Air travel still safe, experts say2019.05.15
THE recent series of major airline accidents that bore heavy casualties have raised concerns about the safety of air travel.
But some aviation experts regard the recent increase in accidents and deaths as a statistical blip, noting that they remain a fraction of the numbers from as recently as the
1990s, and said “aviation is still the safest it’s ever been”.
Advances in aircraft and airport design, better air traffic control and improved pilot training are often cited as factors in reducing accidents.
In the US, no airline passengers were killed in accidents from 2009 until April 2018. Worldwide, there were more than 50 fatal airline accidents a year through the early and
mid-1990s, claiming well over 1,000 lives annually.
Fatalities dropped from 1,844 in 1996 to just 59 in 2017, then rose to 561 last year and 209 already this year.
Nearly half of the airline deaths in 2018 and 2019 occurred during the crashes of two Boeing 737 MAX jets in Indonesia (印尼) and Ethiopia (埃塞俄比亞). An expert said the
incidents did raise concern about safety around automated flight controls, as pilots get “flummoxed” when automation fails.
But beyond the two MAX crashes, safety experts see little immediate connection between other incidents, such as the deadly crash of a Russian (俄羅斯的) plane that caught fire
after an emergency landing in Moscow (莫斯科).
(This article is published on Junior Standard on 15 May 2019)
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