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Two were injured in this plane crash in Oconee County, South Carolina on March 31, 2015.
It seems that many aircraft of all sizes and types have been increasingly meeting with accidents and mishaps worldwide recently. The following list has been gleaned from the web since March 18 and consists of 54 such reports. One can't help wonder if this number and rate of incidents is really a normal state of affairs? As well as out-and-out crashes involving fatalities, there are numerous accounts of mechanical faults while others document the smell of something burning in cockpits and passenger areas, with at least one being described as being 'electrical' in nature.

Below is a somewhat dry compilation of the headlines surrounding these events arranged in chronological sequence with links to pursue for the interested reader. Many of the more intriguing accounts have been highlighted though.

Just to repeat, it's difficult not to ponder if all these accidents of late really reflects a normal situation. And if it does not, then just what the hell is going on?

March 18

Pilot dies in plane crash near Hueco Tanks east of El Paso County

2 Die in crash of air force plane in Ecuador

Uruguay plane crash kills passengers and crew
Fire department spokesman Leandro Palomeque told AP Friday that seven bodies had been recovered from the wreckage that was semi-submerged in a lagoon. Rescuers are working to recover the other three bodies, he added.

The twin-engine Beechcraft airplane crashed near Laguna del Sauce in Uruguay's Maldonado province 15 kilometers (9 miles) west of the of the city of Punta Del Este where the Argentina-bound plane had taken off.

The cause of the crash is being investigated. Air traffic controllers reported seeing an explosion shortly after the plane took off.
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© Getty images
Site of the plane crash in Uruguay
No survivors in plane crash

March 19

Pilot unharmed after plane skids off runway at East Hampton Airport

Two dead in ultra light plane crash in Austria

March 20

Vehicle accident in Ireland on Friday, 20 March, 2015 at 04:14 (04:14 AM) UTC.
A Mexico-bound plane made an emergency landing at Shannon this afternoon, after a technical fault was reported on board. Condor flight DE4156 was over the Atlantic, en route from Frankfurt in Germany to Cancun when the alarm was raised.
Mechanical failure leads to 2-passenger plane crash at airport
A plane crashed at the St. George Municipal Airport Friday evening after it experienced a mechanical failure.

The incident occurred at about 7:30 p.m., when a pilot was landing a twin-engine Cessna 310 on runway 19 and the left main landing gear collapsed, causing the plane to skid off the runway, Airport Operation Supervisor Brad Kitchen said.
Plane goes down in North Carolina, no one injured

Emergency services called to micro plane crash at Durham Tees Valley Airport

Pilot uninjured after plane crashes in Lake County woods
A pilot walked away unscathed Friday morning after his plane crashed into a wooded area of Groveland.

Lake County firefighters said the pilot crashed his two-seater Cessna-style plane at 8:40 a.m.

Residents in the Royal Highlands subdivision heard the plane motor sputter out and heard the plane crash, according to fire officials
Pilot dies in Victoria plane crash

March 21

Police ID 2 hurt in plane's hard landing in Sedona
The investigation revealed the aircraft that Coester built lost power on its final approach to the Sedona Airport.

Sedona fire spokesman Gary Johnson says it appears the aircraft possibly lost its landing gear when it tried to land on the dirt and gravel road.
Two injured, two missing in small plane crash in Colombia

March 22

One killed in small plane crash near Woodward

March 23

Pilot signaled mechanical problem prior to crashing in Inverness backyard
Smith was headed to Ocala when he radioed into the tower in Jacksonville to report a problem with his Beechcraft Bonanza.

The tower rerouted the plane, but it was too late.

"He was having some mechanical issues and then the next thing (witnesses) know is they hear the engine shut off and then that's when we got the call," said Detective Cregg Dalton with the Citrus County Sheriff's Office.

