On February 4, 2015, there was yet another plane disaster, but this time in Taiwan. Like many other plane crashes, the reason for the crash is still under uncertain speculations. Carrying a total of 58 passengers and crew members, the TransAsia plane, flight GE235, affected many families from around the world when it malfunctioned. The airplane, which took off in Taiwan, was bound for Kinmen, a small archipelago nearby China. However, just three minutes after take-off, there were distress calls from the pilot and the plane swerved out of control. The plane rapidly descended towards the Keelung River, where it damaged a nearby bridge, but overall avoided larger infrastructures. There were unfortunately only 15 survivors, but would those 15 people still be alive had they not landed in the water? And what was the reason for the mysterious crash? The pilot had flown for over 4,900 hours and the copilot had flown for over 6,900 hours, so it is assumable that it was not the pilots’ faults, but rather the plane’s. When hearing the pilots’ distress call, the last thing was “Mayday, mayday, engine flameout,” which signifies a problem with the engine (BBC news). There are assumptions that a bird, or ash, or particle got stuck inside one of the engines, requiring the pilot to shut the engine off. As the plane sped towards the Keelung River, one of its wings was torn off after hitting a part of the nearby bridge, and help was given nearly immediately with people swarming towards the fallen plane in lifeboats and speedboats. But even with the immediate response, it was too late. Over the last two years, there were numerous flight accidents, such as the disappearances of the Malaysian aircrafts, which would have led us to believe that there would be much safer flights nowadays. However these crashes seem inevitable, given the fact that there were three airplane crashes in one week. But as CNN stated, 2014 was not the worst year for airplane incidents, which shows improvement. With more money funded for airplane safety, flights will be more stable and secure. Whether it be machine-caused problems, or man-caused problems, we as a whole should try to lessen the frequency of such devastating accidents. Our hearts are with those affected by this fateful crash.
– Andy Yang (’16)