The past year has been a particularly distressing one for allthose who are scared to fly, following the two Malaysian aircraftsand an Indonesian AirAsia flight crashes in 2014.  About 30 percent of adults are scared of flying and 73percent of those are frightened by the possibility of technical or mechanicalfaults causing the plane to crash. Despite the slim statistical chances of acommercial airplane crashing, the fear of flight remains one of the biggestmodern phobias.

While the fear of flying may not be entirely eliminated,there is some good news for those who are afraid to fly. The app “Am Igoing down?” was created by Nic Johns and Julie Postlethwaite and aims to calmthe nervous flyers by letting them know how unlikely it is for their plane tocrash. It does this by calculating the probability of an airplane going downbased on a distance, airplane model, and airport destinations.

Although the app shows that the chances of a plane crashing arevery slim, the app’s calculations are not random ‘feel good’ statistics. Tocalculate the probability of a plane crashing, the app draws the data from Bureau of Aircraft Accidents Archivesand National Transportation Safety Board(NTSB) for the statistics on plane crashes and International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) for the informationabout the airports.

An example of the app’s calculation shows that that theflight from San Francisco International Airport to London Heathrow on anAmerican Airlines flight, Airbus A330, has 1 in 3,646,151 chances ofcrashing, adding that the traveller would have to get on this flight every day,for 9,989 years to be involved in a crash. For a nervous flyer, this might makea tremendous difference in how the traveller experiences the flight.

So far,the app evaluates over 10 million routes around the world.

By adding a statistical example to the well-known, "flyingis the safest way to travel", the application aims to speak to logic in orderto dampen the fear of a plane crash.

The app might be an interesting exercise in statisticimprobabilities for those who are not frightened by flying, but whether thosewho are scared will find this information comforting or further stressful,remains to be seen.

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