2014 proves to be a deadliest year for air travel

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Can 2014 be termed as one of the deadliest year for air travel? A series of air crash has dominated the news in the last few weeks which has raised serious questions on the safety of airlines around the world.

Though aviation analysts and safety experts find no common pattern in the series of air crash in the last few weeks, but they feel that flying cannot suddenly be declared unsafe.

In less than five months from now when the Malaysian Airlines jetliner MH 370 disappeared and which till date remains an unsolved international mystery, little was expected that a similar tragedy would struck the airline yet again. Flight MH 17 with 280 passengers and 15 crew members which was shot down near Ukraine-Russia border on July 17 had shell-shocked the whole world bringing the airline into a crisis with two rare aviation disasters.

A series of aviation disaster post MH 370 brings us to our notice that such crashes are likely to increase with growth of the industry.

The mysterious disappearance of Malaysian airlines flight MH 370, shot down flight MH 17, followed by crashing of TransAsia plane on July 23 in which 48 people lost their lives and the latest crash was of Air Algerie flight AH5017 on July 24 with 116 people onboard only adds to the crisis the industry is going through.

Series of air crash in 2014

MH370: Even after expert gave more than a dozen of theories on this missing Malaysian Airlines flight MH 370, it still remains an unsolved international mystery. Some aviation experts even predicted that it would have been shot down in a military training exercise but it remains a bizarre disappearance in the history of aviation industry.

The aircraft, a Boeing 777-200ER, was carrying 12 Malaysian crew members and 227 passengers from 15 nations and lost contact from the air traffic control on March 8, 2014 within an hour of the take off.

The mystery surrounding the disappearance of Malaysian Airlines MH370 became such a big international issue that even US space agency NASA got involved in the search operation. 10 major countries including China, US, Singapore were using a total of 42 ships and 39 aircrafts to search the missing plane in South China sea, Malacca Strait and the Andaman Sea. The Malaysian authorities finally concluded that it got drowned in the Indian Ocean but still they don't have any evidence to prove it.

MH17: Flight MH 17 with 280 passengers and 15 crew members onboard was shot down near Ukraine-Russia border on July 17, 2014 which is another major crash in the aviation history. The tension escalated between Ukraine and Russia with the tragic incident of MH 17.

The tragic incident of MH 17 only concludes that it was shot by Russia-built Buk missile system as shoulder-launched missiles cannot reach an aircraft at a height of 33,000 feet above sea level.

TransAsia flight 222: TransAsia flight crashed on July 23 in Taiwan due to inclement weather in which atleast 48 people died of the 58 onboard.

Air Algerie flight AH5017: The flight carrying 116 people crashed down on July 24 after being struck by lightning.

Algeria plane crash kills 77 in February 2014: A military aircraft carrying 78 people crashed in Algeria's mountainous northeast with just one survivor in February 2014 which was one of the country's deadliest air disasters.

Air disasters come in a cluster

Ukrainian emergency workers dismantle the wreckage at the crash site of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 near the village of Hrabove, eastern Ukraine, Sunday, July 20, 2014. Rebels in eastern Ukraine took control Sunday of the bodies recovered from downed Malaysia Airlines Flight 17, and the U.S. and European leaders demanded that Russian President Vladimir Putin make sure rebels give international investigators full access to the crash site. AP/ PTI

Air disasters come in a cluster

Ukrainian emergency workers dismantle the wreckage at the crash site of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 near the village of Hrabove, eastern Ukraine, Sunday, July 20, 2014. Rebels in eastern Ukraine took control Sunday of the bodies recovered from downed Malaysia Airlines Flight 17, and the U.S. and European leaders demanded that Russian President Vladimir Putin make sure rebels give international investigators full access to the crash site. AP/ PTI

Air disasters come in a cluster

A Malaysian investigator takes a black box from Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 as it is handed over from Donetsk People's Republic officials to Malaysian representatives in the city of Donetsk, eastern Ukraine Tuesday, July 22, 2014. Bowing to international pressure Monday, pro-Moscow separatists released a train packed with bodies and handed over the black boxes from the downed Malaysia Airlines plane, four days after it plunged into rebel-held eastern Ukraine. AP/PTI

Air disasters come in a cluster

People react as they look at flowers placed in front of the Asian Glories restaurant, after a walk to commemorate victims of Flight 17 in Rotterdam, Monday, July 21, 2014. Hundreds of mourners, including famous chefs and the city's mayor Ahmed Aboutaleb, walked in the rain, in the port city of Rotterdam to commemorate a couple Jenny Loh and Popo Fan, who ran a popular Chinese restaurant 'Asian Glories' in the city and were victims in the shooting down of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17. AP/PTI

Air disasters come in a cluster

Smoke rises up at a crash site of a passenger plane Smoke rises up at a crash site of a passenger plane, near the village of Grabovo, Ukraine, Thursday, July 17, 2014. A Ukrainian official said a passenger plane carrying 295 people was shot down Thursday as it flew over the country and plumes of black smoke rose up near a rebel-held village in eastern Ukraine. Malaysia Airlines tweeted that it lost contact with one of its flights as it was traveling from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur over Ukrainian airspace.

Air disasters come in a cluster

A man walks amongst the debris at the crash site A man walks amongst the debris at the crash site of a passenger plane near the village of Hrabove, Ukraine, Thursday, July 17, 2014.

 

 

What aviation experts say? Is there a common pattern?

With series of aviation disaster striking one after another, no doubt the aviation industry has a lot of explanation to make.

"One of the things that makes me feel better when we look at these events is that if they all were the same type event or same root cause then you would say there's a systemic problem here, but each event is unique in its own way," said Jon Beatty, president and CEO of the Flight Safety Foundation.

"They're all tragic, but the global air travel consumer has a very short memory, and it's highly localized to their home markets where they fly," said an aviation analyst.

Also there has been no common pattern observed except in few cases but the airlines should definitely revise their route keeping in mind the tension prone areas.

Flying still considered a safe mode of transportation

"The moment i heard the news of MH17, i was shell-shocked. I personally feel very hesitant to fly Malaysian airlines again because of the crashes in the last few months, I also feel it was bad luck as well as negligence on the airlines part. These series of crashes in the last few weeks is definitely disturbing but at the same time aviation is one of the safest mode of transportation, said Mrityunjay, who is a frequent air traveler.

No doubt the series of air disaster in a very short period of time have disturbed the air travelers but flying is still considered to be a safe mode of transportation than other modes.

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