Plenty of people are nervous about flying in an airplane for one reason or another.
Flying more than 30,000 feet in the air in a metal tube can cause some people to worry about the number of things that can potentially go wrong. Then there are concerns about unpleasant fellow passengers, uncomfortably crowded seating, the health risks that can arise from breathing recirculated air for hours, and hijacking or terrorism.
Worrying that the airplane pilot plans to crash the plane during a routine flight should not be on the list of things air travelers need to worry about. Or should it?
The crash of Germanwings flight 9525 in the French Alps on March 24, 2015 quickly attracted international media attention. The plane went down while flying in clear skies and without the crew indicating any kind of problem before the crash.
Two days after the Germanwings crash, airline and government officials dropped a bombshell with statements that the plane was apparently crashed intentionally by the co-pilot, Andreas Lubitz, after locking the pilot out of the cabin when he left to use the bathroom. Of course, the final report on the cause of this crash will take years to complete, while early efforts to access the crash site are being hampered by the rugged, mountain terrain.
The Germanwings plane crash is not the first that is believed to have occurred because a pilot intentionally crashed the plane. A Mozambique Airlines plane crashed in 2013 after the pilot apparently crashed the plane intentionally in Namibia. The 1999 ocean crash of an EgyptAir plane was also blamed on the pilot intentionally crashing the plane. Meanwhile, speculation continues to swirl over the 2014 disappearance of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370.
Fortunately, even though it has happened at least a few times in the past, it is exceptionally rare for an airplane pilot to willfully crash a plane full of passengers. Air travel remains remarkably safe, with statistics showing it to be safer than any other form of travel, and actually safer than it has been in years past
Is is probably a safe bet that you can trust the airplane pilot on your next vacation or usiness flight. There are, after all, only a handful of serious plane crashes each year out of millions of flights. Just about anything else we do in life is more dangerous than flying in an airplane.