Air planes-Since the birth of flight, aircraft have crashed, often with serious consequences. This is because of the unforgiving nature of flight, Many early attempts at flight ended in failure when a design raised to a height for a launch would fail to generate enough lift and crash to the ground. Some of the earliest aviation pioneers lost their lives testing aircraft they built.
The Wright Flyer nearly crashed on the day of its historic flight, sustaining some damage when landing. Three days before, on a previous flight attempt, Wilbur Wright overcontrolled the aircraft in pitch and crashed it on takeoff, causing minor damage in the first known case of pilot-induced oscillation.
Approximately 80 percent of all aviation accidents occur shortly before, after, or during takeoff or landing, and are often described as resulting from 'human error'; mid-flight disasters are rare but not entirely unheard of. Among other things, the latter have been caused by bombs, as in the 1988 Lockerbie incident, mid-air collisions such as in the 2002 Überlingen crash and structural failure, as in the 1954 Comet disasters and 1988 Aloha Airlines incident.
An accident survey of 1,843 aircraft accidents from 1950 through 2006 determined the causes to be as follows:
53%: Pilot error
21%: Mechanical failure
8%: Other human error (air traffic controller error, improper loading of aircraft, improper maintenance, fuel contamination, language miscommunication etc.)
6%: Sabotage (bombs, hijackings, shoot-downs)
1%: Other cause
The survey excluded military, private, and charter aircraft.
The March 27, 1977, Tenerife disaster remains the deadliest accident in aviation history with the highest number of airliner passenger fatalities. In this disaster, 583 people died when a KLM Boeing 747 attempted take-off and collided with a taxiing Pan Am 747 at Los Rodeos Airport. Pilot error, communications problems, fog, and airfield congestion (due to a bombing and a second...