one, looking for specific evidence. $\endgroup$ – fooot Jun 23 '16 at 20:12

Crashes, meaning accidents with significant number of fatalities, are so rare, even in places with least attention to safety, that it is not possible to conclude the risk is higher in some countries with statistics.

And if you wanted to judge from the number of incidents, that is including events that were dangerous, but ended well, you would be stopped by the fact that quality of incident reporting varies wildly. In this interview Simon Hradecky, the editor of The Aviation Herald, explains that Canadian TSB reports many, many incidents, but that is is not because the safety would be poor in Canada – quite to the contrary – but because they have particularly good system of reporting them. So many incident reports can actually be taken as a sign of good safety in that country, but you can't make any statistics from that.

Regarding the countries you mention:

  • Indonesia is widely believed to have poor safety. The EU Air Safety List says:

    All air carriers certified by the authorities with responsibility for regulatory oversight of Indonesia, with the exception of Garuda Indonesia, Airfast Indonesia, Ekspres Transportasi Antarbenua, Indonesia Air Asia, Citilink, Lion Air and Batik Air, including …

    clearly indicating that EASA does not believe the aviation authority of Indonesia oversees operators registered under them sufficiently.

    Together with high incidence of severe weather and a lot of mountainous terrain this creates environment where the risk might be elevated. As mentioned above, even there accidents are not that common to allow firm statistical conclusion.

    The excepted airlines however proved to EASA that they have a safety management system in place and that it works according to industry best practice. With them, the risk probably isn't significantly higher than with any other decent airline.

  • Malaysia and Russia: I have not noticed any specific concerns about safety in those two countries. If you seem to have noticed accidents in those two countries in particular, it is likely just bad luck.

  • $\begingroup$ I don't have anything to back it up at the moment but I feel like there's something to be said about Malaysia and Russia. Maybe not as bad as Indonesia, but still. $\endgroup$ – fooot Jun 24 '16 at 15:33
  • $\begingroup$ @fooot, well, something can be said about Malaysia and Russia: Russia committed act of terrorism against Malaysia two years ago. But regarding accidents, for Malaysia I can only think about the missing MH370, which, while widely known, is a unique case that does not allow making any general conclusions. And for Russia the last bigger problem was the triple thrust reversers problem on Tu-204 that ended with crash on the last occurrence in 2012. Since then I recall 2 more crashes in Russia, but neither was Russian aircraft or crew. Nothing systemic in either. $\endgroup$ – Jan Hudec Jun 24 '16 at 17:25
  • $\begingroup$ @JanHudec I don't know about Russia now, but if you read about things during the Soviet period, especially regarding the space and nuclear industries, it's pretty clear that there was really no safety culture there. From appearances that appears to have changed, though. $\endgroup$ – TomMcW Jun 24 '16 at 18:07
  • $\begingroup$ @TomMcW, in many areas, the safety culture is still pretty poor there, but it seems that the aviation authority does do its job. Which is not commonplace; Russian government is still highly infested with corruption in general. $\endgroup$ – Jan Hudec Jun 24 '16 at 18:49
  • $\begingroup$ @JanHudec Was Soviet aviation better than other industries? Their nuclear energy industry had an awful safety record. They took way too many risks and important technical jobs were given on the basis of politics rather than qualifications. Read a book by a US bone marrow specialist that went there to help after Chernobyl. He related that their doctors were very familiar with radiation burns, suggesting they were fairly common. Radiation illnesses are exceedingly rare everywhere else. I really hope they've improved on such an unforgiving technology as nuclear power $\endgroup$ – TomMcW Jun 24 '16 at 19:32

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