Historically, air travel is generally safer than travel by vehicle. The numbers don’t lie when it comes to this fact. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, in 2015, there were 32,166 fatal motor vehicle accidents that led to slightly more than 35,000 deaths. The National Transportation Safety Board also has the numbers on airline crashes. In 2015, there were only 27 accidents involving airplanes, with zero fatalities. To put this into clearer odds, an American has a 1 in 114 chance of dying in a car crash. The odds of dying in air and space travel, including private flights and air taxis, are 1 in 9,821.
ABC News reports that the feds are investigating an American Airlines accident hat occurred at New York’s JFK Airport.
The incident occurred last week when an American Airways jet struck a runway distance marker upon takeoff from John F. Kennedy International Airport.
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The accident took place at about 8:40 p.m. on April 10th when Airbus A321, which was scheduled to fly to Los Angeles, took off with 110 people on board. The plane struck the distance marker with a wingtip. The distance markers allow for pilots to be aware of exactly how much runway is left. The incident also damaged a number of runway edge lights. Air traffic control audio recorded the pilot at the time reporting an “uncontrolled bank … 45 degrees to the left” and he later reported that the plane wing lowered “uncommanded” upon takeoff.
About 10 minutes after taking off, the pilots requested a return to Kennedy airport to check out the plane. The plane was able to return safely and there were no injuries.
An NTSB investigation into the incident is ongoing and could take 6-12 months.