Although plane crashes are (luckily) not too frequent, they're probably the deadliest accidents. Weather is able to affect a flight easily and in a catastrophic way, and today, we are going to recollect the worst weather-related plane crashes.
How Often Does Weather Affect Flights?
Although the weather is included in the list of the most common reasons for plane crashes in fact only 12% of all plane accidents are caused by weather conditions. Stunning half of the crashes are a result of human errors, which doesn't seem so surprising if you think of the huge amount of tasks pilots and engineers have to perform.
The second most common cause is a mechanical error - about 22% of plane crashes are caused by them. The weather occupies the third position, and the most dangerous weather events able to affect a plane include storms, heavy winds, fog, and, last but probably the most threatening one lightning strikes.
Sometimes even seemingly mild weather conditions can result in a plane crash. In Libya, in 1977 a pilot had to deal with a thick fog when he was getting ready for the landing. The first attempt wasn't successful and he had to repeat it several times before the fuel simply ran out. The plane crashed killing 59 people.
The other two common causes of plane accidents are sabotage (about 9% of total plane crashes) and other human errors that include air traffic control mistakes.
Deadliest Weather-Related Air Crashes
- Dense fog led to the deadliest disaster in aviation when two Boeing 747 aircrafts collided in the Canary Islands, Spain in 1977 killing 583 people.
- Heavy snow and winds became the reason for the 9th deadliest plane crash on record when IL-76 military transport crashed into a mountainside while descending for a landing in Iran in 2003. 275 people were killed.
- The icing on the winds of the plane became the cause of the aviation disaster that occurred in Canada in 1985 and claimed the lives of 256 people.
- Low visibility caused by the thick manmade haze that resulted in a plane crash in Indonesia in 1997. Airbus A300 crashed into a hillside at an elevation of 1,150 feet killing 234 people.
- Although it's stated that the main cause of the accident was a pilot error, heavy rainfall and high winds have contributed to the crash of the Korean Air Flight that occurred in Guam in 1997. 26 people survived, but 228 passengers and crew members died.
- On February 11, 2018, a plane crash near Moscow Russia left 71 people dead. An-148 regional jet crashed only about 25 miles from Moscow, minutes after the takeoff. Although the specialists have just started the investigation, bad weather conditions, a pilots' error, and a technical issue are cited as the most likely causes of the accident. It's reported that low clouds and snow have restricted visibility to 2.5 miles during the time of the crash.
Let's pay respect to the victims of all plane crashes and hope such deadly disasters will never affect you and your close people!