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Home > Air Safety > What are the chances that a crash would happen?
What are the chances that a crash would happen?
Aviation - Air Safety
Tuesday, 21 June 2011 15:24

Finnair Cabin Crew

Hi Captain Lim!

I have always been fascinated by planes, small or big, and I personally think flying is something every person should go through at least once. It's beautiful and relaxing.

However, I have been going through some mental trouble. I suffer from OCD, and of course, my thoughts concentrate on my boyfriend visiting me this summer, on August 1st, which is insanely soon.

I keep making up these pictures of him dying in a plane crash, when I don't even know what the cause of the crash would be. I asked my father who is a pilot (sport planes) and he said that taking off is the hardest part, however to the pilots, nothing really is and you are super safe when you fly.

That fact calms me down, but when I think of my boyfriend on that plane, actually two planes because of stopovers (all together 4 hours), it makes me freak out again.

What I'm asking you is to explain to me, what the chances are and how is it possible that a crash would happen? If it helps, he'll be flying with Finnair. I read a lot about that airline, and it's a very good one.

When I should be happy and excited, I am devastated and stressed about it. It's upsetting. I don't know what to do as I wait for him. I thought about going with no sleep a day before, and then sleep while he does travel, but at the same time I wish to be awake so I can pick up the phone when he calls about his safe landing (I'm a deep sleeper).

Thanks for any kind of help!


Hi Sara,

I have written a lot concerning the safety of planes. You can read them here.

Anyway, you appear to be a very negative person. Remember, there is a wise saying that every time you think of a negative, counters it with a positive. The positive is that you will see your boyfriend landing safely on Finnair this coming Summer as it is a safe airline.

If I were to quote you some statistics (nobody likes statistics) you would be amazed that your fears of air crash (psychologically) befalling on your boyfriend's flight is very much unfounded.

An aviation expert (Barnett) judges the actual risk of one person being involved in a fatal air crash, to be once every 19,000 years, provided he flew on an airliner once each day of those 19,000 years. He bases that estimate on what actually happened in the domestic U.S., during the 1990s.

Yes, more statistics here:-

• A US National Safety Council study showed flying to be 22 times safer than travelling by car
• 21,000 people (on average) die on the road in the US in a 6-month period. This is approximately the same amount of all commercial air travel fatalities WORLDWIDE in 40 years
• More than 3 million people fly EVERY DAY.
• A Boeing aircraft takes off or lands every 2 seconds somewhere in the world – all day, every day!

Yes, you can sleep at ease now till your boyfriend arrives and thereafter. (I know you are deep sleeper!) alt

PS. To check for any latest updates or postings, you can follow my new Twitter at @CaptKHLim

Finnair A340 taking off from Tokyo Narita Airport


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I fly but do not like being up in the air. I worry about every little bit of turbulance and find my travel up there often stressful until landing. I've re-read you stats....thanks for that!!!!!
Sue , 21 Aug, 2011

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