B737

Worried about the latest airline disaster, involving a Boeing 737. No need to worry about that particular aircraft. The B737 is one of the safest aircraft ever. At anyone time more than 2000 B737 are in the air. Every two seconds one B737 is taking off somewhere in the world. The aircraft involved in Mondays accident was furthermore brand new. Should one worry, it would be reasonable to concentrate on the older models, such as the 39 year old plane that in May went up and then down outside Havanna, Cuba, killing 112 passengers. Since the spectacular loss of a section of the roof on a flight between two Hawaiian islands decades ago, regulations regarding maintenance has been boosted, included metal fatigue inspections. What is reasonable to worry about, is wether or not the particular airline one is planning to fly with, is complying with all those regulations, or if they are economically pressed to lower costs wherever they can, a concern among some officials regarding the airline involved in the Cuba crash.

Such concerns are common. In the US, the FAA has a list of airlines/countries not judged to meet certain criteria. It can be found at: http://www.faa.gov/about/initiatives/iasa/media/IASAWS.xlsx                                                              In Europe authorities has banned 114 airlines from 15 countries. Check out: ec.europa.eu/transport/modes/air/safety/air-ban_en                                                                      More interesting reading can be found at the commercial website Airlineratings.com.

The airline, Lion Air, is a low-cost airline, with a pre-crash seven star rating (max possible) with Airlineratings.com. It has now dropped to six stars. There is no need to immediately try to blame the accident on the fact that the operator is a low-cost airline, unless there was a technical malfunction from a previous flight that was not properly corrected. Lion Air, together with all other Indonesian airlines have been cleared from the European black list, after showing safety standard improvement. The reason for the accident will with utmost certainty be revealed, once the flight and voice recorders are retrieved from the comparatively shallow seabed. More on this later.

 

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