Reassurance in Knowledge: 4 Reasons Why Planes Crash, But Risk Much Lower than Traveling in Passenger Vehicle

With so many recent advancements in modern aviation, plane crashes are becoming a rarity. Yet we still may wonder the reasons behind why planes crash.

Reassurance in Knowledge: 4 Reasons Why Planes Crash

Decades ago, around 80 percent of commercial airplane accidents were the result of a mechanical malfunction. Today, the chances of a mechanical error causing a crash are much slimmer due to vast improvements in airplane technology. Other causes have been mitigated as well, as professionals have learned from their mistakes and identified the flaws of past plane models. When aircraft are identified as having a possible design issue or maintenance problem, the aircraft are grounded — as in the case of the Boeing 737 MAX series. Still, potential passengers may want to ease their fears by identifying and understanding some of the reasons why planes crash.

Engine Failures

Engine problems aren’t as rare as some people might think, but these issues don’t necessarily mean the plane is headed towards a crash. Although standard commercial airplanes have two engines, most planes can fly perfectly fine with just one engine for a time. The problem arises when the lack of thrust from the failed engine causes the plane to slowly lose altitude. This can especially become problematic at high altitudes.

Wear and Tear on Parts

Another potential problem a plane can experience is the failure of parts due to age and deterioration. For example, in 1989, a disintegrating fan blade cut off power to the engine of a Belfast-bound flight, ultimately causing the plane to crash. Because of past situations like this, planes now receive maintenance after every flight, and deteriorating parts are replaced before they can malfunction in the air.

Hull Punctures

The hull of the plane also needs regular maintenance. The hull routinely alternates between high-pressure and low-pressure conditions, eventually resulting in metal fatigue. This can lead to hull punctures and overall weakness. Because the hull of a plane is pressure locked to keep passengers from being exposed to the harsh outside elements, hull breaches can quickly lead to a dangerous situation.

Inclement Weather

Airports are always monitoring the weather. If they deem that the weather is too severe for a plane to handle, they will often postpone or even cancel flights to keep their passengers safe. Unfortunately, despite the advancements we’ve had in our weather forecasting technology, the outdoor conditions can still change with little notice.

It’s important to remember that the odds of being in a plane crash are one in 11 million. Statistically speaking, you’re more likely to face injury as a passenger in a car. Knowing the factors that play a role in a plane crash shouldn’t discourage you from wanting to see the world.

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