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BIZARRE: Boeing 777s, After 18 Spotless Years, Crash Three Times Since July 2013

The brilliant plane has zero safety concerns. Yet 540 riders are dead in just over a year.

by
David Steinberg

Bio

July 24, 2014 - 2:04 pm

Despite stunning achievements in air travel safety, terrible things happen. You are safe in the air, yes, but you are never guaranteed your safety in a world of men, or in a nature that plays dice.

Aaron Karp, senior editor of trade publication Air Transport World, points out the confounding events of the past year: not only has the grand Boeing 777 — which did not have a single fatality in its 18 years of operation — crashed three times in 377 days, those three crashes were just about the strangest ever seen by the industry:

In June 1995, United Airlines became the first airline to operate a Boeing 777. Since then, more than 1,200 777s have been delivered to airlines around the world and the popular widebody twinjet has clocked millions of flight hours. For 18 years, there were no fatal 777 accidents and only one hull loss resulting from a 777 flight — the British Airways 777-200ER that landed short of the runway at London Heathrow in January 2008, which caused substantial damage to the aircraft but no fatalities. There was also an EgyptAir 777-200ER that suffered irreparable damage from a cockpit fire on the ground before it was scheduled to take off from Cairo in July 2011. Everyone safely got off the aircraft.

This history underscores how stunning it is that, in the space of just 377 days, three 777s and 540 lives were lost in three of the most bizarre airline crashes ever. First, on July 6, 2013, there was the Asiana Airlines 777-200ER hitting a sea wall while attempting to land at San Francisco International, breaking apart and bursting into flames. Amazingly, 304 of the 307 passengers and crew aboard survived, including flight attendants ejected from the aircraft during the crash sequence.

Then, of course, there are this year’s twin Malaysia Airlines disasters. MH370, a 777-200ER, disappeared on March 8 with 239 passengers and crew aboard and still, more than four months later, not a trace has been found. Boeing chairman and CEO Jim McNerney this week called MH17, the 777-200ER that was barbarously shot down with 298 people aboard over eastern Ukraine on July 17, a “particularly unsettling and painful moment in the history of aviation.”

What makes the three 777 hull losses in fatal accidents in just over a year hard to fathom is that there is no safety issue with the 777 itself …

The disappearance of MH370 certainly appears to have been terror — the pilot intended to at least hijack the flight, though I have yet to hear evidence that he chose a 777 for any reason relating to the product itself. And MH17 most definitely was taken down by terror, though intercepted recordings point to the malicious operators of the Buk having not intended to target a passenger craft, much less a 777 specifically.

The San Francisco crash, strange at was, was stranger still in that a fatality occurred when a survivor was struck by an emergency vehicle.

In a year, 540 people have perished on one of the safest, soundest transports ever created — and it’s still just as safe as ever. Crazy world.

Also read: 

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David Steinberg is the New York City Editor of PJ Media. Follow his tweets at @DavidSPJM.

Comments are closed.

Top Rated Comments   
I am ashamed of PJmedia for even allowing this piece of crap to be presented on their website. What a piece of sensational BS. The three crashes were ALL caused by external forces! How does this have anything to do with the 777? I am a retired airline pilot and this as irresponsible as anything I have ever read about aviation.
17 weeks ago
17 weeks ago Link To Comment
Wait a minute:

Hitting a seawall is not a design flaw

Being shot down is not a design flaw.

Disappearing with an Islamic crew is not a design flaw.
17 weeks ago
17 weeks ago Link To Comment
Asiana at SFO was pilot error per the NTSB report.
MH370 is unknown at this time, however foul play is strongly indicated.
MH17 was shot down.

Headlining and insinuating this Boeing Triple 777 "problem", is what I expect of the MSM and their scare mongering.

Sad to see PJMedia delving in to crap stories.
17 weeks ago
17 weeks ago Link To Comment
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All Comments   (74)
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This is like running a story about how "bizarre" it is that the plane shot down last week over Ukraine had NEVER CRASHED BEFORE!!! Wow! What are the ODDS?!? And as many people have pointed out, none of these crashes had to do with anything having to do with the 777 design (at least we know that for sure with the first and third crashes.) I mean, seriously, folks. Come on. There are a heck of a lot better stories out there than this nonsense.
17 weeks ago
17 weeks ago Link To Comment
What does an aircraft's "safety" have to do with 1. Pilot error. 2. Probable hijacking by crew. 3. Missile shoot-down?
17 weeks ago
17 weeks ago Link To Comment
This is worthy of the National Enquirer, or some other pathetic tabloid.

