Because of their size, aviation accidents involving small planes often involve casualties. Sadly, this was an incident that took place in Florida last week. A 53-year-old pilot from Illinois was flying his daughter and her friend on a spring break trip when the plane hit power lines about eight miles from the airport. The pilot was killed in the small plane accident and the two girls were both hurt.
The recent and still-unexplained disappearance of a Malaysian Airlines flight has got a lot of people talking about airplane safety. If the worst-case scenario is true and it turns out that nobody on the flight survived, it would be a major disaster. But while the loss of hundreds of people in one fell swoop is indeed dramatic, it can serve as a reminder that deaths in airplane accidents are relatively rare.
By now, most of our readers in New York and beyond have heard about the disappearance of Malaysia Airlines Flight 370, which lost radar contact over the South China Sea on a flight between Malaysia and Beijing. Aviation experts say that while it is likely that the plane crashed into the water, there are precious few clues to go on so far in the presumed international airline disaster. The plane involved, a Boeing 777, was carrying 239 passengers and crew members when it disappeared.
Several weeks ago, we wrote about the hectic aftermath of an Asiana Airlines jet crash at the San Francisco International Airport in July. A new report had described how firefighters weren't able to communicate with one another effectively, leading to the death of one of the survivors when she was hit by a fire truck. The federal Department of Transportation has underscored the chaos that ensued -- at the airport and for families trying to get information -- by fining the airline $500,000.