Episode 1 - An Airship plunges into a Chicago Bank

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By Plane Crash Diaries and Desmond Latham. Discovered by Player FM and our community — copyright is owned by the publisher, not Player FM, and audio is streamed directly from their servers. Hit the Subscribe button to track updates in Player FM, or paste the feed URL into other podcast apps.
This series called Plane Crash Diaries is really about how safe aviation has become. This sounds like a contradiction, but its through the experience of more than a century of commercial aviation that experts have been able to build an extremely safe sector in the 21st Century. Decades of improving safety and regulations as well as operating procedures have led to a form of transport that is now regarded as crucial to the development of the world economy. There are more than 2,000 airlines operating more than 23,000 aircraft at 3,700 airports around the world. These airlines serve a total of more than 3.5 billion passengers a year or about 96,000 passengers a day. The commercial aircraft industry has been growing at 5% per year over the past 30 years and is expected to double over the next decade. This is success in anyone’s book. With all those planes flying about, safety is paramount and has been since the early days of aviation. Consider how many aircraft are flying compared to the number of incidents and you’ll agree that aviation is surely one of the safest methods of getting around in the modern world. But it wasn’t always like that. Each accident that has taken place since the first heavier than aircraft commercial aviation began after the First World War has led to improved standards. So in this series we’ll track these accidents from across the one hundred years since the first was logged. That was on July 21st 1919 when a GoodYear blimp the Wingfoot Express, crashed into the Illinois Trust and Savings Building in Chicago. Thirteen people died – three of the five on board the dirigible and ten others on the ground. The accident led to new regulations eventually about how high aircraft should fly above congested city centres. As a pilot I have to follow these to this day even here in South Africa where Air Law states that no Central Business District may be overflown without consent from the Civil Aviation Authority.

24 episodes