ANALYSIS/OPINION: It was a perfect storm.
On the morning of July 20, a Cessna 182, a modified version of the B-52 Stratofortress, flew into the air near Kodiak.
It hit a small town on the coast and burst into flames.
The crash killed the pilot and three others, including a 19-year-old girl who was badly injured.
That crash was followed by a series of other accidents, most notably a massive fire in Alaska’s northwest.
A few days later, a jetliner crashed into the sea off the coast of Japan.
The Boeing 777, which had been shot down by the U.S. during World War II, was the worst disaster in the history of aviation.
A dozen passengers and crew died.
The Japanese government said it was investigating the crash and said the pilot was in good condition.
Three months later, an Airbus A320 crashed into a river in southern Russia, killing all 155 people on board.
A pilot was killed in the crash, and another four people were injured.
The tragedy was compounded by a government-sponsored air safety campaign.
At the height of the wildfire season in July, Alaska had nearly 7,000 wildfires burning in its wilds.
The Alaska Department of Fish and Game ordered all aircraft to have smoke screens.
The state is also looking into ways to improve its weather forecasting and warn residents about potential wildfires.
“We’re really focusing on getting people to stay safe and prepared,” said Bob Brown, an official with the Alaska National Guard.
“We’re not trying to do everything, but we’re working to make sure people have the right information and they’re doing the right thing.”
A second plane crash on the same day caused a major fire in New Mexico.
That accident killed six people.
In September, a plane crashed in the middle of a wildfire near the town of San Juan.
All 17 people on the plane were killed.
While wildfires have caused the deaths of more than 1,000 people in Alaska in the past decade, there are no signs that they are likely to become the new normal.
Fire experts say there are plenty of places where air travel can safely resume in the short term.
One of the most popular options is to fly direct from Alaska to Canada.
The cost is about $300 per person.
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