Biggest Airplane Crashes that Forever Changed the Aviation Industry

Aviation accidents do not happen quite a lot. However, when it does, it can sometimes be really tragic. The number of those who got killed can oftentimes outnumber the people that got hurt because of the accident. That is why aircrafts are equipped with the most sophisticated safety systems to help lessen the chance of fatality when an accident happens. But do you know how these high-tech safety equipments were created?

Crashes that Changed the World of Aviation

Even the early aircrafts were already advanced during their launch. However accidents still happened as engineers and aircraft makers have anticipated everything that might happen during a crash. In fact, there were even accidents that proved to be key in the development of aviation. Here are some of the cases and the changes that it has caused in the industry:

TWA Flight 2 and United Airlines Flight 178

TWA Flight 2 and United Airlines Flight 178.

These two aircrafts that collided in the Grand Canyon airspace exposed the weaknesses of existing air traffic control systems then. And so, this has spurred a $250-million upgrade of the air control system in the fifties. This accident also caused the creation of the Federal Aviation Agency in 1958 to oversee air safety. Today, this agency is known as the Federal Aviation Administration.

United Airlines Flight 173.

The plane circled around the airport for an hour as the crew suffered a landing gear problem. Because of the pilot’s lapse in judgment, the plane ran out of fuel and crashed. Because of that, United Airlines changed its procedures for cockpit training, to the Cockpit Resource Management. CRM highlighted the importance of communication and teamwork among crew members. CRM then became an industry standard in no time.


Air Canada Flight 797

Air Canada Flight 797.

Causing 23 deaths out of the 46 aboard, this crash was caused by fire in the lavatory of the DC-9 aircraft. Because of this, lavatories are now equipped with smoke detectors and automatic fire extinguishers. Since then, planes were fitted with more flame-resistance interior materials.

Delta Airlines Flight 191

Delta Airlines Flight 191.

The Lockheed L-1011 was struck by a lightning from a thunderstorm in the area. This caused a microburst and left the plane sinking rapidly. It crashed a mile short from the runway, killing 134 of the 163 aboard. Because of this, the NASA and FAA made a research that led to the development of on-board forward-looking radar wind-shear detectors, which became a standard equipment on airlines since the mid-90s.


Aeromexico Flight 498

Aeromexico Flight 498.

Small private planes weren’t really that good in detecting small planes. As a result one small plane collided with an Aeromexico DC-9 approaching the runway. The DC-9’s left horizontal stabilizer was clipped and both planes instantaneously crashed. This paved the way for the mandatory usage of transponders for small aircrafts. Airliners are then also required to be equipped with TCAS II collision-avoidance systems, a tool that can detect small, transponder-equipped aircrafts and advices the pilots what they should do.

Aloha Airlines Flight 243

Aloha Airlines Flight 243.

This Boeing 737 had a portion of its fuselage blown off. Thank heavens that it was still able to land safely. This paved the way for the tighter inspection of high-use and high-cycle aircrafts through the National Aging Aircraft Research program in 1991.

US Air Flight 427

US Air Flight 427.

A jammed valve in the rudder control system of the Boeing 737 caused the rudder to reverse, making the plane roll to the left and plunge to the ground. All 132 people on board the plane died. This caused Boeing to retrofit all 2,800 737s around the globe. Moreover, the Congress passed the Aviation Disaster Family Assistance Act.

ValuJet Flight 592

ValuJet Flight 592.

While anti-cabin-fire measures were done to prevent incidents of fire in an aircraft, little was done to protect passenger jets’ cargo area. The result, a cargo fire that caused the plane to crash. This led to the FAA’s order of mandatory installing smoke detectors and automatic fire extinguisher in all commercial airlines.

TWA Flight 800

TWA Flight 800.

The plane unexplainably and suddenly burst up in midair. That killed all of the 230 on board. Investigators suspected faulty wiring and so, the FAA mandated changes to the plane’s wiring, to prevent sparks. Boeing for its part developed a fuel-inerting system to prevent explosions from happening.

Swissair Flight 111

Swissair Flight 111.

Fire quickly spread because of the problem in the plane’s in-flight entertainment network. The highly combustible Mylar got burned and the flame engulfed the plane. Because of this, the FAA ordered the replacement of the Mylar insulation with fire-resistant materials.
The government and its various agencies are doing whatever they can to help ensure that these accidents would never happen again. With the help of an attorney for aviation accident is Los Angeles you will get the right compensation as payment for the hurt and suffering your loss. While none of these could ever bring back the life of that one person you love and lost, doing something about their passing and never letting their death go in vain is the least thing that you can do for yourself and them.