Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Surviving a Plane Crash

By now you’ve probably seen NY Times reporter Joe Sharkey on TV or read his story about surviving a mid-air collision and an emergency landing into the Amazon jungle. It would be an understatement to say flying at 37,000’ and colliding with another plane above the Amazon - of all places - is bad luck. In Ohio we’d probably call it piss poor luck.

The 737 that collided with Joe’s plane went down killing 155 people. Joe survived without a scratch. In Ohio we’d call that gosh darn’d good luck. But surviving a plane crash takes a lot less luck than you think.

Most people believe that if they're in a plane crash their time is up. In fact the truth is surprisingly different. In the US alone, between 1983 and 2000, there were 568 plane crashes. Out of the collective 53,487 people onboard, 51,207 survived. The advances in science and technology now mean over 90% of plane crashes have survivors.

I stumbled upon both of these stories on World Hum, one of my favorite blogs (I’ve added a permanent link). WorldHum in their own words: World Hum is dedicated to exploring travel in all its facets: how it changes us, how it changes the way we see the world, and finally, how travel itself is changing the world.


Hal Jordan said...

Oh, come on!! 95.7% of people survived a plane crash in the US between 1983 and 2000. There is no freakin' way! A smaller percentage survive a swift kick in the butt.

Kelsey said...

Hal, I agree. This stat seems a little off. Who are these passengers to survive plane crashes? It's almost as if they were all weilding some kind of ring of power given to them by Abin Sur that could protect them on impact. Can you imagine?

I would like to see a definition of plane crash somewhere in the BBC story. If a plane's landing gear gives out while touching down is that a crash?