17 weeks ago
17 weeks ago Link To Comment
Midnight and Sun are pathetic tabloids. The National Inquirer, as Tommy Lee Jones said in "Men in Black" is a hotsheet. They had Clinton, Lewinski and John Edwards EXACTLY correct, even after being called a yellow rag by that Yellow Rag the Old Youk Times.
17 weeks ago
17 weeks ago Link To Comment
Just because they have printed a few correct facts does not make them any less a pathetic tabloid.

17 weeks ago
17 weeks ago Link To Comment
I guess I'm an idiot but I have to support PJ on this one. The headline states the truth; I don't see where it's misleading. It is odd that out of all the planes flying the 777 was the aircraft in all of these incidents, and it was not a fault of the manufacturer. Coincidences and clusters are interesting. These crashes were the fault of crazy people in a mad world; which is what the article says. If you want sensational then simply google 777 and illuminati for some fun.
17 weeks ago
17 weeks ago Link To Comment
The recent crash of a passenger jet in Mali was not a B-777; the Illuminati are growing wise to your attentions.
17 weeks ago
17 weeks ago Link To Comment
Well, who are we to argue with you?
17 weeks ago
17 weeks ago Link To Comment
the british airways crash and the asiana crash were under exactly the same circumstances, exactly.
17 weeks ago
17 weeks ago Link To Comment
In addition to the well-stated opinions of aviation professionals here, I too find the article ridiculous and intentionally misleading.

There are only two manufacturers of airliner aircraft in the western world now; Airbus and Boeing.

In the 1970's, there were several more.

But, thanks the the socialist-born ideas of "consolidation is good", competition has suffered and fewer manufacturers remain, making it easier for governments to control them.

But that point aside and more to the point of the law of probability that any airliner suffering a hull loss accident is significant narrowed when the manufacturers of said aircraft number only two.

That is, if Douglas, Martin, Convair, Lockheed, Consolidated, Northrop, North American, Republic, Hughes and Curtiss Wright were still around, the odds would be largely distributed.

But with only two makers, the odds that it might be a Boeing or Airbus are (roughly) 50/50.

And, the odds that it might be a Boeing 777 are also greatly increased, as they are for a 737, 757, 787 or 777.

Airbus has the A320(series) and the A330/340

Thus, it's actually much more likely that loss-of-life accidents involving a 777 will occur.

It's not odd at all.

Taken to a fine point, if Boeing produced only the 777 and Airbus didn't exist at all, then the odds of loss-of-life accidents involving a 777 are pretty much approaching 1 to 1.

Say, in 1911, the chances that an automobile accident would involve a Ford Model T....see how that works? (only car available in mass-production in 1911 was the Model T and by 1927, fifteen million of them had been built, flooding the streets of every major city in the US)

Again, not odd at all.
17 weeks ago
17 weeks ago Link To Comment
I don't dispute the general point you make regarding consolidation among aircraft manufacturers, but... there are more than 2. Those jets carrying the most people around in the US and Europe are the 50-100 seaters made by Bombardier (Canada) and Embraer (Brazil)
17 weeks ago
17 weeks ago Link To Comment
Yep.

Oops.

Duh.
17 weeks ago
17 weeks ago Link To Comment
Three airliners lost with 540 lives.

Horrible.

All the pilots were wearing shoes.

The FAA must immediately ban pilots from wearing shoes; the very lives of their passengers demand it.

/sarc
17 weeks ago
17 weeks ago Link To Comment
for a little context, it takes just 540 days for the same number of americans to be killed by illegal aliens. or one or weeks in Syria.
17 weeks ago
17 weeks ago Link To Comment
As a commercial pilot this is irresponsible journalism, simple as that.
17 weeks ago
17 weeks ago Link To Comment
the term irresponsible journalism is what they do, or who they are.
17 weeks ago
17 weeks ago Link To Comment
Come on Steinberg.....Stop with the feeble attempts at defending this piece!!!! You made the mistake of not having knowledge of your subject and trying to Sensationalize it!!!.....This criticism isn't going to effect your Career!!! So....Learn from your mistakes and most importantly......Admit your Mistakes.
17 weeks ago
17 weeks ago Link To Comment
Malarkey
17 weeks ago
17 weeks ago Link To Comment
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