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Author Topic: Plane crashes occur in 3s
WildaBeast
Let There Be PCs on Earth


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So, I am a bit of a wannabe aviation enthusiast, and I occasionally lurk in the airliners.net forums. The recent plane crash in Brazil reminded me of what seems to be a superstition in the airline industry I came across in their thread about the plane crash in Kentucky a few months ago.

In that thread, someone made this comment (it's the 8th reply; I couldn't figure out how to link to a specific post over there):
quote:
God i was scared of what would be next since the russian plan crash. It seems the 3's is true.
If I'm reading that correctly, the superstition is that plane crashes occur in groups of three. I think we have a few people from the aviation industry here. Have you heard of this? Do I have it right?

Of course the obvious problem whit this is how close together in time do the three crashes have to be for them to count? I'm sure you could pick any crach that's occured in the past, and find two other crashes somewhere in the world that were close enough to convince yourself that it's true. There must be some people out there who think the crashes in Russia, Kentucky, and Brazil, are proof of this superstition.

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"Unseasonable is an odd word to begin with. It sounds like it's describing something that it's impossible to sprinkle pepper on." -- Nonny

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Arriah
The First USA Noel


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That seems to be a 'special case' of the more general superstition that bad things happen in 3's. I've usually heard it applied to deaths happening in 3's but nobody is ever sure how close together the deaths have to be.

My DOYC! My great grandma died when i was 2 and only 20 years later, both of my husbands grandparents died too! It does happen in threes.
[/superstitious silliness]

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Conforming meant that everyone liked you except yourself
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WildaBeast
Let There Be PCs on Earth


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quote:
Originally posted by Arriah:
That seems to be a 'special case' of the more general superstition that bad things happen in 3's. I've usually heard it applied to deaths happening in 3's but nobody is ever sure how close together the deaths have to be.

I don't think I've heard that superstition before. It could be that that poster was just talking about the general superstition about bad things occuring in 3s, but since I'd never heard of that before and I read it in an aviation forum I assumed the superstion was unique to aviation.

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"Unseasonable is an odd word to begin with. It sounds like it's describing something that it's impossible to sprinkle pepper on." -- Nonny

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daisy747
I'm Dreaming of a White Sale


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I used to work as a secretary on an inpatient hospital floor. Worked there for many years, and the deaths in 3s supersition was always refered to. The time frame that most agreed on was one week, but sometimes we had 3 deaths in a day. It was an oncology floor, so this could be expected. Anyway, I know that it is just a supersition, but it frequently rang true that we would have 3 deaths in a row in a week or less. But, like I said it was oncology so the death rate on that floor was much higher than any other in the hospital.
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Class Bravo
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quote:
Originally posted by WildaBeast:
If I'm reading that correctly, the superstition is that plane crashes occur in groups of three. I think we have a few people from the aviation industry here. Have you heard of this? Do I have it right?

I've heard of the superstitious "Rule of 3" before in other contexts, but I've never heard of it in specific regards to the aviation industry.

One important distinction though--are they referring only to air carrier (airliner) crashes, or are they referring to all aviation in general? With the amount of general aviation (GA) aircraft flying around, there are many more fatal crashes than make the news. Off the top of my head I can think of two fatal GA accidents I've heard of within the past month--one in Wyoming and one in Prescott, AZ.

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DaGuyWitBluGlasses
I'll Be Home for After Christmas Sales


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Avery's Rule of Three
Trouble strikes in series of threes, but when working around the house the next job after a series of three is not the fourth job-- it's the start of a brand new series of three.

Possibly connected to H.Allen Smith's Let the Crabgrass grow (Avery was Smith's neighbour [assumed fictional]) However the connection is not confirmed.

(bib: The Official Rules, Paul Dickson)

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Singing in the Drizzle
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I have heard of the bad thing happening in 3's many times. My observation has been. If we see one bad thing we sorta egnore it. When the second bad thing comes asssuming the first is still somewhat fresh in the memory. We tend to add it to the first one and start looking for the 3rd bad thing. When you start looking you have a tendency to find it.

