Safety of airliners has gone down in 2009, even as aircraft accidents have decreased in the year according to studies by the Aviation Safety Network and Flight Safety Foundation.

The year saw 30 fatal air accidents that caused 757 casualties and one ground fatality, which is lower than the ten-year average of 802 fatalities, according to the Wall Street Journal.

About 11 of the total accidents involved commercial passenger flights, while the rest were air freighters or military aircraft, according to the Aviation Safety Network.

However, air safety has taken a hit, as demonstrated by the type of accidents, including a forced landing by a US Airways plane in the Hudson River due to engine shut-off by bird ingestion, and an runway over-run and crash landing by an American Airlines plane in bad weather in Jamaica.

Flight Safety Foundation chief executive Bill Voss said that it wasn’t a very flattering year for aviation safety because so much could easily have been so much worse.

A global trend also shows that there have been a steady stream of accidents since 2005 in which pilots lost control of mechanically well-functioning aircraft due a computer problem or pilot confusion over automated flight-control systems.

The period has also witnessed an average of 30 major runway over-run accidents a year due to inaccurate information relay to air crews resulting in poor landing decisions.

“It reminds us that we haven’t really gotten the serious issue of human error out of the system,” Voss said.

A redemptive feature according to Voss has been the increased survivability of accidents due to improved airframe design, and features such as stronger seats and more fire-resistant materials.