You’ve probably heard that flying in an airplane is safer than driving a car. Numerous statistical data prove this fact.
Nevertheless, many people are still frightened to board a plane and take every business or leisure trip as a trial. If you are one of them, here is a list of reasons, which will help you feel totally safe at 30000 feet above the ground:
Pilots are Professionals
They do their best to make your flight as smooth as possible, with no or very little turbulence. They are not trained by the companies. A pilot gets his commercial flying license before he applies to an air company. And while applying to a job, all pilots take psychological tests. They are required to be detail-oriented, conservative, and not willing to take any risks. Most pilots finish their careers with no experience of engine failure.
On commercial flights, there are always two pilots, who watch and control each other. Before the flight, they check all the aircraft systems and test all the equipment. A pilot cannot do anything, without agreeing it with another one. Pilots have particular instructions they must follow during the fligh and the safety of the plane, as well as passengers, is the prior importance to the them.
Plane Can Fly with Only One Engine
One jet engine costs around 11 million dollars. Thousands of engineers strive to predict and prevent any reasons, which can make the engine stop. However, even if that happens, modern planes are fully capable of flying with only one engine working. If a plane has three, it will easily fly with two, and four-engine planes have no problem flying with just three.
Even if all engines stop at the same time (which is very unlikely), the plane can still glide for 150 miles, before it falls and hits the ground, because all the control systems will continue to function, as if engines were still working. Lastly, numerous tests of jet engines proved, a flying bird cannot affect the engine work, no matter, what size it is.
Commercial Airlines Watch Their Budget
While astronauts fly into space on a spacecraft equipment from the lowest price bidders, commercial airlines purchase planes and equipment from bidders with highest level of safety, even if it means the highest prices.
Every 4 or 5 years, airlines buy new aircrafts. It is much cheaper, than maintaining and constant repairing of the old vehicles. By the way, this relates to low cost airlines as well, since they are much more concerned about their flights being both cheap and comfortable.
Before an airplane is sold to an air company, it goes through numerous tests. These include wing flexibility test, bird strike test, windshield test, water intake test, temperature and altitude test, minimum velocity test, brake test, lightning strike test, low fuel test, and many other tests for different kinds of emergencies.
Modern equipment does the job
Modern equipment, installed on board of the plane, does its job perfectly. It is capable of solving most problems aircrafts have experienced in the past. Nowadays, planes can land even in the heaviest fog, with zero visibility, due to on-board computers, electronics, and ground proximity warning system (GPWS). Plus, most runways are now equipped with an electronic glide and all pilots are trained to land with zero visibility.
All commercial jets’ flying systems are equipped with a primary, secondary, back-up, and emergency systems, which guarantee the highest level of safety. Traffic and collision avoidance system (TCAS) is a back-up for human air traffic controllers, who monitor and prevent airplanes from colliding with each other. Landing on ice is also safer these days, due to warm water and glycol deicing fluid, used since 1993.
Weather Doesn’t Matter
Due to weather radars, installed on board of every plane nowadays, pilots can avoid thunderstorms, as well as other dangerous weather conditions. Also, even if the lightning strikes the plane, it won’t do any damage to the aircraft or the passengers inside. Since the plane is not on the ground, the lightning will just go through it.
Modern airplanes are built to survive the strongest turbulence and thunderstorms. Did you hear about the Hurricane Hunters? They fly through hurricanes and stay safe. Commercial jets are also designed to fly through thunderstorms. However, it’s illegal for pilots to do so. They cannot come closer, than 20 miles, to the edge of the storm. Of course, even if the accident happens, you’ll stay safe.
Safety Measures against Terrorism are Doubled
Most international airports perform a full search of passengers’ luggage these days. In the US, all luggage for both domestic and international flights is being X-rayed. If some item seems suspicious to the security, an attendant will swipe a cloth over it and then place a cloth on the sniffer. The chemical sniffer analyzes the cloth for the presence of any kind of chemicals, used to create bombs.
After the 9/11 attacks, most commercial airline airports have doubled or even tripled their security measures. Better fences and security patrols prevent strangers from entering the airport premises. Also, after the mentioned events, airline pilots on all jets are now locked in the cockpits and no one can enter there.
Airplanes are Clean
If your fear of flights is not related to an airplane’s possibility of falling down, but to the nasty, germ-filled air inside the closed space of an airplane, calm down. The plane system only uses half of the cabin air for recycling, and it is filtered 20-30 times an hour with HEPA filters, similar to those used in hospitals. The other half of the cabin air is replaced from the aircraft’s air supply system every 2-3 minutes. So, your house or a coffee shop actually have more stuffed air, than an airplane.
Also, the surfaces inside the plane are not any dirtier, than those of your office, taxi, or public transport in your city. If you are really worried about the germs, try avoiding tray tables, lavatory flush buttons, and airport drinking fountains, as they are the germiest spots. Wash your hands as often as you can, use hand sanitizers or cleaning wipes, and stay healthy.
As you see, flying a plane is not as dangerous as most people think. And statistics proves, you have much higher chances of getting into a car accident, than experiencing a plane crash. So, stay safe and travel with pleasure!
Whilst you are driving your car the chances of you having a fatality is a 1 in 114 chance, whilst you are a passenger your chances are 1 in 654. When travelling by train your chances are statistically better, in 2015 749 people died 60 percent of these were a result of trespassing making trains the safest form of land travel. When these statistics are compared to air travel the numbers speak for themselves. In 2014 there were 444 aviation related deaths, when compared to the 848.1 million passengers that year the percentage of a fatality is 0.000052%.
The reason why people are afraid of planes stems from risk perception, plane crashes are always front page news and they are talked about long after. Car crashes are common but not as often talked about for nearly as long. Another reason for the fear is that a car is under your control and many don't like to put their life into the hands of someone they don't know.
Turbulence is not a threat to any airplane and there are no examples in recent decades to say the contrary. The plane you are travelling in is built to withstand several times more than the highest recorded turbulence force and in testing have been shown to flex to 90 degrees. The last known case of turbulence taking down a plane was in 1966 when a pilot took his Boeing 707 near Mt. Fuji in Japan so the passengers could get a better view. To combat turbulence and the anxiousness that comes with it you should loosen you seatbelt and take deep breathes.
In the modern day aircraft are outfitted to withstand lightning strikes, airplanes receive a rigorous set of lightning certification tests to verify the safety of their designs. Most modern aircraft skins consist primarily of aluminium, this conducts electricity very well. By making sure that no gaps exist in this conductive path, the engineer can assure that most of the lightning current will remain on the exterior of the aircraft. The last confirmed civilian plane crash in the U.S. directly attributed to lightning was in 1967, when a bolt caused a catastrophic fuel tank explosion, according to Lightning Technologies. This prompted Engineers to take extreme precautions to ensure that lightning currents cannot cause sparks in any portion of an aircraft's fuel system.