I always tell people that if you are going to count bad things, you also need to count the good thing.

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Tantei Kijo
The First USA Noel


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Three of my grandparents died within a year of eachother (my last grandpa living another three years). Each death was unrelated; that is, the maternal grandparents had been divorced for over 40 years, so no dying from grief.
Of course, none of the other deaths related to the family have come in groups, so it's not significant after all, though it was a quite a shock.

I'm trying and trying, but can't come up with any more threes from my life that fit a pattern, really.

The only aviation three I know of is the 9/11 crashes.

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LeaflessMapleTree
The twelve shopping days 'til Christmas


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Waffles.

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"For me, religion is like a rhinoceros: I don't have one, and I'd really prefer not to be trampled by yours. But it is impressive, and even beautiful, and, to be honest, the world would be slightly worse off if there weren't any."
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LeaflessMapleTree
The twelve shopping days 'til Christmas


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If you count the one that crashed in a field, that's 4 crashes on 9/11, not 3.

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"For me, religion is like a rhinoceros: I don't have one, and I'd really prefer not to be trampled by yours. But it is impressive, and even beautiful, and, to be honest, the world would be slightly worse off if there weren't any."
-Silas Sparkhammer

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chillas
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quote:
Originally posted by MapleLeaf:
If you count the one that crashed in a field, that's 4 crashes on 9/11, not 3.

Ah, but you forget you're supposed to stop counting at 3 and start over.

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Elsie
Deck the Malls


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I've heard it said that celebrity deaths seem to come in threes. I know there was a spate of deaths some months ago, but for the life of me I can't remeber who they were and I just don't have time to try and google it right now.

I have also heard the "airline crashes in threes" thing before too. My husband works in aviation and I guess we just pay more attention to those news stories. Just to clarify, it is not my husband who believes that, but because we tend to watch every single aviation-related news story, I hear so many people talking about crashes and stuff that I have heard it on TV. Can't say if it was a reporter or analyst, or what the context of the comment was, just that I know I've heard someone on TV say it before.

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I'm an excellent speller, but a lousy typist.
"Just so you know, the words 'just' and 'cramps' - they don't go together." - Ginger Snaps

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Tantei Kijo
The First USA Noel


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quote:
Originally posted by MapleLeaf:
If you count the one that crashed in a field, that's 4 crashes on 9/11, not 3.

D'oh! No, it was the Pentagon one I spaced.

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Bender: Though you may have to make a metaphorical "deal with the devil". And by "devil", I mean the robot devil, and by "metaphorically" I mean get your coat. ------------ My sad site: A new way to be bored.

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Troberg
Angels Wii Have Heard on High


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quote:
If you count the one that crashed in a field, that's 4 crashes on 9/11, not 3.
This must be the definitive proof that Pentagon was hit by a missile, because then it neatly adds up to 3.

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/Troberg

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LeaflessMapleTree
The twelve shopping days 'til Christmas


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I think George Carlin said it best when he noted that things occur in ones. When three ones happen close together, people think that things happen in threes.

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"For me, religion is like a rhinoceros: I don't have one, and I'd really prefer not to be trampled by yours. But it is impressive, and even beautiful, and, to be honest, the world would be slightly worse off if there weren't any."
-Silas Sparkhammer

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onein6billion
Deck the Malls


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Well there was a plane crash in NYC. Would the helicopter crash in FL today count as two?

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Don't argue with an idiot; people watching may not be able to tell the difference.
"Divorce is not caused because 50% of marriages end in gayness." - Jon Stewart
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Floater
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quote:
Originally posted by onein6billion:
Well there was a plane crash in NYC. Would the helicopter crash in FL today count as two?

And a plane crash in Norway makes it three.

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Små hönor skall inte lägga stora ägg för då blir de slarviga i ändan

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