In 1996, an unprecedented number of plane crashes would make this year the most dangerous year to fly that we had ever seen. A strange surge in plane crashes never before seen and concentrated within the time span of one year.
In January a Zairean Cargo plane crashes into a crowded market in Kinshasa, killing 350., In February Birgenair Flight 301 crashes into the Atlantic Ocean killing 189 and in the same month a Boeing 737 crashed near Arequipa, Peru killing 123. In July, TWA flight 800 explodes off the coast of New York killing 230, and in November, Saudi Arabian Airline collides with Kazakhstan Airline in mid-air killing 350. In all, 1,242 people lost their lives in plane crashes in 1996. By contrast, the average number of plane crashes per year in both recent and following years is zero – two, with either none, or no more than one per year in the last five years.
1996 Air Africa crash
Birgenair Flight 301
Boeing 737 crashed near Arequipa, Peru
TWA flight 800
Saudi Arabian Airline collides with Kazakhstan Airline