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Do you need to worry about objects falling from planes?

In the television show "Dead Like Me," the main character was killed by a toilet seat falling from a commercial airplane. This is certainly a frightening prospect, and you might worry if something similar could happen to you. After all, countless planes fly over New York every day. It might seem only a matter of time until something falls from a plane and lands on someone.

Claims by Air & Space Smithsonian might not do much to reassure you. According to reports, debris falls from aircraft regularly. This occurs so often, in fact, that those in aviation call the phenomenon TFOA, or "things falling off aircraft." One cited example included a fatal airplane accident in Paris, France, in 2000. Reportedly, an engine cowl wear strip detached itself from the plane as it took off, causing the plane to crash shortly afterward.

Aviation safety experts assure the public that it is typically only small parts that fall from planes. Larger pieces are firmly secured to aircraft and usually detach only after a catastrophic crash. Even so, small parts can cause significant damage to property and could be fatal if they land on a person. You might be reassured by the fact that fallen debris hits homes, vehicles and public areas extremely rarely, and it is almost unheard of for a person to be struck by something that has dropped from a plane.

You have a far greater chance of being injured in a car accident or dog attack than you would from being hit by something that has fallen from an airplane, although the possibility may exist, however remotely. With any accident that occurs due to another's negligence, you could be eligible for compensation.

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