The history of aviation is laden with mind-blowing achievements but also with hair-raising accidents that have paved the conquest of the skies with the deaths of countless individuals. Nothing is more terrifying than reading about an air disaster in the papers and the demise of a plane's passage, especially to those of us who travel frequently. Yes, we know how tenuous our position is in mid-air; we know it can easily happen to any of us. We vicariously experience that plunge as we glide through an air pocket, our stomachs in our throats. Thankfully, those deaths have not been in vain for the accidents of the past have forged today’s air safety improvements so you can breathe easily when you board a plane. Air safety improvements have contributed greatly to making aviation accidents rare: 30,000 flights take off daily in the US and there has only been one fatal accident in the past five years. Here are the top 10 aviation accidents that helped improve safety.