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December 15, 1998

Thai Airliner Crash Kills 101 people

On Friday, December 11, 1998, at Surat Thani, Thailand, 500 kilometers south of Bangkok, a Thai Airways Airbus A310-200 crashed during heavy rain and burst into flames. According to the International Herald Tribune of December 12-13 and 14, 101 people died, only 45 survived.

Again, this accident demonstrates that the human body can survive incredible g-forces but not a crash where it remains unprotected. Most of the deaths on this crash were avoidable, if the structure of the plane had protected them, and if no fire had occurred.

The Tribune stated that the cause of the accident was [as usual] attributed to 'pilot error'. It may be entirely true that the cause of the crash is pilot error, but the cause of the deaths is not altogether his responsibility - the two ought not to be confused. The pilot cannot be held accountable for the fragile fuselage or for the irresponsible practice of hanging the engines and landing gear on fuel tank supporting structure in combination with excessively high approach and landing speeds. These major design flaws are inherent in airliners of both Airbus and Boeing, who have refused to implement the advanced Burnelli Lifting Body technology which eliminates these fundamental design faults and has been available for decades.

[Related topics: 1935 Burnelli UB-14 crash Report / Video]
[Related articles: Crashes CAN be Harmless

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