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The Worst Aviation Accidents in History

airplane landingNews of an airplane accident is always big news. Although terrifying and deadly, these accidents draw public attention and interest like no other. Because they don’t happen everyday, airplane accidents are nothing short of fascinating to many.

The following is a list of the five worst aviation accidents in history. Those accidents caused by bombing or terrorism were left off the list. What may be important to note for those already afraid of flying is that most of these accidents occurred in the 1970s and ’80s. Major airline disasters today are much rarer.

1. Iran Illyushin II-76 (2003)

This accident occurred near Kerman, Iran more than a decade ago. Details surrounding the accident are sparse. What is known is that there was heavy fog and high winds on the day of the crash. Adverse weather is considered to be the major factor of this crash that killed 302 people.

2. Turkish Airlines Flight 981 (1974)

This crash was the deadliest of its time, killing 346 people. As the plane traveled over France, there was the sound of an explosion and the cargo hatch blew off. Pilots fought with the plane for over a minute before it crashed into a forest. It was discovered that the cargo door was the issue, causing a dramatic change in pressure within the cabin.

3. Charkhi Dadri (1996)

A midair collision was blamed, in part, on a communication barrier. A Kazakhstan Airlines plane was flying too low because of miscommunication with air traffic control. When the control operators remembered to tell the pilots to fly at 4,600 feet, the pilots began to ascend, setting a course for disaster. The plane ran right into a Saudi Arabian Airlines flight carrying 312 people. Everyone flying on the two planes that day lost their lives.

2. Japan Airlines Flight 123 (1985)

Flight 123 took off during on of the busiest times of Japan’s travel year and was still considered to be packed. Just 12 minutes into the flight, the rudder was torn off and the hydraulic systems were destroyed. Even though the plane crashed near an American base, Japanese authorities asked that the Americans stay away. It wasn’t until next day that officials searched for survivors, finding four. No one is certain how many people may have been saved had the Americans been permitted to search the area immediately following the crash.

1. Tenerife (1977)

There were 61 survivors in this accident and 583 fatalities, making it the worst in history. A series of events caused this accident that many say would never happen again. Crowded air space, a busy airport and an egotistical pilot are all thought to have contributed to this accident that took place on an airport runway. Immediately after it go off of the ground, a KLM plane struck a Pan Am plane. The KLM plane burst into flames and everyone on board was killed. The 61 survivors of this accident were on the Pan Am flight.

If you have been injured in an aviation accident in North Carolina, call our offices. We will provide you with a free initial case evaluation. Call today.

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Posted In: Aviation Accidents
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