“Am I Going Down?” App Reveals Odds of Plane Crashes

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Society Staff | John Carpenter | jc898610@ohio.edu

Worried about your next flight? Well, there’s an app for that.

A new app called ‘Am I Going Down?’ calculates a certain plane’s rough chances of crashing in an effort to put unsettled passengers at ease. Created by Vanilla Pixel, a London-based company, the app uses real flight statistics and simulations to analyze flight safety.

For example, if you’re flying on a Boeing 777 Cathay Pacific flight from Hong Kong to Los Angeles, there app claims there is a one in 4,068,434 chance that your flight will go down en route.

Surprisingly, even the most avid flyers have little to fear. According to the app, if you take a flight every day for the next 11,146 years, you are unlikely to experience even one incident, believe it or not.

“I’m never really nervous when I fly, but I’d be a liar if I said I don’t think about what would happen if the plane crashed,” said Scott Preston, a junior at Ohio University. “The app sounds kind of interesting if you fly a lot, but I would probably never use it.”

Developer Nic Johns spoke out to attempt to rationalize the app, explaining that it’s meant to calm the fears of those who are uneasy when it comes to air travel. More than 10 million routes have been assessed using data from such sources as the Bureau of Aircraft Accidents Archives, the United States National Transportation Safety Board and the Civil Aviation Organization.

The release of the app, however, did come at a rather awkward time – just days after AirAsia flight QZ8501 went down. Johns admitted the timing of the release was unfortunate and that he had originally developed the app in February 2014, shortly before the first Air Malaysia crash. After the crash Johns decided to put the app on hold to work on a few other things.

The final app was sent to Apple for review in December, just two weeks before the AirAsia QZ8501 crash. In response to the tragedy, Johns temporarily removed AirAsia from the airline list, explaining that it will return in a later update. Despite all that, the reaction to the app has been extremely positive so far.

Ohio University senior Allie Adams said, “I would still be nervous if I saw any number come up for my flight. Obviously there’s a chance of it going down, but checking the app and seeing your odds of crashing would make me, personally, more nervous.”

So is it necessary to “review” the statistics and odds of your plane crashing right before takeoff? I guess that’s subjective. The ‘Am I Going Down?’ app is now available on iTunes and is currently only available for iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch while develops plan on releasing an Android version in the future.

 

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