Aviation technology has come a long way either for commercial, personal or military purposes. Despite all the advancements accidents can still happen. There have been many airborne accidents occurring in mid-air, crash landings, or anything else in between. That is why it is always crucial to check, reconfigure and finalize everything before letting that piece of machinery soar in the skies. These accidents kill hundreds of lives as well as financial damage. There are numerous reasons behind aviation accidents but the results are not always pleasing. There are those that get to live another day but with all the past accidents, people have become more cautious. We can only attribute to past accidents to make present-day aviation more safe and sound.
1. September 11 Bombings
The September 11 bombing utilized 4 different planes to create such a tragedy. The World Trade Center was the most famous one to take the hit as two U.S. passenger based airplanes were used to strike down the buildings. Granted it can be ruled out as not an accident but the act itself was deemed horrible because it didn’t only kill the passengers but several hundred people on the buildings as well. The planes used to attack the buildings were American Airlines Flight 11 and United Airlines Flight 175.
A lot of people outside the U.S. weren’t aware but two more high jacked airplanes were used to bomb two other sites in the U.S. American Airlines Flight 77 was crashed onto the Pentagon and United Airlines Flight 93 crashed in a field in Pennsylvania but was really targeting the United States Capital. These accidents lead to tighter and stricter security in airports all in America and all around the world.
2. Japanese Airlines Flight 123
The accident took place in August of 1985. The flight was scheduled to depart from the Tokyo International Airport to Osaka International Airport. The plane was modeled to be Boeing 747SR. Just around 15 minutes after takeoff the captain had already requested assistance due to mechanical failure. It only took 30 minutes later for the plane to crash at Mount Takamagahara only 60 miles away from Tokyo. The total count was 505 passengers dead and only 4 survivors. The survivors were made up of the flight attendant, two young girls, and a middle-aged woman.
The accident was caused by 3 different factors where one of them was that the plane had prior tail damage several years back. The other was substandard maintenance inspections and faulty hydraulics system. This tragedy is considered to be the deadliest single aircraft accident in history thus far.
3. Tenerife Airport Accident
The tragedy took place on March 27, 1977, at the North Tenerife Airport. Prior to the accident, a bomb had exploded in the Gran Canaria Airport which is why a lot of the airline flights had to be diverted to Tenerife. There were a lot of airplanes that landed and needed to be on standby as the investigation in Gran Canaria continued on. To make things worse, a thick fog had enveloped the already small Tenerife airport. The signal to open Gran Canaria was given and due to a misunderstanding and lack of adequate materials was when the tragedy occurred. One of the planes namely the KLM Boeing 747-200 attempted to take off from the runway.
Due to the thick fog and poor communication and detection, the second plane a Pan Am Boeing 747-100 was currently on standby on the runway. The two planes collided causing an intense explosion thus killing hundreds of people. The total death toll was the KLM had 335 casualties while the Pan Am had 248.
4. Space Shuttle Challenger Disaster
The tragedy took place in January of 1986 during the height of NASA’s space exploration period. The highlight of this mission dubbed STS-51-L was that one of the local teachers named Christa McAuliffe was chosen to be one of the crew members despite having no experience of being an astronaut. This was a part of President Ronald Reagan’s “Teacher in Space” program. The reason for the disaster was the freezing of the O-Rings which were vital parts of the shuttle’s boosters.
The fact that they were building up with ice was never a good sign hence the mission was delayed for several months. Peer pressure from the top brass also paved in as the experts were forced to launch the mission despite the negative signals. The shuttle exploded just 73 seconds after liftoff killing all 7 members which turned a happy occasion into a gloomy one.
5. The Hindenburg Accident
The Hindenburg was a led zeppelin aircraft popular back in the early 1930s. It was made in Germany and instead of using helium as its inflation source, it relied on hydrogen. The Hindenburg became one of the most popular means of travel back in the day and only the richest could afford to ride on it. The disaster happened during its last flight to America as it made its landing attempt over at Lakehurst back on May 6, 1937.
The strong winds and glooming thunderstorms were already an indication that the landing would be hard. Despite all that, it still attempted to land but with all the hydrogen stored up and the temperature in the exterior rising up, the aircraft exploded and crashed onto the ground killing 36 people, and remains one of history’s most tragic aerial accidents.
Aircraft and aviation accidents are really painful to watch especially if you have a loved one on board that accident. The advancement of technology has prevented any major accident in the last years but it still doesn’t mean that it won’t happen again sometime soon.