Why Takeoff And Landing Are So Dangerous


You are much more likely to die eating a nice meal than you are in a plane crash. That being said, it happens. At a rate at about one fatal accident per 2.5 million flights. And half of those accidents occur during one very short phase of the trip. Wanna know when you should be the most nervous on your next flight? Keep your seat belts fastened and get ready for a bumpy ride. Takeoff and landing are widely considered the most dangerous parts of a flight. But that’s only partially true. Let’s take a look at this chart. Boeing keeps track of fatal commercial jet accidents every year and categorizes those accidents by when they occurred during the flight. Boeing breaks down the average one-and-a-half-hour
flight into eight phases. But we’ll just be looking at these five. Starting at the beginning,
the takeoff and initial climb. This phase takes up only
2% of the entire flight, but it accounts for
14% of fatal accidents. Which might not seem like a lot, until we look at the cruising phase. A plane cruises for more than half of the one-and-a-half-hour trip, but only 11% of fatal accidents
happen during this chunk. So that leaves the final
descent and landing. They take up about 4%
of the average flight, lasting twice as long as
takeoff and initial climb. But a whopping 49% of fatal accidents occur in this short window, making the final descent and landing the deadliest part of an average flight. So what’s going on here? Anthony Brickhouse: Typically
on takeoff and typically on landing, the aircraft is what we would call low and slow. And when problems happen, you don’t have a lot of
time to actually react. Narrator: When they’re
cruising at 36,000 feet, a pilot has the luxury of time
and space to course correct. Even if both engines go out, the plane won’t just fall out of the sky. It becomes a glider. In this state, a typical airliner loses about a mile in altitude for every 10 it moves forward, giving the pilot a
little over eight minutes to find a place to land. But if something goes wrong on the ground, that window shrinks considerably. For a typical commercial jet, takeoff lasts only 30 to 35 seconds. If an engine fails or
the landing gear jams, the pilot has almost no time at all to decide whether to take off anyway or to try and wrestle a 175,000-pound metal beast to the ground. Rejected takeoffs are rare. Brickhouse: Because when you’re
blasting down that runway at over 100 mph, things are
happening really quickly. The decision to reject a takeoff is a very intense decision because you have to do
it below a certain speed, otherwise, via physics, you’re not going to get stopped. Narrator: If the plane
hasn’t taken off or stopped by this point, it’s going
off the end of the runway. Which, depending on the airport, could mean sliding into an open field or off a literal cliff, like at Colorado’s Telluride Regional Airport. Its runway is terrifyingly sandwiched between two 1,000-foot drops. For dangerous runways like Telluride’s, airports will install an engineered materials arrestor system. An EMAS is a bed of materials
at the end of a runway designed to collapse under
the weight of an airplane, gripping its tires and
ideally bringing it to a stop before it plummets 1,000 feet off a ledge. It works similarly for
a landing gone wrong. So, what is it about touching down that makes it so much more
dangerous than taking off? Oversimplified, it’s
easier to make a plane fly than it is to make it stop. Brickhouse: We’re slowing
down, and we’re getting the aircraft down to the ground. And since you’re already slow, any wind effect or anything like that could have more dramatic impact than it would on takeoff. Narrator: During a normal landing, the pilot is communicating
with air traffic control, lining up with the proper runway, and informing the crew. Similar to takeoff, but all while flying toward the ground instead of away. Brickhouse: Sometimes
it’s a normal landing where everything is going well and something happens at the last second, and it leads to an accident. In other situations, there’s already an emergency on board the aircraft, which has already complicated the landing. And then they land, and something
unfortunately goes wrong. Narrator: Statistics can be scary, but they still say flying
is the safest way to travel. And even if an accident were
to happen on your next flight, you’d have a 95.7% chance of surviving it.


100 Responses

  1. Jarid Gaming

    December 19, 2019 7:35 am

    Wouldnt landing always be the most dangerous part? All planes fall out of the sky and smash into the ground. I have never seen one just float into space.

  2. Cormac Rohda

    December 19, 2019 8:13 pm

    On landing it's more likely that SOMEONE dies buy not many people, however this would make it a fatal crash. The fact that you are low, slow, and sometimes no way of getting speed on takeoff makes it a higher chance of alot of people dieing

  3. Jayakrishna Balaji

    December 20, 2019 4:15 am

    Irony of the video:
    Using of Boeing's statically data,
    When B737 – Max 8 has been grounded for the very same reason!
    Way to go, Insider.

  4. Airwipe

    December 20, 2019 5:38 am

    Ok, this is just, ugh! Takeoffs are carefully calculated – and just because it’s the MOST dangerous doesn’t make it dangerous as a WHOLE! And not to mention if the pilot in command demes the takeoff unsafe, it’s not happening! Oh, did I say anything about the pilots going through years of expensive training?

  5. Moon’s gaming

    December 20, 2019 5:51 am

    I just hate people (including this video) saying that Plane travel is very dangerous. They say it like it’s more dangerous than driving a car, and that’s not true. A lot of people around the world driving cars might of just got their license and die going 150mph on a motorway, but except a lot of pilots around the world were being taught for years to do one thing. Take off and landing, over and over, but there’s always somebody on the Internet with no experience of what topic they are trying to make about and yet everyone agrees with them because clearly no body has any idea, and you wait until someone replies to this one comment because their trying to use their inexperience thoughts from how this video tried to take over everyone’s anxiety levels because their going for Christmas. Nice try anyways, but hardly any of this is true.

