The A320, the aircraft that crashed Tuesday in a mountainous region of southeastern France, has a stellar record -- the single-aisle, twin-engine plane lands every 2 seconds at some place in the world.
Since its debut in 1987, more than 11,000 orders for planes from the A320 family have been made. While known for its efficiency and advanced technology, the A320 aircraft has been involved in 60 incidents -- known as "aviation occurrences" -- that span three decades, resulting in 789 fatalities.
The deadliest accident involving the aircraft occurred on July 17, 2007, when an Airbus A320-233 operated by TAM Linhas Aéreas of Brazil overshot the rain-slicked runway at Sao Paulo's Congonhas airport, crashing into a TAM Express warehouse and exploding on impact -- killing 199 people.
On Dec. 28, 2014, Indonesia AirAsia's Flight QZ8501, an Airbus A320-200, lost contact with air traffic control in bad weather on a flight from the Indonesian city of Surabaya to Singapore. Officials pulled 162 bodies and wreckage from the sea off the coast of Borneo.
Other incidents involving the A320 include a Gulf Air crash on Aug. 23, 2000, near Bahrain International Airport in the Persian Gulf -- killing all 143 people on board -- and an Armavia crash on May 3, 2006, in the Black Sea while en route to Sochi, a coastal resort city in Russia -- killing all 113 aboard.
The Airbus 320 also was involved in what many called a miracle landing on New York's Hudson River on Jan. 15, 2009. A US Airways Airbus 320 bound for Charlotte, N.C., struck a flock of birds during takeoff at New York City's LaGuardia Airport -- disabling both engines. Capt. Chesley Burnett "Sully" Sullenberger quickly determined that the only chance for everyone's survival was to land the plane in the frigid waters of the Hudson River. All 155 on board survived the water landing -- with only one victim suffering two broken legs. Sullenberger, a former fighter pilot for the United States Air Force, was hailed a national hero.
French officials said all 150 people on board an Airbus 320, operated by German carrier Lufthansa's budget airline, Germanwings, were presumed dead when the plane crashed Tuesday morning in the southern French Alps. The plane was 50 minutes into its flight in clear weather from Barcelona to Dusseldorf when it dropped from a cruising altitude of 38,000 feet to around 6,800 feet over the town of Barcelonnette in the Alpes de Haute Provence region, about 65 miles north of Nice.