Weather Played Big Role in 6 Major Airline Crashes of the Last Decade
There are concerns that the disappearance of AirAsia Flight 8501 could be weather-related, since thunderstorms were topping 50,000 feet at the time of the plane’s disappearance.
In the past decade, there have been six major passenger airline crashes where weather conditions played a big role. Of the six flights, four planes crashed during takeoff or landing.
In two separate incidents in 2005, two planes crashed during landing due to a severe hail storm and bad visibility from a thunderstorm.
This past July, a TransAsia Airways plane crashed in Taiwan, killing dozens during an emergency landing in bad weather.
Two planes – Air France Flight 447 and Pulkovo Flight 612 – crashed in mid-air and most closely resemble what may have happened to AirAsia Flight 8501, which vanished while it was trying to maneuver past a storm in a high attitude.
Pulkovo Flight 612 crashed in eastern Ukraine in 2006. Like the missing AirAsia flight, Pulkovo Flight 612 was cruising at about 35,000 feet when investigators say pilots lost control trying to avert bad weather by climbing over high thunderstorm clouds. Flight 612 hit turbulence, stalled and crashed, killing all 170 people aboard.
Air France Flight 447 crashed over the Atlantic Ocean in 2009, killing 228. Investigators say the speed sensors were clogged with ice, blaming the technical function and inadequately trained pilots.
According to a Boeing safety report, 10 percent of fatal crashes since 2004 occurred when planes were in mid-flight.