The plane clipped a power line, hit a couple trees, and somehow used the backyard porch as a landing strip.
March 24

German Wings jet crashes in Southern French Alps with 142 passengers on board

Helicopter goes down off coast of Taylors Island

Plane Crash In Verdigris

March 25

Vehicle incident in China on Wednesday, 25 March, 2015 at 04:28 (04:28 AM) UTC.
A Beijing-bound flight was forced to make an emergency landing in Hefei after departing from Xiamen about an hour into the flight on Tuesday morning, March 24th. The flight, CA1802, took off at 07:52 from Xiamen Gaoqi International Airport and made the landing in Hefei at 09:18 at Hefei Xinqiao International Airport after smoke was found in the cockpit.
Two missing after India navy plane crashes into sea

Vehicle incident in Russia [Asia] on Wednesday, 25 March, 2015 at 13:04 (01:04 PM)
UTC.
A Russian airline UTair Boeing 737 plane, carrying 78 passengers plus crew, has requested an emergency landing at the Pulkovo airport in St Petersburg, the company and a Russian aviation source said on Wednesday. The source said one of the plane's engines had failed and that the plane had been due to land at 12:25 pm (0925 GMT). The emergency landing was carried out 'after the transmitter went off, signalling the right engine's failure', a source told RIA Novosti news agency.
Plane crash lands at Hooks Airport

March 26

Vehicle incident in Spain on Thursday, 26 March, 2015 at 10:55 (10:55 AM) UTC.
A Vueling flight had to make an emergency landing at Barcelona's El Prat airport this morning a little after takeoff because of a "burning smell". A plane has had to make an emergency landing at Barcelona's El Prat airport - the airport from which the doomed Germanwings flight 4U9525 took off on Tuesday morning. Vueling is a Spanish low-cost airliner based at El Prat airport. The flight, from Barcelona to Munich, took off from El Prat airport at 7am only to return minutes later when the captain smelled burning, sources from the airline told Catalan daily, La Vanguardia. The newspaper is reporting that the partner of one of the passengers said those on board had heard "strange noises, grinding and the smell of burning".
Identities of Helena plane crash passengers released

March 27

Plane takes off after emergency landing on highway

Plane lands safely at IAH after reporting engine trouble

Small plane crashes near Stephenville, 2 taken to hospitals

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Plane crashes near Stephenville
March 28

Plane makes emergency landing at Van Nuys Airport
A small aircraft experiencing engine failure — and with smoke in the cockpit — was able to make a safe landing at the Van Nuys Airport today.

Firefighters and paramedics were notified of the incident at the Van Nuys Airport, 16461 Sherman Way, at 12:48 p.m., said Shawn Lenske of the Los Angeles City Fire Department.

The plane was reportedly a single-engine Cherokee, according to fire department radios monitored by City News Service. The pilot had reported engine failure and smoke in the cockpit.

The plane was over Cal State Northridge and flying towards the northern end of the north-south Van Nuys Airport runways, when the fire crash crews rolled out.

No injuries were reported and the reason for the aircraft's engine failure was not immediately known.
March 29

Air Canada plane makes crash landing at Halifax Airport

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The crash landing caused extensive damage to the wing and nose of the Air Canada plane
Wreckage recovery: aftermath of Noosa beach plane crash

16-year-old pilot Ryan McCall killed when small plane crashes near airport

Small plane crash in Pennsylvania kills 2

March 30

Four injured in small plane crash near Lake Texoma

2 dead, 1 injured after helicopter crashes during controlled burn in Saucier

Small plane lands on Wyoming highway after engine trouble

No one hurt in small plane crash at Tucson airport

March 31

Plane lands safely at Allegheny County Airport after smoke fills cockpit
Fire crews responded to Allegheny County Airport Tuesday after receiving reports of smoke filling the cockpit of a plane.

According to investigators, the plane landed safely after reporting smoke in the cockpit.

