Aviation disasters put industry under a microscope

Flying fears: Series of plane disasters raise... 02:07

The Air Algerie crash is the latest in a series of incidents in the aftermath of the disappearance of Malaysia Airlines Flight 370. So far, 701 people have been killed in major aviation disasters just this year.

The string of troubles is putting the industry under a microscope and travelers on edge, CBS News correspondent Dean Reynolds reports.

The investigation into the missile attack that brought down Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 last Thursday had barely begun when news of more tragedy broke.

On Thursday, an Air Algerie flight became the third aviation catastrophe in a week after it crashed over northern Africa in bad weather. One hundred and sixteen people were onboard.

The accident came just a day after 48 people died when a TransAsia jet crashed off Taiwan.

"I've gotta say I can't ever recall a week like this one," William McGee, a Federal Aviation Administration-licensed aircraft dispatcher, told CBS News. "It's extraordinary to have three major tragedies around the world within seven days."

Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 was taken down over war-torn eastern Ukraine, a rare but tragic reminder of the risk involved in flying over a conflict zone.

Hours later, the FAA banned U.S. flights over the region.

Then, just days later, a rocket strike prompted the FAA to temporarily halt flights in and out of Ben Gurion International Airport in Israel.

"There was a sense that in some cases that you could fly over hot spots or war zones," McGee said. "I think that's pretty much been dispelled."

There have been more than 700 airline fatalities so far this year.

Still, McGee said commercial aviation is the safest form of transportation.

"The fact is we've seen three extraordinary events in a week's time," he said, "but I think it's important to put it all in perspective."