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Top 10 Deadliest Pilot Errors in Last Ten Years

It is reported that about 75% of the flight crash all around the world is also due to pilot error. Pilots are given better practices to reduce committing mistake, but still it happens.

This is a list article of deadliest pilot errors happened between 2001 and 2010.

10. Helios Airways Flight 522 Crash

On 14 Aug 2005, Helios Airways Flight 522 was flying from Larnaca International Airport to Athens International Airport. This Boeing 737-300 flight was crashed into mountain and burst into flame. The aircraft was carrying 115 passengers and a crew of 6. Everyone on board was killed at this disaster.

On: 14 Aug 2005

Survivors: 0

Fatalities: 121

Reason for crash: Depressurization resulted in fuel starvation. The core reason for the crash is pilot error

9. S7 Airlines Flight 778 Crash

When landing plane overshoot the runway; crashed a concrete barricade and caught fire suddenly. Witnesses were saying aircraft was flying at very high speed. The reason for this crash is 100% pilot error and nothing else.

On: 9 Jul 2006

Survivors: 79

Fatalities: 124

Reason for crash: Overshooting the runway

8. Air China Flight 129 Crash

Wikipedia describes the reason for Flight 129 as “Controlled flight into terrain due to ATC error and pilot error”. The flight was travelling from Beijing International Airport to Gimhae International Airport. The aircraft crashed into a hill and suddenly caught fire.

On: 15 Apr 2002

Survivors: 37

Fatalities: 129

Reason for crash: ATC error and pilot error

7. Flash Airlines Flight 604 Crash

The Flight was travelling from Sharm el-Sheikh International Airport, Egypt to Charles De Gaulle International Airport Paris, France. The aircraft impacted the water about 15.2 km south of the airport. The wreckage of the plane sank to a depth of 1,000 m.

On: 3 Jan 2004

Survivors: 0

Fatalities: 148

Reason for crash: Instrument malfunctioning and poor crew training

6. EAS Airlines Flight 4226

The Engine of EAS was failed due to overshooting the runway. The flight overshoots the runway and takeoff from a grassy area. The engine intake large amount of dust and this resulted in the failure of the crash. The aero plane descended into the neighboring Gwammaja area of Kano and destroyed several structures also.

On: 4 May 2002

Survivors: 6

Fatalities: 145

Reason for crash: Engine failure due to overshooting the runway

5. 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 has delayed the departure because a sensor was reporting excessive temperature in an air intake. Flight crashed just after the takeoff from runway.

On: 20 Aug 2008

Survivors: 18

Fatalities: 154

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

4. Mangalore Crash of Air India Express

This 158 people killed crash is the third worst air crash in India’s history. The flight was flying from Dubai International Airport to Mangalore Airport, India carrying 166 people within it including flight crews. Read my article on exact reason for Mangalore crash. 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 in Mangalore is a table top runway. 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 so they got their life back without injury or any other loss.

On: 22 May 2010

Fatalities: 158

Survivors: 18

Reason for crash: Pilot did not reduce the speed for landing which may last as a crash. Click here to read exact reason for Mangalore crash.

3. Pulkovo Airlines Flight 612 Crash

This disaster is the best example to know what happen if an airplane flies above the threshold height. This disaster killed 170 people in their travel from Vityazevo Airport to Pulkovo Airport (St. Petersburg). The main reason for the crash is that 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 recovers. 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

2. TAM Airlines Flight 3054 Crash

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 So Paulo, Brazil, which crashed upon landing during rain in So 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 the time of emergencies.

On: 17 July 2007

Fatalities: 199

Survivors: No one survived

Reason for crash: Pilot error resulted in overshooting the runway.

1. American Airlines Flight 587 Crash

This Crash is listed as second deadliest air crash in last decade. 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 Amricas International Airport, Dominican Republic. There are a lot of factors such as date, place, and 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 due to over use of rudder control

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