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Air disasters

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Malaysia Airlines Flight 370

Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 was a scheduled international passenger flight operated by Malaysia Airlines that disappeared on 8 March 2014 while flying from Kuala Lumpur International Airport, Malaysia, to its destination, Beijing Capital International Airport in China. Commonly referred to as "MH370", "Flight 370" or "Flight MH370", the flight was also marketed as China Southern Airlines Flight 748 (CZ748/CSN748) through a codeshare. The crew of the Boeing 777-200ER aircraft last made contact with air traffic control (ATC) around 38 minutes after takeoff when the flight was over the South China Sea. The aircraft was lost from ATC radar screens minutes later, but was tracked by military radar for another hour, deviating westwards from its planned flight path, crossing the Malay Peninsula and Andaman Sea. It left radar range 200 nautical miles northwest of Penang Island in northwestern Malaysia. With all 227 passengers and 12 crew on board presumed dead, the disappearance of Flight 370 was the deadliest incident involving a Boeing 777 and the deadliest incident in Malaysia Airlines' history, until it was surpassed in both regards by Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 four months later. The combined loss led to significant financial problems for Malaysia Airlines, which was renationalised by the Malaysian government in late 2014.

 
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Space Shuttle Challenger disaster

On January 28, 1986, the NASA shuttle orbiter mission STS-51-L and the tenth flight of Space Shuttle Challenger (OV-99) broke apart 73 seconds into its flight, killing all seven crew members, which consisted of five NASA astronauts and two payload specialists. The spacecraft disintegrated over the Atlantic Ocean, off the coast of Cape Canaveral, Florida, at 11:39 EST. The disintegration of the vehicle began after a joint in its right solid rocket booster (SRB) failed at liftoff. The failure was caused by the failure of O-ring seals used in the joint that were not designed to handle the unusually cold conditions that existed at this launch. The seals' failure caused a breach in the SRB joint, allowing pressurized burning gas from within the solid rocket motor to reach the outside and impinge upon the adjacent SRB aft field joint attachment hardware and external fuel tank. This led to the separation of the right-hand SRB's aft field joint attachment and the structural failure of the external tank. Aerodynamic forces broke up the orbiter.

 
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Hindenburg disaster

The Hindenburg disaster occurred on May 6, 1937, in Manchester Township, New Jersey, United States. The German passenger airship LZ 129 Hindenburg caught fire and was destroyed during its attempt to dock with its mooring mast at Naval Air Station Lakehurst. Of the 97 people on board, there were 35 fatalities. One worker on the ground was also killed, raising the death toll to 36.

 
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Wars and warfare, Transportation

United Airlines Flight 93

United Airlines Flight 93 was a domestic scheduled passenger flight that was hijacked by four Al-Qaeda terrorists on board, as part of the September 11 attacks. It crashed into a field in Somerset County, Pennsylvania, during an attempt by the passengers and crew to regain control. All 44 people aboard were killed, including the four hijackers, but no one on the ground was injured. The aircraft involved, a Boeing 757–222, was flying United Airlines' daily scheduled morning flight from Newark International Airport in New Jersey to San Francisco International Airport in California.

 
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US Airways Flight 1549

US Airways Flight 1549 was an Airbus A320-214 which, in the climbout after takeoff from New York City's LaGuardia Airport on January 15, 2009, struck a flock of Canada geese just northeast of the George Washington Bridge and consequently lost all engine power. Unable to reach any airport, pilots Chesley Sullenberger and Jeffrey Skiles glided the plane to a ditching in the Hudson River off Midtown Manhattan. All 155 people aboard were rescued by nearby boats and there were few serious injuries.

 
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Space Shuttle Columbia disaster

On February 1, 2003, the Space Shuttle Columbia disintegrated upon reentering Earth's atmosphere, killing all seven crew members. The disaster was the second fatal accident in the Space Shuttle program after Space Shuttle Challenger, which broke apart and killed the seven-member crew 73 seconds after liftoff in 1986.

