Unfriendly Skies

In a freak accident, two jetliners collided in midair over Germany today. One was a DHL Boeing 757 cargo aircraft and the other was a Bashkirian Airlines Tupolev Tu-154 airliner that could have been carrying over 100.

This accident certainly is bizarre. The 757 should be carrying an anti-collision system designed to steer the aircraft away from an impact course. It is highly likely that the transponder which allows air controllers and other aircraft to see each other failed on one of the aircraft, which would prevent the safety systems from working properly.

Tupolev aircraft are known for being less than reliable, and it wouldn’t be surprising if a failure on board that aircraft was at least partially responsible for the crash. If the aircraft wasn’t being properly maintained, and the transponder or radios were inoperative, the chance of a crash would be dramatically increased.

Still, this is a tragic freak accident, and until we get the black boxes we won’t know for sure what happened, but whatever it was, the loss of life will no doubt be tragic.

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