Flying, the most common type of travelling to a far or even near destination. For a long time it was considered as the safest kind 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 flied for more than a century.
The history of commercial flying started about 100 years ago. In 1914, the first aircraft with paying passenger was scheduled. Since more than a century, there have been numbers of plane crashes. Despite the changes in modernization of aviation, some of the dangers of the old times still persist.
But the flying experience has definitely changed! Right now, there is barely any country without airports, 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 the crashes persists about 5 per year. However, the few disastrously looking accidents still terrify us.
- No worries about accident, think about statistics!
According to the statistics from Statisticbrain.com, there is 1 in 29.4 million possibility 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, there is one person in four who survives. 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 in a history.
On Sunday, March 27, 1977 on the Island of Tenerife, one of the holiday destinations of Canary Islands, was undergoing foggy weather. As a consequence of a bomb explosion in the Gran Canaria Airport, a plane of Dutch company KLM and a Pan-American Boeing were forced to operate their flight departures from the small airport Los Rodeos in Tenerife.
Around 5 o’clock in the afternoon, the KLM aircraft started to roll on the runway. In the same time, the Pan-Am was waiting to take off. The KLM aircraft passed through the runway and in the end received order to turn 180 degree and prepare for the final take off. In that moment, 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 already began for 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 no visibility, they saw each other in 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.
The emergency was declared immediately, but the rescuers found just dead bodies. Because of the fog, they noticed just one plane although, as written, there were two of them. Some of the passengers of Pan-Am 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. If only one of them hadn’t happened, probably this tragedy could be avoided.
- Recent crashes that moved the public opinion.
The flight company, Malaysia airlines know what is bad luck. Two lost planes in the last year is the ranking of this Asian aviation company.
8 March 2014, the flight between Kuala Lumpur and Beijing disappeared from all radars somewhere above the South Chines Sea. The control radar lost the contacts with the aircraft at 01:22 MYT (time in Malaysia), however, it still remained for a couple of minutes on the military radar till it disappeared above Malay Peninsula. There were 12 members of cabin crew and 227 passengers from 15 nations on the board. The current location of aircraft, crew and passengers is still unknown.
Nevertheless, there are several theories about what could have happened during the flight 370: hijacking not involving the crew is one of them. It was proved that on the board of the plane there were two passengers travelling with stolen European passports. While, 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 the control systems of the plane. The world does not miss the opportunity to speculate, hopefully the time will bring the answers to the families, as well as to the flight experts and public.
Few months after disappearance of the Malaysia Airline aircraft 370, another fatal disaster happened, in Ukraine in particular. The flight MH17 was scheduled on 17 July 2014, flying from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur. While travelling above Ukraine, where the conflict between Russia and Ukraine arose, it disappeared from radars. The final report of the disaster said that a Russian missile exploded right above the left side of cockpit causing the plane to break-up in mid-air, BBC wrote. There were 283 passengers and 15 crew members on the board. The accident was fatal for all of them.
Probably the most shocking news came from French Alps where on 24 March 2015, crashed an aircraft of Germanwings, low-cost company operating under Lufthansa. It was 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 the board. From the “black box” is known that the co-pilot locked himself in the cockpit and started descending above the Alps’ massive range. As a consequence of his behaviour, 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, Russian plane flying from Sharm-el-Sheikh, Egypt to St. Petersburg, Russia. The reasons of accident are still not known, however, the terroristic group ISIS could have been the author. An explosion was reported inside the plane, but unfortunately the exact reason of 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, the experts have assumed the third mentioned as the most probable. 224 people aboard died.
We went through the historical and recent aviation disasters. For those, who after reading this article decided to not fly anymore, there is only one statement: only one in 5 million dies during a fly accident, so during the next flight or while passing turbulences, stay calm and think about statistics. There is higher possibility to win a lottery than to be killed during a flight crash. So if you win, just fly somewhere!