Do Plane Crashes Happen in Threes? - Sometimes, Yes

Do plane crashes happen in three? It may seem like a superstitious belief and not at all scientific, but creator and leading aviation safety authority Dr. Todd Curtis says that there is some truth behind that belief.
March 3, 2009 - PRLog -- On 25 February 2009,  a Turkish Airlines 737 crashed in Amsterdam, killing nine passengers and crew members. This crash also came only weeks after a fatal crash in Buffalo, New York, and just over a month after the now world famous "Miracle on the Hudson" where a skilled crew narrowly averted disaster by successfully ditching a jet airliner in a river.

In fact, since late December 2008, there had been five airliner crashes around the world, three of them fatal. After a string of events like this, a common belief in the minds of many travelers is that accidents are not random, and that belief often shows up as the question "Do bad things like plane crashes happen in threes?"

Noted aviation safety expert Dr. Todd Curtis, like many of his colleagues, had dismissed this kind of idea as nonsense. However, that changed once he looked at the situation a little more closely. From 1996, the year he started the aviation safety web site, to 2008, every year except 2007 had at least one period where three or more plane crashes happened only a few days apart. At, Dr. Curtis described in detail the procedure that he used to identify the 17 times that plane crashes happened in threes (and even fours and fives).

In spite of string of crashes in January and February, they were not close enough in time to count as having "happened in threes" according to Dr. Curtis. However, there are still 10 months left to go in 2009.

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