It’s been a hard week for travelers and aviation enthusiasts as three aircraft of various sizes have been lost and over 440 people have perished. Two stories that have been developing over the last 36 hours include two planes which most likely crashed due to bad weather. First, Taiwan’s TransAsia Airways ATR-72 crashed yesterday in Taiwan, followed by news this morning that reports an Air Algerie MD-83 vanished from radar 50 minutes after takeoff from Burkina Faso en route to Algiers. This plane has presumably crashed over Mali. Yet details on the Air Algeria flight are even bleaker at this time as there are no confirm reports of wreckage. Then finally, let me not to forget to mention, the disturbing reality of MH17, which was shot down over Eastern Ukraine earlier this week, killing all 298 on board.
The tragic news of three downed planes and over 440 people perished is a sad reality, to have three tragic accidents like this, in such a short period of time, is extremely catastrophic; as it is not normal for planes to just fall from the sky. Planes are more advanced and sophisticated than ever before. As Airline Captain John Cox, who is also chief executive officer of the Washington-based aviation consulting firm Safety Operating Systems, reassures us after the MH17 incident that despite these recent accidents, traveling is still very safe, “In spite of the tragic loss of Malaysian Airlines Flight 17 and the Malaysian Flight 370, it has never been safer to fly…We flew 3.3-billion passengers last year. We had the lowest fatality rate in recorded history.” And although Captain John Cox may be correct in his calculations, more people flying than ever before, the uptick in accident this week not only effect those families who lost love ones, but it further inflicts the fear of flying on people all over the world.
Yet I want to remind everyone of more statistics, this time coming from a graph on Wikipedia. Despite the three disastrous accidents this week, air travel is still the safest way to travel. Flying is MUCH safer than driving, walking, riding a bike, or travel traveling by boat or a bus.
To think, I fly for work and ride a motorcycle while at home as I don’t own a car…
These statistics and quotes from a season airline pilot will never bring back the lost love ones, children, moms, dads, grandparents, and friends that were lost this week. My prayers and thoughts goes out to each individual who has been affected by these accidents.
As someone who flies every week for work, and jets across the world for pleasure, these three accidents hit close to home for me. May we hope that this is the last tragic report of such accidents this year, the families receive the appropriate support they need as they grieve their loses and we return to the world that knows air travel as relatively safe and primarily accident free.