Despite the dramatic decrease in the number of flights taking off in 2020 compared to the years before, a disturbing fact emerged soon after. 2020 actually saw more fatalities related to plane crashes than 2019.
While 86 plane crashes occurred in 2019, they resulted in a cumulative 257 deaths. On the other hand, though 40 crashes occurred in 2020, it caused 299 deaths.
What causes plane crashes?
The Guardian takes a look at the trend of increasing deadly plane crashes, as well as the most common reason for crashes occurring. A large chunk of these errors come from pilot-side mistakes that often occur when a pilot is fatigued or intoxicated. Poor training and a lack of experience also factor into these risks.
Mechanical failure makes up 20 percent of commercial airline crashes, too. This accounts for everything from poor repairs to engine failure, and may result from faulty parts or from a mechanic not doing a thorough job. Finally, inclement weather can also cause a plane to crash.
Commercial airlines take preventative measures
Of course, as the number of fatalities rise despite the number of crashes lowering, the amount of attention airlines pay to safety continues to grow. These days, commercial airlines take steps to reduce these risk factors, such as monitoring the time a pilot has in a cockpit to reduce fatigue. Many airlines have also begun to implement additional training to help cut back on pilot error.
Many have high hopes that this trend will continue and that in future years, an even greater reduction in loss of life due to aviation crashes will come to fruition.