Commercial air travel safer than ever


Final week, the nation marked the sixtieth anniversary of the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, a tragedy that wounded the nationwide psyche the best way Pearl Harbor did 22 years earlier than and 9/11 did nearly 4 a long time later.

Simply two weeks after Kennedy’s dying, tragedy visited extra Individuals, although its sixtieth anniversary will in all probability not be broadly famous. It was on Dec. 8, 1963, {that a} Pan Am flight touring from Baltimore to Philadelphia crashed in Elkton, Md., after being hit by lightning. All 81 folks onboard have been killed.

What’s placing to appreciate from this vantage level is {that a} crash of a industrial airliner again in these days was not an unusual incidence. The yr earlier than, an American Airways flight touring from New York to Los Angeles crashed into Jamaica Bay, N.Y., as a consequence of a rudder malfunction. Within the months after the crash in Maryland, one other jet crashed in Louisiana, and a aircraft touring to California fell out of the sky after a passenger shot the pilot and first officer. There have been different calamities within the years that adopted, together with a spate of hijackings within the Sixties and Nineteen Seventies.

General, nonetheless, flying was nonetheless moderately secure in these days. In accordance with a research from the Massachusetts Institute of Know-how (MIT), there was 1 passenger dying per 350,000 clients between 1968 and 1977. Fairly good odds, actually.

Quick ahead to immediately. The final industrial airliner to crash in the USA was nearly 15 years in the past, when a commuter jet went down close to Buffalo, N.Y., in February 2009. Within the final 10 years, solely two folks have died on account of accidents on industrial flights in America. Throughout the identical interval, greater than 300,000 folks died in automotive accidents. Your odds of being in a deadly accident on a industrial flight now are 1 in 11 million.

In different phrases, the chance that you’ll make it to your vacation spot in case you journey on a industrial flight is awfully excessive.

Certain, air journey immediately has greater than its share of discomforts and frustrations, from tight seating to extreme costs, and it doesn’t have wherever close to the glamor it as soon as did. You’re extra prone to discover a passenger carrying sweats than a go well with in 2023. However most of us can be prepared to commerce that for the just about iron-clad assure of security.

A lot of the protection we take without any consideration is the results of improved onboard expertise and pilot coaching. The disasters of the previous have additionally offered classes on the design and performance of planes they usually have been upgraded accordingly.

Industrial air journey is a essential a part of American life and our economic system. And whereas it’s solely human to pine for the previous days, significantly as you progress into maturity, there’s little doubt that America is having its greatest days within the sky proper now.



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