17 Killed in Montana Plane Crash

According to CNN, 17 “children and adults were among the victims of a plane crash Sunday in Butte, Montana, that killed as many as 17 people, according to authorities in Oroville, California, where the aircraft stopped for fuel.” – read the CNN article.

Aircraft crashes are always unfortunate, and all the more sad when so many children are involved.  What was the cause of the accident?  We can rely on the NTSB to provide us with an answer.  What was the cause of the deaths?  This question will remain unanswered, the implication being that it was the accident that caused the deaths.  But is it necessarily so?  People are involved in car accidents but when there are survivors to a car accident, we do not think of it as a miracle.  We do when it’s an airplane crash.  Why?

Cabin intact after cartwheel crash.
Cabin intact after cartwheel crash.

Cars are designed with crashworthiness in mind. Portions of the car will deform to absorb the energy of a crash and the portion of the car where the passengers are is designed to stay intact.  Airplanes are not.  When you see pictures of a plane crash, you often see only a tail, the wheels, maybe an engine or two but the structure that is supposed to protect the passengers is missing, having disintegrated during the crash – it did not protect the passengers.  See the aircrash.org site for more on this subject.  You may want to look here and here to start.  See our SAFETY page to get a quick understanding why the Burnelli principle of design is superior to the conventional aircraft that we all fly in.

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