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Wednesday, June 19, 2024

The worst blunders made by pilots before a crash revealed – including praying and letting their children play with the controls

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Each time we step onto an aircraft, we entrust our safety to the pilot.

What makes it particularly unsettling is the fact that some of the worst air disasters have been caused from human error.

Tragic instances of past crashes serve as stark reminders of this vulnerability.

Aeroflot Flight 593, 1994

In 1994, during a flight from Moscow to Hong Kong, an Aeroflot relief pilot allowed his children into the cockpit, where they inadvertently disengaged the autopilot, resulting in a fatal crash, claiming 75 lives.

Cockpit recordings revealed the pilot, Mr Kudrinsky, invited his children, Yana, 12, and Eldar, 15, into the cockpit during the night. Despite the autopilot being engaged, the children were permitted to manipulate the controls. Tragically, Eldar’s prolonged manipulation forced the system into manual control. By the time the crew regained control, it was too late to avert disaster.

TransAsia Airways Flight 235, 2015

In February 2015, TransAsia Airways Flight 235 crashed into a highway bridge in Taiwan, claiming 43 lives, after the pilot inadvertently shut down the wrong engine following a loss of power. Departing from Taipei’s Songshan Airport, the aircraft encountered engine trouble shortly after takeoff. The pilot’s error in shutting down the remaining engine caused the plane to veer sharply, leading to the tragic crash into the Keelung River.

Tuninter Flight 1153, 2009

In March 2009, Tuninter Flight 1153 crashed into the Mediterranean Sea after running out of fuel due to a mechanical error. Instead of implementing emergency procedures, the captain was heard praying, contributing to the loss of 16 lives. Both the pilot and co-pilot were sentenced to 10 years in prison for their negligence.

KLM and Pan Am collision, 1977

The deadliest aviation accident in history occurred in March 1977 when KLM Flight 1736 collided with Pan Am Flight 1736 at Tenerife Airport on the Canary Islands due to miscommunication between the KLM crew and Air Traffic Control, resulting in 583 fatalities.

Airblue Flight 202, Islamabad, 2010

In July 2010, Airblue Flight 202 crashed near Islamabad due to the captain’s unprofessional conduct towards the co-pilot, who failed to challenge the captain’s repeated errors. Weather warnings were disregarded, leading to the fatal crash, killing 152.

Air Florida Flight 90, 1982

The pilots of Air Florida Flight 90 made critical errors, including failing to activate the de-icing system and proceeding with takeoff, despite a known power issue during a snowstorm. The plane crashed into the Potomac River, resulting in numerous fatalities. Of the 79 people on board, only five survived, and an additional four people on the ground were struck and killed.

Eastern Air Lines Flight 401, 1972

Distracted by a burnt-out bulb, the pilot and co-pilot of Eastern Airlines Flight 401 inadvertently disengaged the autopilot, leading to a fatal crash into the Florida Everglades, claiming 101 lives.

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