All oxygen masks were deployed on the plane as a result of the smoke, investigators said. The two pilots and one passenger aboard were evacuated.
Plane diverted to Boise Airport after 'smoke smell' reported
A Southwest Airlines flight from Phoenix to Spokane, Wash., was diverted to Idaho after a burning electrical or smoke smell was reported in the passenger cabin.

The plane landed in Boise at about 5:30 p.m. Monday.

Southwest Airlines spokesman Brad Hawkins says the captain in command of the flight heard reports of an odor and decided to divert the plane so mechanics could make safety checks.
Two injured in Oconee County plane crash

Two people are killed in crash of small plane in Linn County, Kan.

April 1

Pilot killed in Fort Pierce plane crash, fire officials say

Southwest flight makes an emergency landing at DIA
Southwest flight 687 returned to Denver International Airport Wednesday afternoon after pilots experienced possible mechanical issues.

The flight made its emergency landing at 12:24 p.m.

It was only in the air for about 10 minutes.
April 2

Plane crashes into river in Sydney
A light plane has crashed into a river in a national park south-west of Sydney.

Two people have walked away from the crash without injury.

The pilot has told 9NEWS the aircraft suffered engine failure and he was forced to ditch it.

The plane went down in Nattai National Park, near Camden.

He said he began experiencing mechanical problems while at about 3,500 feet over a nearby mountain range.

"We had a complete engine failure without warning
and put it down in the swamp," he told 9NEWS.
Plane flying out of Cheyenne crashes at North Dakota Airport
Two people onboard a small airplane escaped injury when their landing gear failed at the Williston airport.

The North Dakota Highway Patrol says pilot Edward Routon and passenger Tammy Heimbuch were flying from Cheyenne, Wyoming, on Thursday when the landing gear on their Beechcraft Baron propeller plane failed to lower on descent to Sloulin Field International Airport.

The patrol says Routon landed the plane on its undercarriage
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Small plane makes emergency landing

April 3

Five dead as helicopter crashes into house

Plane crash in Rajshahi kills female pilot
A female trainee pilot died as a training aircraft of a flying institute crashed at Shah Makhdum Airport in Rajshahi this afternoon.

Tamanna Rahman, 22, died when her plane suddenly caught fire and crashed on the runway while taking off around 2:00pm.
Plane lands at Prestwick Airport after 'incident'
Police and other emergency services attended at the airport in Ayrshire, in the west of Scotland, for what was described as a major incident.

A spokeswoman for the Ministry of Defence (MoD) said an Italian civilian aircraft was escorted to Prestwick by jets from Lossiemouth after it lost communications.

She said the aircraft landed safely last night and the incident was over.

Police Scotland tweeted: "Police and emergency services present at Prestwick Airport after plane landed safely under escort as safety precaution."

Photographs from the scene appeared to show a number of emergency service vehicles, which had been summoned to the airport as a precaution.

The plane at the centre of the drama was an Italian C-27J, which experienced technical difficulties with its communications equipment.
Plane has emergency before landing at Yeager Airport
A plane flying into Yeager Airport declared an emergency before landing Friday, April 3, 2015.

United Flight 5012 was flying out of Washington Dulles International Airport.

Airport officials say the plane declared an emergency due to white smoke in the cabin, likely from an electrical issue which affected the transponder. The pilot was able to fix the problem before the making final approach by resetting the system.
Vehicle Incident in USA on Friday, 03 April, 2015 at 03:26 (03:26 AM) UTC.
Bradley International Airport had to shut down for a short time on Thursday evening as a plane made an emergency landing, according to airport officials. A plane that was flying from Newark Liberty International Airport in New Jersey to Burlington International Airport in Vermont had to be diverted to Bradley due to engine problems.
Pilot dies in ultralight plane crash in Petaluma

One dead after plane crash in Independence County
A plane crash left one man dead in Independence County Thursday night.

According to the Independence County Sheriff's Department, around 5 p.m. Thursday, a woman who lived nearby heard a loud pop in the sky followed by a crash.
Plane crash on Tomahawk Beach