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Is it still safe to fly?

Recent airplane accidents, such as the charter flight that overshot a Florida runway and landed in a river, are raising new concerns about the safety of air travel. Worldwide, more than 750 people have died in airplane crashes over the past two years. About half of those deaths were the result of Boeing 737 Max jet crashes that occurred in Ethiopia and Indonesia. In each case, it is believed that an automated system inadvertently forced the nose of the plane down.

There seems to be no direct correlation, though, between those crashes and a Russian flight that caught fire attempting to land in Moscow. That accident, which claimed the lives of more than 40 people, raises questions about the wisdom of attempting to land a plane that just took off and is full of fuel. Also of concern are reports that passengers took enough time to retrieve their carry-on luggage before evacuating the plane.

Lightning is another threat to air safety. On average, planes are struck by lightning about once per year. This makes it critical that planes are designed and constructed to shield passengers from dangerous voltages. Sophisticated surge suppression systems are necessary to protect the plane's electronic navigation system during intense lightning storms. Fuel tanks must also be shielded to prevent fires.

When a plane crash does happen, it usually results in serious injuries or death. If an airline has breached industry standards or acted in another manner that could be considered negligent, it may be possible for a victim or their family to receive compensation by filing a claim. However, most airlines will fight such claims, and a victim may need to rely on the services of a law firm with experience in airplane crashes in order to prevail.

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