Did you already hear about the plane crash that happened a few days ago in Bayonne, New Jersey? Seeing how the plane crashed right in the middle of a small city might be one of the scariest things to ever witness. Fortunately, there were no victims and the pilot managed to steer the plane to a spot where there were no people. The city of Bayonne avoided a massive tragedy, to say the least. Oddly enough, this incident will forever go down as one of the most ‘fortunate’ event in history, because there were no deaths.
But do you ever get that uncomfortable feeling that your plane is going to crash and you’ll end up dead at the bottom of a freezing ocean? I get this thought almost every time I board a plane, even though I realize planes are one of the safest modes of transportation in the world.
When a plane does crash, the casualties are just way too disturbing. Hundreds of people can die in an instance just because of one wobbly screw or a simple misjudgment made by the pilot. Sadly, this happens from time to time. If you have a flight in the near future, I strongly recommend skipping this article. This is because we’re looking at the most horrific plane crashes in the history of the world.
15. The Death Of The Polish President
On April 10, 2010, the world witnessed one of the most horrific tragedies in the 21st century. A Tupolev Tu-154 aircraft near the city of Smolensk, Russia crashed. 96 people were killed including the President of Poland Lech Kaczynski. Others who perished included the President’s wife, the former President Ryszard Kaczorowski, many important Polish military officials, 18 members of the Polish Parliament, and the President of the National Bank of Poland.
This tragedy will be remembered as one of the greatest catastrophes for Poland, and it’s hard to imagine how this nation dealt with losing their leader.
Ironically, the President was flying to Smolensk to attend an event that marked the anniversary of the massacre that took place in Smolensk during the WWII. There are many conspiracy theories, and people believe this plane crash was no accident, rather than a political assassination, executed by Russia. The official version remains that half of the Polish government died because the pilot made a silly mistake.
14. LaMia Flight 2933 – The Death Of A Brazilian football
This is one of the most recent plane crashes. On November 28, 2016, a plane with the entire Brazilian Chapecoense football team tried to land in Medellin, Colombia where the team had to play their first match against a local team. Unfortunately, the plane never reached the destination. 71 people out of 77 have died on the spot when the plane crashed. Only one crew member, three players, and two other passengers survived this horrible accident. This crash might be the biggest tragedy in the history of soccer. Several soccer legends came from all over the world to pay their respects to the family of the victims. LaMia Flight 2933 crashed because some of the crew were utterly careless and skipped some mandatory safety checks.
13. Deadly Pilot Suicide
Germanwings Flight 9525 is regarded as one of the saddest events in history. On March 24, 2014, the co-pilot of the flight, Andreas Lubitz, locked himself inside the pilot’s cabin and sent the plane straight into the side of a mountain in the alps. This is how he committed suicide, but at the same time, he murdered 149 people who were onboard the aircraft. Apparently, Andreas was suffering from a very severe case of depression, and he was treated for having suicidal thoughts six years before the tragic event. Even though his psychiatrist claimed Andreas had fully recovered from his depression, this event still occurred.
This man should not have been anywhere near the cockpit and should’ve had his pilot’s license revoked. After his suicide, a lot of countries passed new regulations, which now requires at least two authorized personnel in the cockpit at all times. It makes a lot of sense, but the saddest thing is that we had to lose 150 people for these laws to be implemented.
12. Collision Of Two Boeing 747 Planes
583 people died on March 27, 1977, when two Boeing 747 planes crashed into each other at the airport in Tenerife, Spain. It’s regarded as one of the deadliest accidents in the history of aviation. The reason for this tragedy was a simple miscommunication. After Spanish separatists planted a bomb in the nearby airport of Gran Canaria (also a part of Spain), all the planes were routed to the closest airport in Tenerife. Sadly, it only had one runway and one taxiway. As we know now, Tenerife airport could not handle all the traffic, and it caused the collision of KLM Boeing 747 and Pan Am Boeing 747. 248 people on the first aircraft died in the accident. The second aircraft was even bigger… 335 people from the Pan Am Boeing 747 died that day, and only 61 survived. This catastrophe is a reminder why we need staff at all airports to be properly trained — especially when it comes to air traffic control.
11. Deadliest Accident Involving DC-10
Turkish Airlines Flight 981 never reached its destination. All 346 people were killed after the plane crashed in the Ermenonville forest in France. It is widely known as Ermenonville air disaster, and in 1974 it was the deadliest accident in the history of aviation. Today, it is still the fourth-deadliest air catastrophe in the world. Could this tragedy have been avoided? Easily. At that time, DC-10s cargo doors did not latch correctly. It was a known and unfixed issue, so all the ramp workers had to make sure to close the cargo doors manually. Sadly, one French ramp worker had problems reading in either English or Turkish, and failed to close the cargo doors correctly. The open cargo doors caused an explosive decompression while the plane was in the air and the rest is history. Of course, after the accident, all the latching systems were upgraded.
9/11 is considered to be one of the most horrific tragedies of the 21st century. So many innocent people died. Conspiracy theories continue to surround this tragic event, but we are completely certain of one thing — two planes crashed into the world trade center, and 2700 people died. I cannot imagine how hard it must have been to be a passenger on a hijacked plane. All the passengers of American Airlines Flight 11 and United Airlines Flight 175 were killed in the crash. This tragedy was the reason why the U.S. and the rest of the world implemented high-level security checks in all International airports.
