A deranged pilot flying a plane straight into a mountain. A trigger happy nervous officer firing a missile into an airliner. Neither has anything to do with flight safety in the context and purpose of this blog. Tragedies like that will most likely not happen again, and if they do, there is not much you can do to avoid them. Screen pilots better and stay away from war zones, one might suggest, but there is still no 100% safety. The almost 100% safety achieved in the nuclear plant industry is possible mainly because it is not subject to the fierce competition airlines and aircraft manufacturers have to contend with. If something is found to increase safety even further in a nuclear plant, funds are available.
Since the deregulation several decades ago and the dawn of budget carriers, money not only talks in the airline industry. It screams, rather, and cost-cutting follows. The consequences has been the bulk of many previous articles. The Boeing debacle can quite simply be traced to the need for faster and cheaper production. This has also been discussed in previous articles, and the necessary remedy will be costly beyond belief in both money, prestige and job positions. To add insult to injury, FAA, who has totally neglected its general supervising duty, is now planning a multimillion dollar fine for Boeings malpractice is some other area than the MCAS.
The aircraft shot down west of Teheran did of course not have a chance. It is believed that a similar missile was used that brought down the Malaysian Boeing over Ukraine. It is supposed to target the nose of the plane, explode outside and send shrapnel through the skin of the fuselage and kill people inside instantly. The voice recorder will tell a horrid tale. Total silence from the pilots is likely.
Again, a lot of other things can be done to increase safety in the air and on the ground. And again over again, flying has never been safer. Should someone still worry, it might help to put things into perspective. The people lost on average during one whole year worldwide in fatal airline crashes equals people killed on the roads worldwide during – 1,5 hours.