Is the MD-80 dangerous? The McDonnell Douglas jetliner has been involved in crashes causing 1,1446 deaths since it first flew in 1979. Pretty scary, until you realize it’s competitors the Boeing 737 and the Airbus A320 had crashes involving 4,862 and 1,393 deaths respectively. The 737 first flew in 1966 and the A320 in 1987. Did you know that there is a half-million people in the air at any one time?