A lot of people have a fear of flying, but statistically, it is one of the safest forms of transportation out there. Even so, We did not evolve to soar above the clouds, and doing so can be a terrifying experience for the primitive part of our brain that governs fear.
We just found some video of a plane trying to land under tricky circumstances that will do nothing for your fear of flying. In fact, it may even increase your anxiety just by watching. Still, it is really cool to watch.
This video, shot by a YouTube user named Flug Snug, shows a commercial airplane coming in for a landing on what looks to be a perfectly clear day. However, as the plane starts its final descent onto the landing strip, the pilot starts to lose control as a crosswind blows the plane diagonally across the field. At the last second, the pilot decides to abort the landing and come around for another pass.
The Airbus A321 climbs back into the sky for another attempt at the Birmingham Airport. When it comes back around, we see that the wind is still knocking the plane in every direction but the one the pilot needs.
Still, with expert training and skill, the pilot is able to successfully land the plane, although not without a nail biting few moments as it pitches too and fro on the runway.
While we seem to take a lot of precautions to ensure that terrorists do not seize a plane, by far, the biggest risk factors for airplane accidents are human error on the part of the pilots and weather.
In fact those two factors are far more common in airplane accidents than mechanical problems. And terrorism and sabotage barely even counts when you consider how many flights happen every year.
Between the 1950s and today, pilot error, weather, and mechanical malfunctions make up 82 percent of all air fatalities, with sabotage and terrorism only adding another 9 percent.
However to get some perspective on air travel safety, we need to look at the numbers: Out of the 30 million commercial flights in 2014, there were 21 fatal accidents globally, which means that you had a 0.000007 chance of being onboard any one of those flights, or roughly 1 in 1.43 million. If you are a very frequent flier and you boarded 100 flights last year, your chances were about one in 14,300 that one of those flights would experience a fatality, although not necessarily that you would be one of those fatalities. For a more typical traveler who takes 10 flights a year, that risk declines to about one in 142,000.
To keep that in mind, more than 35,000 people die in automobile accidents in the US alone every year. Another 1.5 million are severely injured or disabled.
So, even though turbulence can be a scary thing, it is really not much more than an aerial speed bump, and thanks to the high level of training of flight crews and modern aircraft design, it really is no cause for concern.
Have you ever experienced turbulence? Share your horror stories with us here.