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Just How Safe Are Airplanes?

June 21st, 2009

airplane-safety.jpgThe safety of airplanes has been questioned since the very first commercial airline was established and started to transport people in the sky. Millions of people suffer from phobias of planes and feel significantly safer being transported by car or train than by air.

The recent disappearance and crash of Air France flight 447 has air safety skeptics questioning whether or not to ever board a plane again. Although numerous expert sources claim that traveling via airplane is significantly safer than traveling by car, the fact remains that just like automobiles, planes have the potential to be dangerous. The evidence that planes are much safer than cars is often not enough to calm the fears of those who want 100% safe transportation. Unfortunately, no transportation is completely safe. Security procedures to board planes have been enhanced but it’s important that those same stringent security precautions are taken to make sure that planes are safe enough to reach their destination.

There are various reasons that a flight could experience problems including bird strikes, cabin fires, design flaws, terrorist attacks, fuel starvation, and rarer reasons such as a pilot suicide. The fate of many planes lies in the hands of the people controlling the aircraft. Most errors on aircraft are human errors, and without the help of computers there would be far more accidents. The good news is that if a flight crashes, there is a possibility an individual could survive. On a plane carrying more than ten passengers a person has a 24% chance of surviving a crash.

There are three industries that are responsible for the safety of airplanes: government regulators, manufacturers, and airlines. The government regulators set the safety standards for planes and it is up to the manufacturers to ensure those standards are met. Airlines are also responsible for making sure that pilots are well trained and the right procedures are taken to ensure flight safety.

It isn’t just large commercial planes that are making people anxious. Small planes worry many as well. People tend to feel more nervous about flying on small planes but small planes are actually much safer than larger commercial airlines. The reason they are safer is that small planes which have lost power have the ability to glide for more than fifteen miles. This gives the pilot enough time to find a good landing spot and put the plane down safely. Passengers on small planes that crash have an 80% chance of surviving. The larger a plane is, the less likely passengers will be able to survive a crash.

Boeing, the largest manufacturer of planes in the world repeats what other experts proclaim: flying is one of the safest modes of transportation. Boeing explained that over three million people fly safely on a day-to-day basis and most airline manufacturers have great safety records. On a safety scale, airplanes are considered the safest, followed by trains, and then automobiles. According to the U.S. National Safety Council, it’s 22 times safer to travel by plane than it is by car. Airplane travel has increased in safety over the years and the number of fatalities that occur has been reduced due to advancements in maintenance. Unfortunately, the number of fatalities that occur because of individual sabotage has been growing.

Most people are worried about the potential mechanical failure of a plane, but more planes are having fatal accidents due to sabotage or hijacking. Passengers can worry less about the engines and more about a potential terrorist in row 18. In recent years planes are becoming more susceptible to being taken down by someone with an explosive device.

Overall, planes will continue to be a major mode of transportation and no mechanical or anthropogenic disasters will ever change this fact. As long as individuals have a desire and a need to move around the world, airplane safety will always be an issue because unfortunately, no plane is ever one hundred percent safe.


HavenEsme is a Constant Content author who has produced five articles and two sales.


2 Responses to “Just How Safe Are Airplanes?”

  1. comment number 1 by: jessie wheeler

    this article is amazing! WOW!!!
    WAY TO GO!!!!!!

  2. comment number 2 by: Sarah Thornton

    Well that DIDN’T help my fear of flying. Thanks a lot.

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