Let us face this ugly truth; no matter how much we want to have a peaceful and safe world, and how hard we actually work on achieving this aim, we cannot be entirely through with all the disasters that can take place in any part of the world and at any time. Disasters have a lot of different forms, but here we are referring to the unfortunate accidents and crashes of vehicles, be them cars, motorbikes, ships or airplanes, but the focus is mainly on those flying things. Although we have a lot of different means of transportation, airline travel is usually the most considerate type since it is the fastest as well as the safest mean exists. However, every once in a while, the world witnesses some horrific crashes and hears about dreadful stories of planes which reminds us that life cannot always go the way we wish.
History has had its fair share of aviation catastrophes and we have compiled the ten worst tragedies, according to the toll that each crash took. For some reasons, this news of crashing or destruction of planes usually grabs more attention than those of car accidents and that is probably because airplane crashes do not appear on the news on a daily basis and that makes them shocking. Since the world has witnessed more than a few disastrous air crashes ever since those planes were invented, here is a list of the 10 most terrifying airplane accidents that have ever happened.
10 Korean Airlines Flight 007
Well, this is one of the most disastrous crashes that took place in 1983 by a flight, number 007, sounds like it belonged to James Bond, but the flight actually belonged to the Korean Airlines. The plane was supposedly heading to Seoul as its final destination, but it seems that the pilot was not sober enough to realize that he misused navigation system and that led the plane to deviate from its original route, which was supposed to be toward Seoul, and headed towards the Soviet Union. Ironically, that plane was thought to be a military spy, so it was immediately shot down by a fighter aircraft.
9 American Airlines Flight 191
In 1979, the American Airlines operated a flight, number 191. This crash was extremely surprising because there was not anything to worry about when the time of takeoff was due, but surprisingly once the plane started to fly, the engine fell off the plane, consequently one wing of the plane was destructed, leaving the pilots panicking and trying to take control, but it was actually a bit too late, so the plane crashed into the ground, killing almost 271 of the people who were on board.
8 Tenerife Airport Disaster
This is one of the most famous and disastrous plane accidents of all times, especially that there were two planes actually involved, not only one. The disaster took place in 1977 and the involved planes were KLM Flight 4805 and Pan Am Flight 1736; the two planes were destined to divert their route due to an explosion that took place near the Gran Canaria Airport, so the two planes were obliged to land in a small airport. It was neither the happiest nor the best day for flying since there was a dense fog that made the vision unclear, besides there were a handful of miscommunications. Those reasons resulted in unfortunate fate for those two planes that landed on the same runway at the very same time, consequently, with their extremely high speed, they collided forcefully, sending every single person who was on board of either planes to immediate death. This is considered the deadliest airplanes crash in the history of America up till this moment.
7 Japan Airlines Flight 123
Back in 1985, a plane that was operated by Airlines of Japan, with the Flight number 123, had been destined into one of the most disastrous crashes of all times. The plane already took off leaving Tokyo and began the journey heading to Osaka when suddenly the pressure of the plane was disturbed, throwing the plane into the edges of Mount Takamagahara. Definitely, all of those who were on board have died immediately, making a record of almost 520 fatalities all at once. The Investigation Commission of Japan’s Aircraft Accidents anticipated that the plane that was brutally crushed was already damaged for a lot of years earlier and it had not gone through proper repairing. The crash increased the awareness back then and emphasized on the extreme significance of getting the plane thoroughly checked before taking off to guarantee the safety of the commercial airline.
6 Lauda Air Flight 004
This time the crash took place in the 90’s. In 1991, A plane, with the flight number 004, was supposed to travel all the way from Bangkok and land safely in Vienna, but things had not gone according to the plan, instead, the left wing of the plane was set on fire due to some mechanical failure and, subsequently, the airplane crashed violently, sending everyone to death, leaving not even one survivor.
5 France Airlines Flight 447
Even though the plane might have been thoroughly checked, that did not mean that the pilot would have been ready for all the surprises. In June 2009, a plane operated by France Airlines, with the flight number 447, had taken off from Rio de Janeiro ready to go all the way back to Paris, but surprisingly it was gone completely missing along the way and was not found until about five days later. The reason for the crash was not discovered until the black box was recovered two years after the accident had taken place; the reason actually was an inappropriate response of the pilot to damaged indicators of airspeed that was caused by extremely bad weather conditions.
4 Iran Air Flight 665
Going back to the 80’s, another crash took place in 1988. The crash occurred during the Iran-Iraq war over the Persian Gulf, for it was mistaken to be one of the Iranian aircrafts, so it was instantly shot down by an American fighter aircraft. The whole crash was a big mistake and an accident, however, Iran persisted that it was done on purpose, or else it was due to great irresponsibility from the Americans part, but up till this day, America has not really made an official apology for Iran, and a lot of victims were gone during that crash.
3 Saudi Arabia Airlines Flight 163
In 1980, a plane with the flight number 163 was operated by the Airlines of Saudi Arabia had been prepared to take off from Riyadh, the capital of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Just a few minutes after the plane had already taken off, the pilot received a warning regarding a smoke in the partition of the cargo. Being confused for a few minutes, the pilot had to detour and return back to the airport from which it had just taken off by then. While the plane was landing, the middle engine was forced to be shut down because the fire had grown bigger, however, the airplane had managed to safely land, but not fast enough, so it continued to sprint along the runway, and then the crew could not manage to evacuate the place and a lot of people had been already dead due to the inhalation of the smoke. This tragedy has raised the awareness of the airlines to make sure to improve the procedures of the emergency as well as the training given to the crew, so that they can prevent any further damages or crashes in the future.
2 Turkish Airlines Flight 981
An airplane, with the flight 981, was operated by the Turkish Airlines and was supposed to fly from Paris all the way to London. Unfortunately the plane was filled with a remarkably great number of people. Once the plane was already half way into the borders of France, a silenced explosion had taken place, resulting in a great destruction in the cabin floor that was right above the cargo, consequently, destroying the essential parts of the control panel, however, the pilots managed to take over for a few seconds, but it was not long before the plane had crashed into a forest. The entrance of the cargo that had blown up was found on a nearby ground and, along with it, there was also a part of the cabin as well as a couple of seats on which some of the already dead passengers were held onto.
1 Charkhi Dadri Collision
In India, in 1996, a Kazakhstan Airlines reformed a military plane that was supposed to land at the airport of Delhi. Unfortunately, the crew was not that fluent in English, and they counted on a radio operator that connected them to the Air Traffic Control, and that certainly put them at a great risk for misunderstanding and miscommunication. The plane was supposed to descend to a specific altitude, but the Kazakhstan’s radio operator could not make it clear to the crew, and the pilot kept on descending. At the same, an airplane operated by the Saudi Arabian Airlines had just taken off from the same airport of Delhi. The planes had seen each other a little too late. The tail of the Kazakhstani plane crashed into the wing of the Saudi Arabian one, resulting in a disastrous crash, and sending everyone on board on both planes into immediate death.