Cape Town – The world can breathe a collective sigh of relief as 2017 saw no major aviation disasters.
Apart from the inhumane treatment of customers by some airlines, a few gruesome bird strikes and some flight cancellations due to severe weather conditions, 2017 has been a fairly good year in the aviation industry.
ALSO SEE: Avoid disaster with these 10 travel tips from the experts
What could have possibly been the worst aviation disaster in 2017 was averted when an Air Canada jet nearly landed on four planes!
With no fatal accidents, zero reports of planes getting sucked into the Bermuda triangle and aviation terrorism non-existent in 2017, we’ve rounded up some other factors that made headlines in aviation this year.
Bird strikes are actually more dangerous than you would
think and often cause extensive damage to planes.
From a Delta
Airlines Boeing being struck by a bird mistaken for UFO or Superman (it hit
with a quite a force) to bird
corpses left dangling from planes after impact, bird strikes have resulted
in emergency landings and damages that cost a fortune to repair.
There was also a local bird strike that caused a Mango
flight to turn-around after one of the plane’s engines was damaged just
SEE: WATCH: Mango
plane's engine damaged in bird strike at OR Tambo
2017 saw the invention of the Robird
– a robotic falcon that will keep airports bird-free and is deemed to be
the answer to bird strikes.
According to some studies however, researchers say drones
that hit large planes can cause more damage than birds of the same size.
The impact of severe
volcano to heavy snowfall
in Europe, a hurricane
off SA’s east coast to a string of hurricanes
in the Atlantic ocean close to USA, the weather has at times been disastrous
resulting in a number of flight delays and cancellations that left flyers with
thinner wallets and unhappy hearts.
SEE: Snow delays: 4
Things to do while you're stuck at the airport
There was also a daring
Delta Air Lines crew that flew in and out of Puerto Rico as Hurricane
Irma's wind and rain approached!
However, one of the biggest weather impacts has certainly
been Bali’s volcano which threatened to erupt several times this year and yet
remains in one piece after causing many holiday cancellations and damaging
the island’s tourism industry and economy.
ALSO SEE: Worst plane
disaster averted: Lighting should have alerted pilots of potential disaster
In-flight, airport and
If an award was to be given for the most controversial airline,
United Airlines will grab this title after a video of police
officers dragging a male passenger from an overbooked United Airlines
flight sparked uproar on social media.
A case was opened which went on for a while, and in between
a few other incidents occurred with the airline including a disruptive
passenger wearing a Trump cap delaying a flight by 8 hours and in another
incident, a dog
died on one of the airline’s delayed flights.
However, in-flight drama does not stop there as another dog
incident on board occurred when an American
Airlines passenger was removed from the flight after yelling at a flight
attendant while letting her dog run through the cabin.
Meanwhile locally, a recent racism
incident on board a British Airways flight operated by Comair, that involved
popular music duo Black Motion caused a sensation.
In another local aviation drama of note, two South African passengers
into custody for making alleged bomb threats at OR Tambo International Airport.
The airport spokesperson Leigh Gunkel-Keuler says it “follows a zero-tolerance
approach to bomb threats, irrespective of the circumstances.”
This is a serious offence locally and internationally as in
another more recent incident, a wi-fi network called 'Bomb
on board' caused a Turkish Airlines emergency landing!
SEE: Bombs away! How
to get through airport security smoothly
Bomb threats and jokes have affected flights as much as
airline glitches, strikes and economic crisis.
While there were many strikes and cost-cutting strategies
that occurred this year, two that stand out most are South
African Airways’ changes to domestic and regional routes as part of its
strategy to save on operating costs, and American
Airlines' scheduling glitch that left thousands of flights without a
captain, co-pilot or both between the busy December period.
aviation' disaster averted as Air Canada jet nearly lands on four planes
Travel bans and restrictions
US President Donald Trump’s numerous travel bans and
restrictions have certainly taken up much of aviation news in 2017.
SEE: UPDATE: US
Travel ban against six mostly Muslim countries to go ahead
From his laws banning
electronics on board to banning
entire nations, it is going to be interesting (and painful) to see what Trump
has in store in 2018…
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