In the history of Aviation, there has been a wonderful records which have been remarkable and unforgettable. Some make the Pilots a hero while a few leave heart breaking memories. These incidents often leave traces which cannot be forgotten no matter decades pass away.  Similarly, the year 2014 has seen a few of such tragic events in the history of “World Aviation” which have led to a belief which says “The Year Of Flying Dangerously”.
Since, the March 8 incident of Malaysia Airlines MH370, the downfall had begun for the World Aviation. 
On March 8, a Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777-200ER aircraft enroute from Kuala Lampur to Beijing had lost its radar contact with the Air Traffic Controllers. The aircraft carrying 227 people and 12 crews mysteriously gets away from the eyes of the controllers and till date has no traces of it. In this era of Modern Aviation, where technology overrules possibility, a plane is lost for more than 7 months which ultimately makes Air travel no more a reliable mean of transport.

On June 24, 2014: Pakistan International Airlines (PIA), A310-300, AP-BGN, flight PK756, from Peshawar, Pakistan. The aircraft was on a scheduled international flight from Riyadh, Saudi Arabia to Peshawar, Pakistan, when it was struck by several bullets shortly before landing. Two cabin crew members and one passenger were hit, and the passenger died of her injuries. There were no other injuries among the 10 other crew members nor the 177 other passengers. Do you think terrorism makes your flying SAFE?

On July 17, 2014: Malaysia Airlines, 777-200ER, 9M-MRD, flight MH17, near Grabovo, Ukraine. The aircraft was on a scheduled international flight between Amsterdam, the Netherlands and Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. The aircraft cruised at about 33,000 feet when it experienced a catastrophic in flight breakup by a missile hit. All 283 passengers and 15 crew members were killed.  Do you think conflicts between 2 nations makes your air travel safe?

On July 23, 2014, TransAsia Airways ATR 72-500, B-22810, flight GE222, near Magong, Taiwan crashed making a history again in the World Aviation. The aircraft was on a scheduled domestic flight between Kaohsiung and Magong, Taiwan. The airplane crashed into a residential area near the airport while circling following an attempted landing at Magong, Taiwan, which is on Penghu Island. Of the four crew members and 54 passengers, at least 48 occupants were killed. At least five people on the ground were also injured. There was heavy rain in the area at the time of the crash and possibility of typhoons hitting up the environment and making it worse. Do you think ENVIRONMENTAL ISSUES makes your air travel safer?

The next day on July 24, 2014, Air AlgĂ©rie 
MD83, EC-LTV, flight AH5017, near Gossi, Mali crashes killing everyone onboard. The aircraft was on a scheduled international flight from Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso To Algiers, Algeria. The airplane contacted air traffic control about 50 minutes after takeoff, requesting a course change due to weather conditions. The aircraft crashed in the area of Gossi, Mali. All six crew members and 110 passengers were killed. The aircraft was manufactured in the year 1996 and had been used for probably more than a life cycle of 18 years with no availability of proper maintenance. Do you have the appropriate KNOWLEDGE about the aircraft that you are flying in even though you are a passenger?

Coming to India, an Indian Air Force helicopter flying from Bareilly to Allahabad meets with an air crash near Sitapur, Uttar Pradesh. The aircraft kills all the 7 officers of IAF into burning flames right after the crash. The Dhruv helicopter that crashed today is built indigenously by the state-run Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) in Bangalore. Don’t you think sometimes the WARRIORS OF THE SKY become a part of catastrophe of which no one had ever dreamt?

In a tragic incident, Indian Air Force's new C-130J Super Hercules transport plane crashed - configured for special operations and airborne assault - on Friday crashed near Gwalior, killing all five crew members, including four officers. The incident is shocking since the plane, known as the safest aircraft, has capabilities of landing and taking off even in improvised or short airfields, and without lights. 

On October 14 2014 : Indian Air Force Sukhoi Su30 MKI crashed near Pune while coming in to land at the Pune Air Force Base (Lohegaon Airport) performing a training flight.The Pilots managed to successfully eject themselves out of the crippled aircraft and the aircraft crashed near the Theur village. The aircraft did not have any past records of malfunctioning or technical glitch.Leading IAF's Su30 fleet grounded for inspection.

On December 28 2014 : AirAsia Indonesia Flight QZ8501 Crashes into Java Sea: AirAsia Indonesia regrets to confirm that flight QZ8501 from Surabaya to Singapore has lost contact with air traffic control at 07:24hrs this morning.

The aircraft was an Airbus A320-200 with the registration number PK-AXC.

Src : http://jetphotos.net/viewphoto.php?id=7065019

There were 162 people on board.It remains unclear what caused the plane to plunge into the Java Sea, though bad weather appears to have been a factor, according to a 14-page report released by Indonesia's Meteorology, Climatology and Geophysics Agency.

On December 30 : AirAsia Zest plane carrying 159 people overshot the runway and got stuck in a muddy field Tuesday at an international airport in the central Philippines after landing from Manila in windy weather, there were no reports of injuries.

Another incident on December 30 : Shaheen Air flight crash lands at LahoreA Shaheen Air Boeing 737-4H6, registered AP-BJN, sustained damage in a runway excursion accident at Lahore-Allama Iqbal International Airport (LHE), Pakistan.

Flight NL147 from Karachi (KHI) was carrying 172 passengers and an unknown number of crew members. There were no injuries.
After landing on runway 36L the airplane went to the right off the side of the runway. It came to rest in the grass with a collapsed.

Truth to be told, most air disasters are caused by human error. But in today’s world of modern aviation, you have a better chance of being hit by a car crossing the street than you do of going down on a commercial flight. Your chances of being killed in an air catastrophe are highly unlikely. According to the National Transportation Safety Board, in the event of an air crash, the chances of you surviving, far outnumbers the likelihood of death. The odds are clearly in your favor. Being involved in an aircraft fatality is somewhere around 1 in 11-14 million, depending on which report you believe. The chances of dying in a car accident are 1 in 5,000. The statistics are even higher if you reside in Los Angeles.
Do plane crashes scare people from flying? The answer is no. Barring another 9/11 type catastrophe, whether for business or for pleasure, travelers will continue to travel by air, and flying remains one of the safest ways to travel.
The traveler’s memory is short but yet it is sharp. How many people remember the worst air disaster of all time? On March 27, 1977, off the coast of Africa in Tenerife, over Spain’s Canary Islands, two Boeing 747’s collided in a heavy fog killing 583 passengers or the mid air bomb explosion of an Air India Boeing 747  which was flying back home from Canada?
Air disasters will always be a part of our world, but aviation technology is constantly improving. Every air crash is a new chapter which leads to innovation, motivation and inspiration. Every aircraft has a different story to tell and the Pilot is definitely the author of it. With the improving world economy, air travel is becoming more secured, safe and faster connecting people. Lets pray for no further mishaps and live with peace and friendliness with not a few but all nations of the world.

For Plane Spotters India by Janam Parikh

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