Our Regularly Scheduled Crash

Boeing has made a detailed analysis of the record of worldwide airplane accidents and has come to a downbeat conclusion: the annual number of fatal, "hull loss" crashes may reach 20 to 25 by 2005. (The 1980-89 average: roughly 13 a year.) In other words, the world could face a massive air catastrophe every two to three weeks. Why? Boeing concludes that while traffic in the sky is increasing, the installation of cockpit warning systems and landing-guidance devices is not. The survey found that flight-crew error was ruled responsible for 73% of fatal accidents. Of these, 41% occurred during landings, often...