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14 Sep, 2008 14:37

Ill fated Boeing 737 had clean record

The Boeing 737 that crashed near the Central Russian city of Perm early on Sunday morning was operated by an Aeroflot subsidiary for less than half a year.

It was delivered in May, and before joining Aeroflot Nord's fleet, it had been used by Air China and other Chinese airlines.  The plane was built in 1992 and had experienced no previous accidents.

The Boeing 737 is a twin engined narrow-body, short-to-medium range jetliner, and is the worlds most popular commercial aircraft. It was introduced 40 years ago and since then has been produced in various models, seating up to 200 people.

Technical requirements specify that this type of aircraft must be capable of operation with only one engine.

More than a thousand 737s are airborne worldwide at any given moment. One takes off or lands somewhere in the world every 5 seconds.

Since the late 1960s, 140 Boeing 737s have crashed, out of almost six thousand produced.

Less than a month ago, a 737, heading to Tehran, crashed near the city of Bishkek, the capital of Kyrgyzstan, killing 68 with another 22 injured. The plane was attempting an emergency landing 10 minutes after takeoff.
In Spring 2007 two other 737s crashed – one in Cameroon and another in Indonesia, killing a total of 136 people.  Another 737 crashed on New Years Day 2007, killed 102 people in Indonesia.

A Helios Airways 737 crashed in Greece in 2005, killing all 121 people onboard, after the cabin depressurised.
Despite these accidents, the 737 is considered one of the world’s safest aircraft, and is one of the worlds most widely used jetliners.