Statistically, flying is an even safer form of transportation then driving or riding in a car. However, when disaster does strike the results can be catastrophic. Plane crashes can be caused by any number of things; from bad weather to defective products.

KLM Flight 4805 and Pan Am Flight 1736

On the 27th of March, 1977, a KLM passenger plane was taxiing along the runway at the Tenerife airport in the Canary Islands of Spain, and it collided with a Pan Am jet. It was said that the pilots of the KLM plane were confused over departure instructions, and they took to the runway without permission. A total of 583 people were killed in the crash.

American Airlines Flight 191

An American Airlines DC-10 was taking off from the O’Hare Airport in Chicago on the 25th of May, 1979. As the plane lifted from the runaway, a detached engine damaged one of its wings, and it turned 90 degrees and exploded in a fireball. With 273 people dead, this disaster remains the most tragic aviation accident in the US.

Air New Zealand Flight 901

An Air New Zealand McDonnell-Douglas DC-10 was flying over the Antarctica continent during a sightseeing trip on the 28th of November, 1979, and it crashed into Mount Erebus. All the 257 crew and passengers on board were killed, and the incident was later called the “Mount Erebus Disaster”.
  • Mount Erebus Disaster: Detailed information about the crash of Air New Zealand Flight 901 in Mount Erebus, Antarctica.

Saudia Flight 163

A Saudia L-1011 was heading for Karachi, Pakistan on the 19th of August, 1980. Then, an in-flight fire broke out and forced the plane to return to the Riyadh airport in Saudi Arabia. After the plane touched down, the crew and rescue workers did not act fast enough to evacuate the passengers, and a flash fire killed all 301 people in the passenger cabin.
  • Saudia Flight 163: An account of the radio conversations that took place before the Saudia Flight 163 disaster.

Korean Airlines Flight KL007

Korean Airlines Flight KL007 was traveling to Seoul from New York on the 1st of September, 1983. It drifted off-course and ended up in Soviet territory, and it was shot down by a fighter from the Soviet air force as it was flying over the region around Sakhalin Island. None of the 269 passengers survived.

Air India Flight 182

On the 23rd of June, 1985, a Sikh terrorist planted a bomb in an Air India Boeing 747 that was flying to Bombay from Toronto. The bomb exploded as the plane was traveling past the eastern sea of Ireland. A total of 329 people were killed.

Japan Airlines Flight 123

A Japan Airlines jet was scheduled to fly to a domestic destination on the 12th of August, 1985. Shortly after taking off, the plane malfunctioned and crashed near Mount Fuji. The total number of fatalities was 520.

Iran Air Flight 655

An Iran Air Airbus 300 was shot down by the USS Vincennes as it was flying past the Straits of Hormuz on the 3rd of July, 1988. The crew of the destroyer had mistaken the plane for an enemy aircraft, and launched two missiles to destroy it. All 290 occupants were killed.

TWA Flight 800

Trans World Airline Flight 800 was traveling from the John F. Kennedy Airport in New York City to Paris on the 17th of July, 1996. As it was flying past the coast of Long Island, it suddenly plunged into the Atlantic Ocean, killing all 230 onboard.

Saudi Arabian Airlines Flight 763 and Air Kazakhstan Flight 1907

On the 12th of November, 1996, a Saudi Arabian Airlines Boeing 747 was flying to Dhahran, Saudi Arabia from New Delhi, India, and it collided in mid-air with an Air Kazakhstan jet. The collision took place over Charkhi Dadri village in Haryana, India, and it caused the lives of 349 people.