Top 10 Deadliest Air Crash in Last Ten Years


From terrorist attacks to failure of aircraft, air crash has a brief history of centuries. Some of them are heart breaking as well as interesting like Hollywood stories. But some are real blunders of manufacturers or the mistakes committed by airline crews.
This article is dedicated to those people who lost their life in various crashes and for their families especially for the people of my nation India who lost their lives during Mangalore crash.

The worst list starts here…

#10: a) Collision of two flights in Mato Grosso and b) ‘Spanair Flight 5022′

  1. Gol Transportes and Embraer Legacy jet midair collisionCollision of two flights in Mato Grosso: The flights crashed are ‘Gol Transportes Aéreos Flight 1907′ flying from Manaus, Brazil to Rio de Janeiro & ‘Embraer Legacy business jet’ flying from São Paulo to Manaus. The reason for the crash is the failure of Traffic Collision Avoidance System (TCAS) and loss of contact with control room and Embraer jet.
    All passengers on board in Gol flight were died and all passengers in Embraer jet were survived. The deadliest aircraft crash in Brazil till that time cause the death of 154 people on board. The Embraer jet landed successfully while the Gol Flight crashed into dense rainforest.

    On: 29 September 2006

    Fatalities: 154

    Survivors: 7

    Reason for crash: Failure of Traffic Collision Avoidance System (TCAS) and loss of contact with control room

  2. Spanair Flight 5022: The reason for this crash is failure to extend flaps and slats for the takeoff. This crash is the deadliest in 2008. The carelessness of the pilot is another reason for the accident. The accident is happened in Barajas Airport, Madrid, Spain. It is reported that pilot delayed the departure due to a sensor reporting excessive temperature in an air intake. Flight crashed just after the takeoff from runway.

    On: 20 Aug 2008

    Survivors: 18

    Reason for crash: Failure to extend flaps and slats for takeoff

#9: Mangalore crash of Air India Express

Manglaore crash Air India Express burning flight    This 158 people killed crash is the third worst air crash in India’s history. The flight started flying from Dubai International Airport to Mangalore Airport, India carrying 166 people within it including flight crews. The exact reason for the crash is yet to discover. The runway was in a hilly area. After touching the runway, the plane overran and crash down the hill at the end of the runway. The runway is a table top runway which looks like a table built on the top of the hill. This airport is classified as critical airfield which means difficult for takeoff and landing. Only captain is allowed for takeoff and landing in critical airfield. Nine passengers didn’t board the plane; they got their life back without injury or any other loss.

On: 22 May 2010

Fatalities: 154

Survivors: 18

Reason for crash: The exact reason for the crash is yet to discover. But it is assumed that pilot did not reduce the speed for landing which may last as a crash. 
Update: Pilot error is the reason for Mangalore Crash. Read my report: Exact reason for Mangalore Crash

#8: West Caribbean Airways Crash

West Caribbean Airways Crash child cryingThis 160 people killed air crash is due to accumulation of ice in engine. The engine trouble had been reported within 51 minutes after departing. 8 minutes after, it is reported that both engines were malfunctioning and aircraft is uncontrollable. Within seconds, the flight crashed in a mountainous region in Venezuela on the morning of 16 August 2005, killing all 152 passengers and eight crew. The investigators found that engine was not damaged previously and were functioning at the time of impact. The reason for the disaster is accumulation of ice in the engines.

On: 16 Aug 2005


Fatalities: 160

Survivors: 0

Reason for crash: Accumulation of ice in engine

#7: Crash of Caspian Airlines

“I saw the plane when it was just … above the ground. Its wheels were out and there was fire blazing from the lower parts. It seemed the pilot was trying to land, and moments later the plane hit the ground, and broke into pieces that were scattered far and wide”

Caspian Airlines Flight 7908 Crash falling earthA witness said seeing the aircraft crashes. Caspian Airlines Flight 7908 crashed near the village of Jannatabad, Iran, on 15 July 2009. After Iran’s Islamic revolution of 1979, Western nations have left Iran unable to add new planes to its existing fleet of Boeings and other American and European models. Mainly Iran uses Russian built aircraft for their fly. Authorities said that after getting sudden fire on tail, the pilot circled the aircraft, trying for safe landing but did not get a position for it.

On: 15 July 2009

Fatalities: 168

Survivors: No one survived

Reason for crash: Under investigation. It is said that engine failure resulted the loss of control leads the crash.

#6: Pulkovo Airlines Flight 612

Pulkovo Airlines Flight 612 Crash burn flamesWhat if a commercial passenger plane tries to go to space to feel weightlessness? Seems like a joke, right? But this little joke made 170 people killed in their travel from Vityazevo Airport to Pulkovo Airport (St. Petersburg). The main reason for the crash is the aero plane flied through the altitude above which is designed to fly. This cause the aircraft entered in a flat spin, from which it never recovered. At the time of crash weather was very violent. The reason for the crash is suggested as pilot error.

