Aviation Incidents Increase, Aircraft Still Safest

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Lately, there’s been quite a buzz about aviation incidents worldwide. It all kicked off in January when the door cover of a Boeing 737 MAX 9 flown by Alaska Airlines decided to pop mid-flight.

And the drama just keeps coming. Just the other day, a wheel went rogue on a United Airlines jet during takeoff from San Francisco. Then there was that incident where flames decided to make an appearance from a United flight engine as it bid farewell to Houston, Texas.

Oh, and let’s not forget about another United plane doing a little off-road excursion in Houston during its landing attempt. And most recently, a Boeing 787 Dreamliner from Latam Airlines had a sudden drop in altitude, shaking up quite a few passengers heading to Auckland, New Zealand.

Now, it’s natural to feel a bit jittery about all this, but hold up. According to Daniel, who used to captain Boeing 737s and now teaches at the University of North Dakota, the stats from the US Federal Aviation Administration and other bigwigs in the industry show that flying commercial is still super safe, and it’s only gotten safer over the past couple of decades.

“Numbers don’t lie. Every day, millions of flights take off and land without a hitch,” he says, as quoted by Wired.

Sure, when it comes to accidents, flying is a way safer bet compared to hitting the road.

But here’s the deal: just ’cause flying’s been pretty darn safe historically doesn’t mean we can kick back and relax. The Flight Safety Foundation’s 2023 report raised some red flags, suggesting that airlines, manufacturers, and the whole aviation gang might be slacking on their safety culture, which could lead to some serious mess-ups.

Shahidi, the head honcho at the Flight Safety Foundation, keeps his eyes peeled for runway shenanigans – you know, when planes, vehicles, or folks end up where they shouldn’t during takeoff or landing, making a crash more likely.

“In 2023, we spotted a bunch of these slip-ups in the US, but thankfully, they didn’t end in disaster,” he notes.

The New York Times spilled the beans in August with an FAA report, revealing that near-misses like these happen quite frequently – several times a week, in fact. “It’s a bit concerning, but it’s definitely something safety buffs need to take seriously,” adds Shahidi.

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