Even so, surviving a plane crash has far more to do with the conditions of the accident and the skill of the crew than the "greatness" of the aircraft structure. If a plane falls out of the sky from 30,000 ft (9,150 m) or slams into the side of a mountain at 700 mph (1,125 km/h), it doesn't matter if the structure is made out of aluminum, composites, titanium, or cardboard boxes, no one is going to survive. Obviously, the more people aboard the doomed airliner, the more will perish.
In addition, many have concerns about larger aircraft when they are involved in accidents on the ground, an
increasingly common occurence. Some of the most horific air disasters have occurred while aircraft were simply
taxiing around the airport, with the disaster usually caused by a collision or a fire. The more people who are
aboard the stricken airplane, the harder it is to get them all off in a short period of time. In fact, the worst
air disaster in history occurred when two fully loaded Boeing
747s collided at an airport in 1977 killing 538 passengers and crew. The issue is so worrisome that
the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is currently developing a number of safety systems to help prevent
aircraft collisions during taxiing.
- answer by Jeff Scott, 24 June 2001
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