 
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The Day the Music Died

On February 3, 1959, American rock and roll musicians Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens, and J. P. "The Big Bopper" Richardson were killed in a plane crash near Clear Lake, Iowa, together with pilot Roger Peterson. The event later became known as "The Day the Music Died", after singer-songwriter Don McLean referred to it as such in his 1971 song "American Pie".

 
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Malaysia Airlines Flight 17

Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 (MH17) was a scheduled passenger flight from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur that was shot down on 17 July 2014 while flying over eastern Ukraine, killing all 283 passengers and 15 crew on board. Contact with the aircraft, a Boeing 777-200ER, was lost when it was about 50 km (31 mi) from the Ukraine–Russia border and wreckage of the aircraft fell near Hrabove in Donetsk Oblast, Ukraine, 40 km (25 mi) from the border. The shoot-down occurred in the War in Donbass, during the Battle of Shakhtarsk, in an area controlled by pro-Russian rebels. The crash was Malaysia Airlines' second aircraft loss during 2014 after the disappearance of Flight 370 on 8 March.

 
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Ethiopian Airlines Flight 961

Ethiopian Airlines Flight 961 was a scheduled flight serving the route Addis Ababa–Nairobi–Brazzaville–Lagos–Abidjan. On 23 November 1996, the aircraft serving the flight, a Boeing 767-200ER, was hijacked en route from Addis Ababa to Nairobi by three Ethiopians seeking asylum in Australia. The plane crash-landed in the Indian Ocean near Grande Comore, Comoros Islands, due to fuel exhaustion; 125 of the 175 passengers and crew on board died, along with the hijackers. The only (partially) successful ditching of a wide-body airliner in history, the crash was captured on video.

 
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Tenerife airport disaster

On March 27, 1977, two Boeing 747 passenger jets, KLM Flight 4805 and Pan Am Flight 1736, collided on the runway at Los Rodeos Airport, on the Spanish island of Tenerife, Canary Islands, killing 583 people, making it the deadliest accident in aviation history.

 
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Wars and warfare, Transportation

Pan Am Flight 103

Pan Am Flight 103 was a regularly scheduled Pan Am transatlantic flight from Frankfurt to Detroit via London and New York. On 21 December 1988, N739PA, the aircraft operating the transatlantic leg of the route, was destroyed by a bomb, killing all 243 passengers and 16 crew – a disaster known as the Lockerbie bombing. Large sections of the aircraft crashed onto residential areas of Lockerbie, Scotland, killing 11 people on the ground.

 
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Uruguayan Air Force Flight 571

Uruguayan Air Force Flight 571 was a chartered flight that crashed on a glacier at an elevation of 3,570 metres (11,710 ft) in the remote Andes. Facing starvation and death, the survivors reluctantly resorted to cannibalism. Among the 45 people on board, 28 survived the initial crash. After 72 days on the glacier, 16 people were rescued.

 
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Twilight Zone accident

On July 23, 1982, a Bell UH-1 Iroquois helicopter crashed at Indian Dunes in Valencia, Santa Clarita, California, during the making of Twilight Zone: The Movie. The crash killed three people on the ground as well as injured the six helicopter passengers, including the director, John Landis. The incident led to years of civil and criminal action and was directly responsible for the introduction of new procedures and safety standards in the filmmaking industry.

 
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Air France Flight 447

Air France Flight 447 (AF447/AFR447) was a scheduled passenger international flight from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, to Paris, France, which crashed on 1 June 2009. The Airbus A330, operated by Air France, stalled and did not recover, eventually crashing into the Atlantic Ocean at 02:14 UTC, killing all 228 passengers, aircrew and cabin crew on board the aircraft.

 
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Wars and warfare, Transportation

American Airlines Flight 11

American Airlines Flight 11 was a domestic passenger flight that was hijacked by five al-Qaeda members on September 11, 2001, as part of the September 11 attacks. Mohamed Atta deliberately crashed the plane into the North Tower of the World Trade Center in New York City, killing all 92 people aboard and an unknown number in the building's impact zone. The aircraft involved, a Boeing 767-223ER, registration N334AA, was flying American Airlines' daily scheduled morning transcontinental service from Logan International Airport, in Boston, Massachusetts, to Los Angeles International Airport, in Los Angeles, California.