A plane crashes. How can i fly after this happened?

By Alon pereg

After every aviation accident or tragic event, SimpliFly’s team is flooded with questions and calls for help. We understand how the fear of flying can be heightened by such terrible news.

It is indeed a tragedy when any lives are lost, let alone the 132 who were onboard the China Eastern Airlines flight that crashed on Monday, March 21. This number included many passengers and of course, a team of air crew who had chosen aviation as their profession and life’s work. We feel deeply for all of the families whose hearts are now aching and will be forever changed by this unfortunate crash.
Even if you have no personal connection to this particular event, there will be many for whom it becomes harder to fly after hearing such unsettling news. For those would-be travelers, we offer six insights:.

  1. We don’t yet know what happened. At the time of this writing, official information regarding what caused the accident has yet to be released. It would be worthless (and frankly reckless) to cast out assumptions or baseless theories. We do know that the cause will likely be uncovered, and that any lessons that can be learned from this accident will be published and implemented. It’s critical that we as the public wait to hear from experts on-the-ground once they have studied the crash site and have gathered the data leading up to it.

  2. Let’s consume the news wisely. The media by nature adheres to certain journalistic standards, but it is also widely known that a level of sensationalism in stories drives readership and viewership. You don’t need to watch every report or listen to guesses and assumptions made by guests and hosts, and you certainly don’t need to see troubling footage or images on loop.

  3. Consider why this tragedy is newsworthy. Remember: this event will be widely published largely because commercial airline accidents are so incredibly rare. If planes were crashing every day, it wouldn’t be considered breaking news. So the great echo chamber that occurs with an accident like this further demonstrates that this is a highly unusual event. Flying is so safe that one accident will dominate 24-hour news cycles around the globe.
      
  4. Planes don’t just fall from the sky. Truly. If they did, I assure you that there would be far fewer air crew to willingly take on this line of work. As mentioned, we still don’t know precisely what caused this very tragic accident. Know this: a commercial aircraft’s systems are so robust that a single point of failure will not cause an accident. Whatever happened here was likely a combination of a number of factors.

  5. Try to avoid air crash documentaries or in-depth reports. Consuming such media does not help those who already feel uncomfortable in flight. But if you do, remember this:
    1. These documentaries show that every accident is caused by a series of events and not caused by a single problem.
    2. There are no repeating accidents. Every accident is fully investigated, and its results are turned into regulations that will prevent such an accident from repeating.

The programs show you only the exceptionally few flights that went wrong out of many millions that have flown safely.

In short, don’t allow this unfortunate tragedy to prevent you from flying. We do not refuse to drive or ride in cars despite accidents being exponentially more common. Therefore, a highly rare event shouldn’t stop you from enjoying all the benefits of air travel—being with those we love, exploring new places, connecting with colleagues and clients, and closing the geographic gaps in our lives.

Ask questions, learn about the safety of air travel, and use our SimpliFly mobile app to know the facts. You can chat with a pilot and get the answers you’re seeking before and during your next flight.