Flying is one of the most reliable means of transportation to travel to far-off places. For a long time, it was considered the safest mode of transport. But what has changed during these years? Can we still trust the flight companies that wish us a pleasant flight without doubts that it will be so?
- We have flown for more than a century.
The history of commercial flying started about 100 years ago. In 1914, the first aircraft with paying passengers was scheduled. For more than a century, there have been several plane crashes. Despite the changes in the modernization of aviation, some of the old times’ dangers persist.
But the flying experience has definitely changed! There is barely any country without airports, and many flight companies operate between the continents, and several of them offer low price flights.
Let’s go back to history. 1972 was the most tragic year with more than 40 fatal flight accidents. From that time onwards, the ranking is quickly decreasing. Nowadays, the number of crashes persists at about 5 per year. However, the few disastrously looking accidents still terrify us.
- No worries about accidents; think about statistics!
According to Statisticbrain.com, there are 1 in 29.4 million possibilities that a person will be killed in a flight accident. On the other hand, being in this kind of disaster doesn’t mean that you will automatically die. Rather, one out of four people usually survive. The statistic fact that is needed to say is that more than half of plane crashes were caused by total pilot error, the Statisticbrain.com wrote.
- When a holiday island changed to the deadliest plane accident spot in history.
On Sunday, March 27, 1977, on the Island of Tenerife, one of the Canary Islands’ holiday destinations, was undergoing foggy weather. Consequently, a bomb explosion in the Gran Canaria Airport, a Dutch company KLM plane, and a Pan-American Boeing were forced to operate their flight departures from the small airport of Los Rodeos in Tenerife.
Around 5 p.m., the KLM aircraft started to roll on the runway. At the same time, the Pan-Am was waiting to take off. The KLM aircraft passed through the runway and, in the end, received an order to turn 180 degrees and prepare for the final take-off. At that moment, the Boeing of Pan-Am appeared on the same runway, and as a result of bad communication, it stayed there for more than it was predicted, passing its ordered parking exit and moving to the next one. The KLM had already started on the take-off speed, not noticing the second plane moving on the same runway. The planes were pacing towards each other, and as a consequence of the bad weather and poor visibility, they saw each other at the last moment. The Pan-Am crew started to turn the aircraft while the KLM pilot attempted to take off his plane quicker, but it was too late.
They declared the emergency immediately, but the rescuers only found dead bodies. Because of the fog, they noticed just one plane, although, as written, there were two of them. Some of the Pan-Am passengers were still alive when the emergency came, but nobody could see them, and when the fog went away and the salvation group had noticed the American Boeing, just 61 people were alive.
583 people were killed in this accident, provoked by an incredible chain of negative events, working together, causing so many deaths.
- Recent crashes that moved the public opinion.
The flight company Malaysia airlines knows what bad luck is. Two lost planes in the last year are the ranking of this Asian aviation company.
On 8 March 2014, the flight between Kuala Lumpur and Beijing disappeared from all radars somewhere above the South Chines Sea. The control radar lost contact with the aircraft at 01:22 MYT (time in Malaysia). However, it remained for a couple of minutes on the military radar till it disappeared above the Malay Peninsula. There were 12 members of the cabin crew and 227 passengers from 15 nations onboard. The current location of the aircraft, its crew, and passengers is still unknown.
Nevertheless, several theories about what could have happened during flight 370: hijacking not involving the crew are among them. It was proved that two passengers were traveling with stolen European passports onboard. Another theory claims that it could be hijacking involving the crew, most probably the captain of the plane. Other theories talk about technical problems that could have caused the turning off of the plane’s control systems. The world does not miss the opportunity to speculate; hopefully, the time will bring the answers to the families, flight experts, and public.
Few months after the disappearance of the Malaysia Airline aircraft 370, another fatal disaster happened in Ukraine. The flight MH17 was scheduled on 17 July 2014, flying from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur. While traveling above Ukraine, where the conflict between Russia and Ukraine arose, it disappeared from radars. The disaster’s final report said that a Russian missile exploded right above the left side of the cockpit, causing the plane to break up in mid-air, the BBC wrote. There were 283 passengers and 15 crew members on board. The accident was fatal for all of them.
Probably the most shocking news came from the French Alps, where on 24 March 2015, crashed an aircraft of Germanwings, a low-cost company operating under Lufthansa. It was a flight scheduled from Barcelona, Spain, to Düsseldorf, Germany. It is claimed that the accident was motivated by the co-pilot of the plane who decided to commit suicide with 150 people on board. From the “black box,” it is known that the co-pilot locked himself in the cockpit and started descending above the Alps’ massive range. As a consequence of his behavior, several countries decided to change the regulations for cabin crew, and now, there stands a rule of at least two people in the cockpit.
The recent fatal plane crash has been of Metrojet flight 9268, a Russian plane flying from Sharm-el-Sheikh, Egypt, to St. Petersburg, Russia. The accident’s reasons are still unknown; however, the terroristic group ISIS could have been the author. An explosion was reported inside the plane, but unfortunately, the exact reason for the incident is still the main issue to research. There might be several sources of a sudden fire on the board: the engine explosion, the stinger from the ground, or the bomb inside the plane. Recently, experts have assumed the third mentioned as the most probable. 224 people aboard died.
For those, who after reading this article, have decided not to fly anymore, there is only one statement: only one in 5 million people during a plane accident, so during the next flight or while passing turbulences, stay calm and think about statistics. There is a higher possibility of winning a lottery than to be killed during a flight crash. So if you win, fly somewhere!