Whenever there is news of a commercial airline crash in another country, it can serve as a reminder as to just how safe American skies are compared with other places. Followers of aviation might know that Russia has had a spotty safety record in recent years, and another international aviation accident will only increase the scrutiny.
No matter who it is, the circumstances are tragic when a small plane crashes and leads to loss of life. The situation may be magnified, however, when the victim is well-known -- or even related to someone who is well-known.
When it comes to things that some of us would never do, jumping out of an airplane in flight is probably near the top of the list. However, that doesn't stop skydivers, for whom free-falling thousands of feet toward the ground is a pleasure, not a punishment.
It would be logical to assume that with all the technology available to us in 2013 that many things that used to be dangerous in past years are now safe to the point of being routine. Car travel, for example, is much safer these days, thanks to fewer drunk drivers and better safety features in automobiles, among other reasons. While some kinds of surgery, such as major organ transplants, used to be experimental and highly risky, they are now commonplace.