AS NOVEMBER comes to a close, we’ve passed a remarkable milestone. It has now been fifteen years since the last serious crash involving a major U.S. air carrier.
On November 12th, 2001, American Airlines flight 587, an Airbus A300 bound for Santo Domingo, went down in the Belle Harbor section of Queens moments after takeoff from JFK airport, killing 260 people (see below for details). Since that day, there has not been a large-scale, multiple-fatality disaster involving a U.S. major. Over ten billion passengers have traveled safety aboard American, United, Delta and Southwest. We also could add jetBlue, Alaska, Hawaiian, Spirit and Frontier to that list; and, when they still were around, US Airways, AirTran and Northwest.
To be clear, there have been a handful of tragedies involving regional carriers and freighters, from the UPS accidents in Dubai and Birmingham, to the Colgan Air and Comair crashes, in which dozens died. And, …