Air Disasters

Dec. 18, 2019

Smithsonian’s TV channel regularly reports on Air Disasters of the past. The disasters—they really happened—took place both on and off of airports.

It is fascinating to watch the efforts of NTSB et al as they sift through the remains of wrecked airplanes, and do in-depth research on the pilots, the “black boxes” and audio recordings of pilots’ radio transmissions and receptions.

This program is both intriguing and stressful.

The researchers are unbelievable in detail, thoroughness, and dedication. They not only search for what caused this accident, but they also search for any improvement that can minimize the likelihood that this type accident will ever happen again.

Many of the reported disasters are known to aviation people, but I learn something new each time I watch the Smithsonian’s reportage. For example, we all know about the horrible disaster of 1977 when two Boeing 747s collided on the runway at Los Rodeos Airport on the Spanish island of Tenerife. Resulting in 583 fatalities, this accident was the deadliest in aviation history.

I thought I knew everything about that disaster, but I learned more on the Smithsonian TV report than I had ever known before.

I think we should all support the Smithsonian show—and remind people how much aviation safety has improved because of the in-depth study of what happened.

After all, airline travel is the safest travel in history.

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