This app calculates if your plane will crash

29th Jan 2015
Written by: Dave Owen

Aims to allay fears of nervous fliers

There are many reasons to be scared of flying: the recycled air that bathes you inside-and-out with the malicious germs of your fellow traveller; the lottery of being seated next to somebody who insists on telling you about their stubborn rash… oh, and the possibility of bursting into flame and plummeting to earth in a hail of terror and death.

A new app is aiming to put your mind at rest about the latter by telling you just how likely (or unlikely) your flight is to end up as a headline on the evening news.

The app, apparently not seeking to offer comfort with its name, is called ‘Am I Going Down?’, and uses a vast database of statistics to make its decision. It works like this: you select your departing and destination airports, your carrier, and the type of aircraft you’re hopefully not already sitting on. Then you press ‘Am I Going Down?’ and pray it doesn’t suggest you say goodbye to your loved ones while you still can.

It’s kind of a magic 8-ball of death, but, according to news.com.au, which has tested the app, it’s heavily weighted in your favour. A flight from Sydney to Singapore on an Air China Boeing 747 gives you a 1 in 2,516,447 chance of crashing, according to the app, which means you’d have to take the flight every day for 6,894 years before you’d expect to crash. We like those odds.

The app was developed by Nic Johns as a means of alleviating his wife’s anxiety over flying.

“Her fear originated many years ago after backpacking around Australia and South East Asia. Despite many carefree flights that year, the final flight home from Bangkok to London was a white-knuckle ride,” he said. “Ever since that event flying has been traumatic… a lot of the concept comes from trying to allay her own fears.”

Apparently he’s received mixed feedback from nervous flyers, some of whom claim that raw data can do little to sooth fears of a freak accident, especially given the number of prominent air disasters in recent months.

But, generally speaking, the app has gone down well. It’s available now on the Apple iTunes Store.

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