9. Mid-Air Collision Because Of Language Barriers
The Charkhi Dadri mid-air collision occurred in 1996 in New Dehli, India when a Saudi Arabian Airlines Boeing 747-100B crashed into a Kazakhstan Airlines Ilyushin II-76 because the pilots couldn’t communicate with each other in English. Both planes were flying on the same route but in different directions, and they failed to communicate with each other. This misunderstanding was the reason why 349 people had to die that day. Till this day it remains the deadliest mid-air collision in the history of aviation. Also, it is the biggest aviation accident to occur in India. That is a good reminder to all of us that communication is one of the most important elements to avoid tragedies.
8. Japan Airlines Flight 123
Japan Airlines Flight 123 was a domestic flight from Tokyo to Osaka in 1985. Everything was going according to the plan until the Boeing 747SR suffered an explosive decompression due to a faulty repair. I can only imagine how that mechanic must have felt after finding out he was partially responsible for the death of 520 people. Yup, it is always important to flawlessly do whatever you do, because even the slightest mistake can be deadly. The plane continued to fly for another 32 minutes after the decompression explosion, meaning the passengers sensed that a crash was inevitable.
7. Deadly Terror Attack
Air India Flight 182 was en route from Canada to New Delhi when a terror attack downed the plane. In 1985, members of the Sikh militant group Babbar Khalsa bombed the plane and killed all of the 329 innocent passengers. The attack was against India’s government, which had just carried out an operation against the Sikh militant group. Sadly, civilians had to pay the price. 268 Canadian, 27 British, and 24 Indian citizens were killed. The only person who was charged for the attack was Inderjit Singh Reyat, who pleaded guilty to manslaughter. In 2003, Inderjit was sentenced to spend 15 years in jail for constructing the bombs which were used to explode the plane. Yes, it took 18 years for this man to face his punishment. Many others were arrested and tried as well, but there were not enough evidence to hold them accountable.
6. Turkish Airlines
Turkish Airlines has a bad reputation for being one of the deadliest flight operators in the world. Sadly, they once again proved their name at the beginning of 2017. On January 16, a Boeing 747-412F crashed in Kyrgyzstan, killing all four crew members and 35 people on the ground. This crash might not be the highest in casualties, but it is still one of the more horrific ones. It shows us that even when safely walking on the ground, we are not actually safe from being killed by a plane. Oh yes, a plane can crash right into your house at any time, and that is quite disturbing to think about. This particular crash is still under investigation, but one thing is for sure — no investigation in the world will bring those dead people back to life.
5. Ice Hockey Team Killed
Are there any fans of ice hockey here? Well, this one might be too hard to handle. In 2011, the Lokomotiv Yaroslavl professional ice hockey team were flying to a game when their plane crashed. 44 people died and only 1 of the crew members survived this accident. Those who died were the players from the main roster, all the coaches, and four players from the youth team. They were about to start their 2011-2012 KHL season in Minsk, a neighboring country. Sadly the season never started for those guys. It was such a big tragedy in Russia that even President Medvedev went to give his respects to the victims’ families. And like in the most cases, this crash was caused by careless pilots. Actually, the pilots falsified their documents and it turns out they lacked the experience to operate such a complex aircraft.
4. The USAir Flight 427
1994 was the worst year for USAir. In just two months, there were two massive crashes that caused a big crisis in the company. USAir Flight 427 was scheduled to fly from Chicago to Pittsburgh. Sadly, the aircraft crashed right in front of the Pittsburgh International Airport, resulting in the death of all 132 people on the plane. There were no survivors, and at the time it was one of the biggest tragedies in the U.S. This time the plane crashed because of a broken rudder, that triggered Boeing to invest $500 million into fixing all the rudders of their airplanes.
3. A Mid-Air Collision In 1958
I can imagine that planes could easily collide nowadays when thousands of them are taking off each minute. However, in 1958 there were barely any planes in the sky, but TWA Flight 2 and United Airlines Flight 718 still managed to crash into each other. This unfortunate event resulted in 128 deaths. The Federal Aviation Agency started to think more about safety after this collision. So, $250 million was invested into a new air traffic control system which had to ensure that no misunderstandings would ever happen. Obviously, those changes were very useful and have saved many lives and prevented a lot of accidents. So, this tragedy over the Grand Canyon was the reason why people can feel a little bit safer while flying in the U.S.
2. TWA Flight 800 & The Mysterious Crash
230 people were killed due to the explosion of a Boeing 747-100 in 1996. At the time it was a huge mystery as investigators could not find the reason behind the explosion. It took a while to understand the real reason. The plane’s wing fuel had ignited after a short circuit. This tragedy also ignited some changes for new Boeing models. Since 2008, all the newly built planes have a system that injects nitrogen into the fuel tanks. It is pretty hard to understand how everything works, but one thing for sure — Boeing acted to ensure that future explosions like this would not occur.
Some people still believe the plane crashed because the U.S. Navy accidentally launched a missile and took it down. It is pretty hard to believe, but if it is true, I must say that the U.S. Navy did a great job covering this mess.
1. Miracle On The Hudson River
Enough tragic stories. I saved this one so we could end on a high note. On January 15, 2009, an Airbus A320-214 lost all power in the engines, and it seemed that another deadly crash is going to happen. However, pilots Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger and Jeffrey Skiles were not in the mood to die that day. They looked around and realized that the only way to survive was to use the Hudson River as a landing strip.
Of course, the plane crashed pretty hard, and many people had to spend some time in cold water, but everyone survived. 155 people walked away from death that day. This is probably one of the luckiest crashes in the history, and there is even a Hollywood movie called Sully which depicts all the events of that happy day.