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Aircraft Accidents

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Picture of Boeing 727 Flight 182

NASA's Aviation Safety Program

Subject Area: History

Grade Level: 9-12

National History Standards:

  • Analyze specific events, make general observations about behavior in a human community based on these events, and apply those in proposing solutions for a persistent social problem.
  • Understand the varied uses of evidence and data and use both to make interpretations concerning public issues.
  • Construct and draw inferences from charts, tables, and graphs that summarize data from real-world situations.

National Technology Standards:

  • Technology Research Tools - Select and apply technology tools for research, information analysis, problem-solving, and decision-making in content learning.
  • Technology Problem-Solving and Decision-Making Tools - Routinely and efficiently use on-line information resources to meet needs for collaboration, research, publications, communications, and productivity.


  • After reading the explanation given below, use the World Wide Web to access additional information needed to complete a set of questions and create a graph of related information.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the graph by observing trends and drawing conclusions.

With the increases in air traffic and developments in the aviation industry, there are greater concerns regarding aviation safety. Currently, NASA Glenn Research Center is involved in the implementation of a federal Aviation Safety Program in conjunction with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). This program is designed to improve the safety of our nation's skies into the 21st century. You will be investigating several aircraft accidents, creating a graph of aircraft fatalities for the years 1920-present, and reviewing the current focus of NASA's Aviation Safety Program.

Access several Web sites to investigate airline disasters from 1920-1998 and complete the questions as well as the graph in the problem set. The following sites will provide information on aviation safety:

Air Safety

Aviation Safety Information Analysis and Sharing from the FAA

Aviation Safety Network

Major Airplane Disasters

To view the questions and graph requirements, click on Accident Problem Set. When finished with that part of the activity, click on Aviation Safety Program and review the material under NASA Initiatives. Then return to Accident Problem Set and answer the questions pertaining to the Aviation Safety Program.

Picture of Boeing 737 Air Florida

Boeing 737-222 Air Florida , 13th January 1982


You, or you and your partner(s), will be evaluated on the feasibility of your graph and answers.


You will demonstrate the ability to use information found on the Internet to analyze and interpret data found in a chart, create a graph using that information, and interpret trends shown in the graph. Additionally, you will be asked to evaluate current attempts at improving aviation safety.

Submitted by:

Virginia A. Wendling, Olmsted Falls High School, Olmsted Falls, Ohio

Related Pages:
Mission and History Index
Aerodynamics Index
Propulsion Index


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Editor: Tom Benson
NASA Official: Tom Benson
Last Updated: Thu, Jun 12 04:48:25 PM EDT 2014

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