This plane has a lot of different names, but we’re going to call it by its most commonly recognized, the Dash 8. Manufactured by de Havilland and Bombardier Aerospace in Canada, it’s also known as the Q400. Another thing it is known for is its landing gear failures. In 2007, a total of eight gear failures caused accidents. In Denmark that year, four landing gear failures occurred upon touchdown. In Germany, Japan, Lithuania, and South Korea, there was a repeat of the same issue.
The airline, SAS, discontinued the use of the Dash 8 after the Swedish Civil Aviation Administration caught up with the airline and discovered SAS cutting corners in maintenance, finding 2,300 flights lacking in safety requirements. But landing gear failure was not the only problem. Nose gear issues were also jeopardizing the landings. These planes are in active use by Canadian, Australian and British airlines.
Vought V-173 "Flying Pancake"
Here's a crazy design that you would expect more on your plate than in the sky. The "Flying Pancake" as it is aptly called was designed during a time where the U.S observed an increased demand for ship-borne planes that could take off from shorter runways
The inexplicable shape was even once flown by the legendary Charles Lindberg. Considering the design, the great pilot actually said it handled a little better than expected, but it looked ridiculous and thankfully, they fell away after some time.
Handley Page Victor
This insect-like jet called the Handley Page Victor has an assuming look, that one might be surprised to learn that it's actually a high-powered strategic bomber jet. The first take-off happened in December 1952, but for the next few decades, engineers started to discover a fundamental flaw that resulted in fatigue cracks, worsened form the low altitude flights to avoid being intercepted.
Production was then called off in 1993, which is quite a long time considering the issues. Many of the functional Victors were re-appropriated to become ariel refueling tankers. Technical problems assist, the fact that it looks like a praying mantis is a questionable choice of design.
McDonnell Douglas designed the MD-80 twin-engine commercial jetliner as an upgrade to the DC-9. The MD-80 is a single-aisle aircraft that seats up to 172 people. It was the “workhorse” of American Airlines, its most profitable plane for four decades, until the company retired their remaining 26 planes in 2019. On average, the MD-80 has a lower crash rate than other airlines making it one of the safest planes to fly, statistically. However, its long service has featured some ugly incidents.
A MD-80 packed with 156 passengers crashed in Detroit killing almost everyone on board, plus two ground crew. A 4-year-old little girl was the only survivor who was found strapped to her seat and buried in debris. In 1996, a fail-on-takeoff killed two on board. One crashed into the Pacific Ocean off the coast of California killing all 88 on board. Improper maintenance was blamed. The FAA tried to fine American Airlines $7.1 million for flying planes that were not properly maintained. On the upside, now that it is grounded, of course, those flight risks are gone.
The Saab 340
The Saab 340 is a commuter aircraft that hit the skies in 1984. It has had several accidents, including fatalities, and it has had some serious noise issues to contend with. The Saab 340 is a passenger twin-engine turboprop plane out of Sweden that can seat up to 36 people. With turboprop propulsion, it is more fuel-efficient, but the turboprop engines on this one made it particularly noisy. Finally, in the 1990s, they developed a high-tech noise cancellation system which took the din of the turboprops down by 10 decibels.
That’s a huge cut, but it underscores how loud the flight was. More significantly, the Saab 340 suffered four fatal crashes. Seven other crashes caused serious damage that was beyond repair, totaling the aircraft. At least two resulted from the undercarriage collapsing on landing. The others were likely due to pilot error.