Air transport is undoubtedly the fastest and safest mode of transport in the world today. In the past 5 years, only one fatal plane crash has taken place in the U.S. When you consider the fact that over 30,000 flights take off daily in the U.S., air transport has a very impressive safety track record. It is however important to note that air transport hasn’t always been this safe. Some very serious plane crashes have had to take place over the years for air transport safety to be enhanced. In this article, we will be interested in some of the worst plane crashes that have changed the way planes are made today.
Deadly plane crashes have had to happen over the years for serious flaws in aircraft engineering and operations to be identified. If you are interested in finding out how flying became so safe and reliable, you are in the right place. Below are 10 deadly crashes whose influence triggered serious changes in the way planes are made today. The crashes will be ranked according to factors such as; fatalities, how the crash triggered historic upgrades, the cost of those upgrades, the cost airlines incurred and the cost of investigations among other factors.
10. Nova Scotia: Swissair Flight 111 (Cost of investigation: $39 million)
The crash of Swissair Flight 111 in Nova Scotia which took place on 2nd September 1998 has to be one of the deadliest plane crashes in history given the fact that the crash left all 229 people on board dead. The crash triggered one of the most expensive investigations lasting over 4 years. By the end of the investigations, over $39 million had been spent. The investigators however found out the exact cause the crash i.e. a faulty in-flight entertainment system whose insulation caused arching in the vulnerable kapton wires located above the cockpit. This in turn caused a fire which spread rapidly because of the flammable Mylar insulation in the fuselage. The plane crash triggered an insulation swap-out upgrade in over 700 McDonnell Douglas jets flying around the world at that time.