News Ticker

Causes of Aircraft Accidents

By: Camiron Czarny, Staff Writer

Photo by: Summer McGrogan

The past year has been filled with major aircraft accidents.There has been 14 aircraft accidents globally this year. On average, more than eight million people fly per day. In 2014 the total number of passengers that flew was 3.3 billion.


Most of the airplanes crash because of technical difficulties. On Nov. 4, a cargo plane that took off from Juba Airport in Sudan had difficulty gaining altitude and crashed into a hill about east of the runway. 41 of the 43 passengers died.

 

“I think airplanes for the most part are safe… there are commercial flights that go down and make the news but those rarely happen whereas it’s the smaller planes that usually crash,” said Delaney Clarke, junior.

Extreme weather can serve as a risk to aircrafts and passengers.

“A lot of the time though plane crashes happen because of unexpected weather or unavoidable situations and that’s just sadly unfortunate,” said Elly Hudson, junior.

On Nov. 10, a business jet hit a telephone wire and then crashed into an embankment in Akron, Ohio. The plane was trying to land in cloudy and rainy conditions. Both pilots and all seven of the passengers died.

 

The causes of an accident that retains the highest death told of any airplane accidents on Canadian soil are attributed to both weather and technical difficulties. On the morning of Dec. 12, 1985, an airplane which operated as an international charter flight carried U.S. troops from Cairo, Egypt, to their home base in Fort Campbell,  Kentucky. A little bit after takeoff from Gander, the aircraft crashed and burned about half a mile from the runway. The crash killed all 248 passengers and 8 crew members on board. The accident was investigated by the Canadian Aviation Safety Board (CASB), which determined that the cause of the crash was the aircraft’s unexpectedly high drag and reduced lift condition, most likely due to ice contamination on the wings’, as well as underestimated onboard weight.

 

However, crashes are not always caused by a malfunction. Terrorists can induce aircraft crashes as well. On Oct. 31, approximately 25 minutes after taking off from Sharem el Sheikh airport, radar contact was lost. The remains of the plane was found near Hasna, Egypt. The aircraft was flying at about 30,000 feet when contact was lost. This is the 27th worst accident in flight history. The aircraft was brought down by a homemade explosive device.

Even though there have been many crashes this year, the chance of someone being in a aircraft crash is one is seven million.