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2 Commercial Airline Accidents This Week 6/17/10


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Hey guys,

If you haven't heard already, there have been a few commercial airline accidents reported recently and i thought i'd share my thoughts on them.

On Tuesday (6/15/10) an Airbus A330 taking off from Boston's Logan Airport had to turn around for an emergency landing due to an engine fire. The Alitalia flight was headed to Italy with ~250 passengers and 50 tons of fuel when one of the passengers noticed flames coming from the left engine. Pilots shut down the damaged engine and were able to turn the plane around with the remaining engine and land safely, only popping two tires due to the weight of a full tank of fuel. No injuries thankfully.


Here's the video report from FOX news:


This is footage of the plane as it landed:


This is the complete recording of tower communications between ground control and pilot as the incident occurred:


Then yesterday (Wednesday 6/16/10) an Embraer 145 jet made a crash landing at Macdonald-Cartier International Airport in Ottawa, Canada after losing traction in heavy rain. The plane by United Airlines was carrying ~30 passengers from Washington D.C. when the incident occurred. Upon landing, the plane lost traction and hydroplaned ~500 feet past the end of the runway onto a grassy field, several feet from a road. The front landing gear and belly of the plane collapsed, causing injuries to the pilot, co-pilot and one passenger.


Here's the video report from CTV News:


There are no official reports as to the causes of these accidents, but pilot error isn't to blame. Some are saying birds may have been the cause of Alitalia's engine fire, and worn out tires a possible cause of the United crash landing.

One can't help but wonder the outcome of these accidents had the circumstances been different. What if the Alitalia engine caught on fire in the middle of the Atlantic v.s. only a few miles away from an airport? I know pilots are trained to fly with only one engine, but it could have been disastrous if this happened several hours away from land. And for the United accident, if the plane was directed to one of the airports smaller runways, things could have gotten a lot worse.

There have been a lot of commercial airline accidents in the past year, and it's really making me afraid of flying. On May 22, a Boeing 737 for Air India carrying 166 passengers crashed upon landing, killing 158. A few weeks earlier on May 12, another Airbus A330 for Afriqiyah Airways crashed upon landing, killing all but one of the 104 passengers. Back on April 13th, a Boeing 737 for Merpati Airlines, again while attempting to land, overshot the runway injuring a few on board.

What are your thoughts about these incidents? Is there anyone else out there who's afraid of flying like i am? I know chances of a plane crash are MUCH lower than chances in a car, but it's still a scary thought...

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Interesting thread, cduluk. I know how you're feeling. I've been raised on airplanes. My dad is a retired air force bomber pilot, my uncle is UPS #1 Senior retired 747 pilot, I've flown with him in both of his restored Sterman open-cockpit bi-planes, and flown them myself. I travel quite a bit with my job now too. And, I can tell you, that I too have a growing fear of flying these days. It's not the take-off, or the flight itself that scares the crap out of me, it's the landing. With soooo much air traffic these days, system is strained pretty badly. With this strain, they've compacted the times between take-offs and landings to like 20 seconds, instead of what we used to have of about 45 seconds. This compacted time is just on the edge of a plane's slipstream to settle in the air. Most of the turbulance you actually feel on a plane these days, is nothing more than disturbed air from a previous plane. Landings are getting hairier and hairier now. I've done one-wheel landings, almost seen the wingtip scrape, and front-wheel-first landings. All nearly gave me a f'n heartattack!

Now, with that said - given all the flights that happen now, and the actual percentage of problems occuring, i'd have to say flying the F U friendly skies has probably never been safer than today. You've more of a chance of getting your ticket punched by driving down to the store for a coke, then flying from Boston to LA in a Cesna. So, I wouldn't worry too much about it. Do like I do...chew the hell out of some Nicorette!!! 4mg - Cinnamon Surge - 190 count - $60 at costco....greatest stuff for us nicotene fans on earth!!! :rolleyes:

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I think too when you look at these incidents, a lot of them are from smaller...foreign airlines...To me the cheapest flight is not always the best flight and I think about that when I book tickets.

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