On: 22 Aug 2006

Fatalities: 170

Survivors: No one survived

Reason for crash: Pilot error. Climbing above the maximum altitude than an aircraft can fly

#5: TAM Airlines Flight 3054

TAM Airlines Flight 3054 overshooting runway map    In simple words the crash is due to overpassing the runway. Even though aircraft touched the runway normally, it didn’t slow down as usual. Crossing the far end of the runway at around 90 knots, the aero plane crashed at four-storey TAM Express facility with huge fire killing all people on board. The airplane was travelling between Porto Alegre and São Paulo, Brazil, which crashed upon landing during rain in São Paulo. The investigators from Brazilian Public Safety Ministry concluded that the crash is a mistake by pilot. It is reported that runway had not been properly constructed with grooves to drain away excess rainwater. Investigators blame TAM that they fail to properly train their pilot in case of emergencies.

On: 17 July 2007

Fatalities: 199

Survivors: No one survived

Reason for crash: Pilot error. Overshooting the runway.

#4: China Airlines 611 Crash

China Airlines 611 Crash Taipet to Hongkong map

    The flight was flying from Taoyuan to Hong Kong International Airport. 25 minutes after takeoff the flight disappeared from the radar and crashed in somewhere in ocean. Due to huge crash flight is broken into 4 pieces. After the crash of China Airline Flight 611 articles inside the aircraft were found up to 130 km from the crash site in villages in Taiwan. The flight data recorder reveals the fact that the plane began gaining altitude at a significantly faster rate beyond the plane’s design limit. Investigators suggest that the reason for the crash is due to metal fatigue after a previous incident on 7 Feb 1980. At that incident aircraft suffered damage from a tail strike when landing in Hong Kong.

On: 25 May 2002

Fatalities: 225

Survivors: No one survived

Reason for crash: Flight structural failure due to maintenance error, metal fatigue

#3: Air France Flight 447

Air France Flight 447 Crash airplane recovery

    Even after one year, the exact reason for the crash is unknown. The route of the flight is from Rio de Janeiro-Galeão International Airport to Paris-Charles de Gaulle Airport. It is reported that the aircraft sent a series of electronic messages over a three-minute period. The airplane is crashed into Atlantic Ocean. The reason for this is not yet sorted.

On: 1 June 2009

Fatalities: 228

Survivors: No one survived

Reason for crash: Unknown

#2: American Airlines Flight 587

American Airlines Flight 587 Crash Belle Harbor Newyork top view

    Spreading rumors of terrorist attack all over the world, American Airlines crashed into Belle Harbor neighborhood of Queens in New York City. The flight was on the way from John F. Kennedy International Airport to    Las Américas International Airport, Dominican Republic. There are a lot of factors such as date, place, airline’s name which raised the rumor of terrorist attack. But chances of terrorism were officially ruled out by NTSB. The authorities conclude that the reason for the disaster is the first officer’s overuse of rudder controls. The rudder caused enormous stress which is described as the first officer’s “unnecessary and excessive” rudder inputs. However, this incident is classified as the second most deadly air crash in last decade.

On: 12 Nov 2001

Fatalities: 265

Survivors: No one survived

Reason for crash: Pilot error. Over use of rudder control

#1: 9/11 Attacks

World Trade Center Crash September 11 Statue of Liberty    Not in last deacade, it is the deadliest terror attack in the history of man. At the morning of 11 Sep 2001, 19 al-Qaeda terrorists hijacked four commercial jet airliners. Hijackers crashed two airliners into twin towers of World Trade Centre at first. Third airliner crashed into Pentagon and fourth was targeted United State Capitol but failed due to the attempt of the flight crews and passengers. At an interview Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, a leader of Al-Qaida told that they were initially planned to crash the plane to nuclear power plant but later it was changed by saying at last moment because of fear it could get out of control. 2995 people were killed including 19 hijackers in crash on that day altogether.

On: 11 Sep 2001

Fatalities: 2995

Survivors: No one survived

Reason for crash: Terrorist attack

READ THIS ALSO:

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- who has written 167 posts on Tech and Project.

Shahzad Saeed is a graduate student and founder of this blog TechandProject.com He used to give tips for students who want to participate on international science fairs and student project programs including Google Summer of Code. You can follow Shahzad on @twitter and Facebook

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One Response to “Top 10 Deadliest Air Crash in Last Ten Years”

  1. Christopher Cadiz Says:

    Hello Shahzad,

    The listed for the West Caribbean crash is incorrect. It was not an engine flameout due to ice. The aircraft was overweight and was calculated to have a maximum cruise altitude of 33,000 feet. Due to poor weather in the area, the anti-icing system was switched on. Since this system decreases engine performance, the aircraft should not have exceeded FL319, rather than FL330. Relying on the autopilot to control the step climb to FL330, the captain and FO likely did not notice the KIAS dropoff and nose-up attitude until a deep stall commenced. The captain then responded incorrectly, by pulling back on the stick, which further exacerbated the situation.

    Simply put, it was caused by pilot error due to poor situation awareness and crew resource management.