Real Answers from Real Pilots

Recent plane crash

(Emanuel Magallanes) #1

Hello everyone,

With recent news about the Ethiopian plane crash in Africa, I wonder does it ever worry you guys about the safety about some of these planes? What do you guys do to maybe not think about them? Do you guys feel confident in the planes you fly on a week to week basis. I know plane crashes are rare but it is something I think about when planning on being a future pilot, just wanted to know what some of you guys do to help maybe overcome those thoughts… Thanks

#2

Emanuel,

Honestly, it does not bother me one bit. The instances of airplane crashes are so few and far between, particularly in the US, that it really is not a concern. Air travel is by far safer than driving and I certainly do not hesitate to drive anywhere.

Chris

1 Like
(James Miller) #3

Emanuel,
I’m sure the mentors will probably have some better advice for you in a bit, but your post caught my eye and I thought I would let you know my thoughts. Most pilots are very aware of the fact that flying can be quite dangerous if you are not properly trained and/or if an airplane is not airworthy. This is why there is so much emphasis placed on safety. Someone correct me if I’m wrong, but I think it’s been almost 10 years since a US airline has lost an airplane. (Colgan flight 3407 on Feb 12th 2009) That’s over 10 years ago!!
(There have been some accidents involving cargo planes in recent years. Atlas Air 3591 in Anahuac, Texas and UPS 1354 in Birmingham ,Alabama come to mind).
Despite these accidents, commercial aviation is safer today than it has ever been. If you’re still worried, just think about this fact… you could have been on every single flight operated by a US carrier in the last 10 years and you would be just fine!! That’s almost 100 million flights!!! (source; Bloomberg)
(With the exception of Jennifer Riordan on the Southwest flight where a CFM 56 failed spectacularly)
Obviously you will have to make it to the airlines in planes and operations that are not part 121.
I will be honest with you, very recently a well known local pilot crashed and burned just a few miles from my house and I have struggled some of the same worries you have shared. This is why your post caught my eye.
I have continued with my flight training and still enjoy flying but it was a reminder to me that to be be a safe pilot you must always be vigilant in maintaining proficiency. Also two things that I would stress to all pilots…ALWAYS check your airspeed before making turns in the pattern and don’t let the airplane get ahead of you. You can almost always give yourself some time to get things figured out. Know your limitations. Sorry I could go on forever… one more thing and then I’ll shut up. I find it interesting that people will jump into a car without a thought, even though more than 37,000 people died in car accidents in 2017! However if an airplane goes down everyone likes to remind me how dangerous it is to fly… any thoughts anyone???
Hope this helps Emanuel! Don’t worry, once you start flying more you’ll get comfortable in the air. I know I did!!

1 Like
#4

Emanuel,

While aviation crashes are rare they’re always tragic and always get much media attention. What I don’t think you understand is HOW rare they really are. While again the 150+ people who died in the crash is a tragedy, there are literally millions flying every day. Trust me you have better things to worry about.

Adam

(Tory) #5

Emanuel,

I’m still learning about these crashes and so is everyone else. Though there is speculation, I dare say anything about the cause until we have all the facts.

I focus on my job when I’m flying. I am aware of the recent crashes, but they just don’t affect me as much as you might think. I don’t suddenly lose trust in the aircraft that I’m flying or the training that I’ve received or myself for that matter just because another airplane crashes.

Tory

( Madeline Hightower) #6

Emanuel,
I agree with the above posts, you have bigger things to worry about! My father has been a pilot his whole life and when folks ask him if he worries about accidents in the air he answers with " I worry more about passing someone on the highway doing 75 MPH when they are only feet from me doing the same speed coming towards me."

(Zachary Porter) #7

Yeah I personally feel much safer flying a plane than I do driving to ATP haha

2 Likes
(Robert P.) #8

What I want to know is, what is the exact problem with these planes to cause two similar crashes? It seems to be the same issue in both crashes. Something along the lines of safety systems/autopilot/flight control. Maybe a professional can weigh in on this…

#9

Robert,

As an aviation professionals, something we have all learned is to not jump to conclusions and start coming up with theories before the facts are known. The respective governments will investigate the black box recordings and come up with the most likely scenario to what happened. This will likely take months. Until them, any theories are really just wild guesses/

Chris

(Tory) #10

Robert,

I agree with Chris. It’s too soon.

It’s not just us that think this way either. I just received an email from my company with an attached document. The document is a Q&A in regards to the recent accidents. The second Q&A is, Q: “Why do you think the Ethiopian Airline’s plane crashed? A: This is an ongoing investigation and it would not be appropriate for me to speculate.”

Tory

(Robert P.) #11

I agree, speculation is bad. I did see that Boeing has said a software patch is coming by April. I think that’s pretty big. Things aren’t looking good for them if that’s case, imo.

#12

Robert,

I think it’s safe to say many people would like to know what the exact problem is?

As the others have said, too soon to tell.

Adam

#13

Software changes come all the time. Aircraft manufacturers are constantly looking for ways to improve their products.

(Jordan Lascomb) #14

A very objective and well-written article.

1 Like
(Robert P.) #15

Great article @JLascomb

If I had to bet on pilot error or faulty Boeing systems, I’d be shorting BA stock right now.

#16

And you would be jumping to conclusions. Read about the case of TWA flight 260. It took ten years, but the feds eventually realized that their conclusions were wrong and changed the official reason for the crash.

(Robert P.) #17

More of an educated guess. 10 years seems too long.