The Biggest Airplane Disasters of 2014 Markus Mainka / Shutterstock.com

The Biggest Airplane Disasters of 2014

From Amelia Earhart and the mystery of the Bermuda Triangle in 1937 all the way up to the controversy of Malaysia Airlines Flight 370, aviation crashes are always surrounded by a bulk of mystery as we search for answers. Sometimes they are even poorly reported; for instance Asiana Flight 214 in 2013-and other times they are tales of survival worthy of feature films, like Uruguyan Air Force Flight 571 -but most of all they are tragic. Unfortunately, 2014 included 18 such incidents, some military and others commercial. Even more disheartening, a few were even intentional. Despite 2014 actually being noted as the safest year in aviation history, the year past showcased some of the most widely covered plane crashes ever recorded, with some taking months to uncover even the smallest pieces of evidence. Let’s review 5 of the biggest airplane disasters of 2014 and in some cases, of all time.

Ukrainian Air Force Ilyushin Il-76 – The Beginning of Another Conflict

The Ilyushin Il-76 military plane that was shot down on June 14, 2014 is a case of spy versus spy. The Lugansk People’s Republic is said to have shot down the military craft carrying 40 paratroopers and nine crewmembers. While it was originally thought to be taken down by anti-aircraft guns, evidence was found of empty Igla missiles near the crash site close to Lugansk Airport.

In the usual case of “he said/she said” that typically goes on between Russia and Ukraine, a Russian source went as far to claim that neither body parts nor military armaments were found at the crash site, alluding that the plane was actually empty the entire time. This would have meant the plane was intended to transport bodies of deceased soldiers but didn’t have any aboard at that time. As usual, revenge was promised and both sides blamed one another. At least there was a day of mourning.

Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 – Caught Between Two Sides

On July 17th a massive Boeing 777-200ER lost contact with air traffic control approximately 50 km from the Russia-Ukraine border on its way to Kuala Lumpur from Amsterdam. According to American and German intelligence, pro-Russian separatists near Donestsk Oblast, Ukraine shot down the jet.

All 283 passengers and 15 crewmembers of the Malaysia Airlines flight were tragically killed in the incident including 27 Australians, 43 Malaysians, 12 Indonesians, 10 Brits and 193 Dutch. Donbass separatists claimed responsibility until it was revealed it was a commercial airliner at which point they backed down. Of course, Russia put the entirety of the blame on Ukraine in a rather sad circumstance of wrong place, wrong time.

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