As anyone who has flown on a non-U.S. airline can tell you, aviation in other countries is quite different. Oversight of air safety is sometimes questionable; some airlines have had repeated crashes over the years as the demand for air travel in their respective countries has grown exponentially. One recent airplane accident in Indonesia might confirm the notion of questionable safety.
People who take a commercial airline flight have certain expectations of the flight crew: primarily that they will be at the top of their game when they are working. This includes -- but certainly is not limited to -- the pilot using alcohol or illicit drugs. While such a situation was played out in last year's movie "Flight" starring Denzel Washington as a commercial jet pilot whose quick actions despite having consumed alcohol and cocaine save many passengers, pilot intoxication usually ends in disaster for people on board a plane.
While some people in the U.S. will refuse to travel by air for any reason, the fact of the matter is that the American aviation industry by and large is relatively safe. Accidents and incidents do happen, of course, but such events are relatively rare, especially when compared with the giant amount of air traffic in the country on any given day.
When a commercial airplane goes down overseas, even if it is not a U.S.-based airline and no Americans are on board, is still important to examine because of the possibility that something similar could happen in this country. A recent international plane crash in Kazakhstan is an example of this.
Information can be hard to come by for people in the United States when they find out that a loved one has been involved in an international plane crash. Mexican-American singer Jenni Rivera's Learjet went down in Mexico last month, killing seven people, setting off a scramble to determine what went wrong.