  6. Jack Cade

    December 20, 2019 3:30 pm

    Because the ground is hard and not moving and the plane is moving fast and is made of mostly lightweight materials and filled with people?
    Did I get it right?

    Also, I despise this age that we live in which small pieces of information are being wrapped in chunks of inanity so as to stretch out content. It's like reading endless high school and freshman college papers stuffed with fluff that says nothing.

    I would give anything never to read an article in which I have to scan down three quarters of the page to find the answer to the question that is the headline or the data that supports the headline or doesn't in many cases.

    I would love to watch YouTube videos that are just a few minutes long because that's the necessary link to convey the message that the title of the video purported to deliver.
    Instead, we get this sort of tripe, a nearly 5-minute long video to express information that should take 30 seconds.

    We've become the tune-out nation of people without depth.

    This is the idiocracy, you are the idiocracy, you have given us the Trump world, thanks fuckheads!

  7. Bonanza Driver

    December 20, 2019 4:22 pm

    There hasn't been a fatal accident from a crash on a US airline ( including regional airlines) in over 10 years. The only person who has died was the lady on the southwest 1380 but that was not a crash. She actually could of been fine if is she was just wearing a seatbelt. Flying is not dangerous.

  8. DXD 2018

    December 21, 2019 8:20 am

    until you dont meet earth… flying is always 100% safe!
    Smoking during a refuel car to the Self-Service gas station is worst than flying!

  9. Paul White

    December 21, 2019 11:03 am

    If its dangerous landing a plane and taking it off. I don't know what to say about putting a vehicle in 1st gear and reverse.

  10. Ma'Aya Gqeba

    December 21, 2019 2:30 pm

    “You’re more likely to die eating breakfast than in an airplane crash”
    How many breakfast meals have I eaten since birth
    You must have been paid well to make this video

  11. Venkat Babu

    December 22, 2019 9:12 am

    While take off air pressure and turbulence is extremely high depending on direction and size of the airport and nearby building. Sometimes echo from nearby buildings and electrical grounding of thunder etc. While landing complete de pressurize and slow because it can remove blood. Easy state of coma.

  12. The Light Brigade F4

    December 22, 2019 9:59 am

    Landing without the landing gear was occurred on November 2011 in Warsaw. This incidence was happened on lot polish airlines flight 16.

  13. Sam Khan

    December 22, 2019 11:56 am

    This is all because of absolutely no or near zero R&D in civillian aircraft safety compared to military spending world wide gazillions of dollars by the governments just pray to GOD and hold tight.

  14. mccaulskynick

    December 22, 2019 3:21 pm

    Accidents are more likely to happen on landings if the pilots go Tech Insider's school of Nose wheel landings.

  15. NewBorn

    December 23, 2019 6:56 am

    To make fatal crashes extremely rare, there should be certain aeroplanes or certain seats which can eject with roof openings and a parachute for passengers who want extra backup.

  16. PHOTO7

    December 23, 2019 8:39 am

    If you are afraid of flying sit at a airport all day and kind of estimate how many planes landed and took off. Multiply that by 365 days a year and the number of years, you have no major crashes at your airport. It will show you flying is the safest travel method. I rather fly and commute on a plane than face Las Vegas Nutty drivers every day like I do.

  17. Professor Jay Tee

    December 23, 2019 10:57 am

    During takeoff and landing, there's this whopping big rock right below you, so even a little wobble is dangerous. What's so hard to understand?

  18. CornoCat

    December 23, 2019 10:58 pm

    Actually takeoff and landings aren’t even dangerous because technology in planes today are much safer than ever before

  19. Vern Ripley

    December 23, 2019 10:59 pm

    A note: the last fatal crash involving an U.S Flag Carrier was in February of 2009. Three is NOTHING dangerous about takeoffs or landings. Three's nothing inherently dangerous about flying. It's the safest form of travel in the world. Stop trying to frighten people with such nonsense.

  20. William Girard

    December 24, 2019 1:40 am

    At 1:20 they didn’t flare, you gotta flare, it also appears that the nose gear isn’t down, I don’t want to be on that flight

  21. Fly Blue™

    December 24, 2019 3:18 am

    BS media, takeoffs and landings are NOT dangerous! They are just considered as the parts of a flight where most of the accidents happen.

  22. Mr No robux

    December 24, 2019 8:02 am

    Moral of the lesson don’t let tech insider land your Air France airbus a380 because they love landing on the nose which means KABOOM

  23. Mr No robux

    December 24, 2019 8:05 am


  24. Blue Cheese

    December 24, 2019 4:32 pm

    Tech inside: “why takeoff and landing are dangerous”

    Also Tech inside: you will have a 95.7% chance of surviving


  25. nick gabb

    December 24, 2019 7:33 pm

    copilots literally call out v1 and vr for the reason to give pilots the opportunity to stop if a engine blows. smh.


Leave a Reply