A year of high-profile plane crashes

A year of high-profile plane crashes

PARIS - A TransAsia Airways plane crashed into a river outside the Taiwanese capital Taipei Wednesday, leaving at least 22 dead, the latest high-profile accident this year, especially in Asia.

Despite several headline-grabbing crashes, 2014 continued a long-term trend of improving air safety, online accident database Aviation Safety Network said in December.

The number of crashes last year was well below 32, the annual average since 1946.

Here is a list of major crashes over the past 12 months:

- 2014 -

- February 11: ALGERIA - An Algerian military C-130 Hercules plane crashes in bad weather in the mountainous northeast Oum El Bouaghi region killing all but one of 78 people on board.

- March 8: INDIAN OCEAN - Malaysia Airlines flight MH370, a Boeing 777-200, mysteriously disappears on its way from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing with 239 people aboard. No debris has been found, although experts believe the plane crashed in the southern Indian Ocean.

- May 17: LAOS - A Lao military plane crashes killing five senior officials on board including the defence minister Douangchay Phichit, as they travelled to an official ceremony in the northeastern province of Xiangkhouang on an air force jet manufactured by Ukraine's Antonov.

- July 17: UKRAINE - Less than four months after the first Malaysia Airlines plane disappeared, flight MH17, also a Boeing 777, is shot down while flying over rebel-held east Ukraine on route to Kuala Lumpur from Amsterdam, killing all 298 people aboard.

July 23: TAIWAN - A turboprop ATR 72-500F of Taiwan's TransAsia Airways carrying 54 passengers and four crew members crashes after an aborted landing during stormy weather at Magong on the Penghu island chain, as Typhoon Matmo pounded Taiwan. Forty-eight, including two French medical students, are killed.

- July 24: MALI - Air Algeria's flight AH5017, a McDonnell Douglas 83 jet that took off from Ouagadougou in Burkina Faso bound for Algiers, crashes in the Mali desert after its pilots asked to turn back as bad weather struck. All 116 passengers and crew are killed.

- August 10: IRAN - An Antonov An-140 turboprop plane operated by Sepahan Airlines crashes moments after takeoff from Tehran heading for the eastern city of Tabas, killing 39 people and injuring nine, narrowly avoiding many more deaths when it plummeted to the ground near a busy market.

- October 20-21: RUSSIA - A plane crash at Moscow's Vnukovo airport kills the CEO of French oil giant Total, Christophe de Margerie, whose private Falcon jet struck a snowplough on takeoff. Two pilots and an cabin attendant are also killed.

- December 28: INDONESIA - AirAsia's Flight QZ8501, an Airbus A320-200, goes down in the Java Sea in stormy weather with 162 people on board, during what is supposed to be a short trip from the Indonesian city of Surabaya to Singapore. Some 84 bodies have so far been retrieved, while the mission continues to search for bodies of the remaining 78 people aboard.

- 2015 -

- January 26, 2015: SPAIN - An F-16 Greek fighter jet experiences a technical failure on take-off in southeastern Spain and crashes into pilots and mechanics on the ground, killing nine French and two Greek personnel.

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