3 Common Causes of Airplane Accidents

Airplane accidents can occur for any number of reasons, but there are some common causes of airplane accidents.

Luckily, airplane accidents do not happen very frequently.

In fact, U.S. commercial airlines have carried over 8 billion passengers since 2009 without a single fatal incident occurring.

But commercial airlines are not the only aircraft using our airways.

There are private airplanes, helicopters, sightseeing planes, aerial crop dusters and more.

And all of these aircraft create a risk of injury or accident.

It should come as no surprise that airplane accidents cause catastrophic injuries and death.

And, as this is a specialized and complex area of law that is highly regulated by the federal government and comes within the jurisdiction of several federal agencies (the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA); National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB); and Transportation Security Administration (TSA)), litigating aviation cases is complicated and difficult.

Which is why, if you are involved in an aircraft accident in Florida, you should contact an experienced aviation personal injury attorney.

Here are 3 of the most common causes of airplane crashes.

  1. Pilot error

In much the same way that drivers cause car crashes, pilot error is one of the most common causes of airplane accidents.

Without question, piloting a small plane or helicopter is risky. But no one could possibly say that piloting an aircraft is easy. Flying any aircraft is an intricate and complicated process. It takes thousands of hours and extensive training to qualify to fly an aircraft. And for good reason. Pilots must make critical decisions at every stage of the flight. Given the difficulty and precision involved, even some of the most experienced pilots still make mistakes.

And with aircraft, mistakes can be fatal.

Pilot error can occur at any stage of the flight, of course, but some of the more common times they occur is during takeoff, and during descent and landing.

Due to the complexities involved in flying an aircraft, there are a myriad of errors that can occur. For example, navigational errors can cause fatal accidents. When a pilot has to make a navigational change, it’s not easy to transition from reading instruments to observing visual flight cues. At times, navigational errors can lead to a loss of altitude, causing a crash.

Among other things, pilot error can be caused by:

  • Lack of training
  • Lack of experience
  • Stress
  • Poor decision making
  • Fatigue
  • Intoxication

Pilots are the most critical component in any flight.

  1. Lack of Sufficient Maintenance

This common cause of airplane crashes can also be viewed as “mechanical failure.” However, instead of a defective part, lack of proper maintenance of an aircraft can cause vital components of the aircraft to not function properly, thus causing or contributing to a crash.

In the commercial airline industry, pilots must follow specific laws and regulations regarding craft maintenance. But many of those rules do not apply to smaller aircraft. Instead, inspections are left up to the pilot’s discretion.

  1. Weather

According to the FFA, weather accounts for approximately 70% of airline delays and more than two-thirds of all fatal accidents.

Among the most dangerous weather conditions, turbulence presents a major hazard to all aircraft. Turbulence can damage small aircraft or can cause serious injury and the temporary loss of control of the plane.

Snow and ice on a plane can also cause significant problems.

However, possibly even more dangerous is poor visibility and low cloud cover. According to some studies, when pilots flew into a cloud that deprived them of visibility, they lost control of their aircraft for 178 seconds—giving them only 3 minutes to live after entering the cloud.

Airplane crash cases are difficult cases. Death and catastrophic injuries are almost inevitable in these cases, and many are made more difficult because liability is not always clear-cut. That’s why if you are involved in an airplane accident, you should consult with an experienced aviation personal injury attorney.

Aviation and Personal Injury Attorney in North Central Florida

If you are involved in an aircraft accident, you need an experienced Florida personal injury attorney. John Fagan can help. Our practice is dedicated to helping accident victims. If you need help or simply want more information on this subject, contact us here or simply call our firm at: 777-JOHN. We serve clients throughout Florida. Our main office is in Orange Park, but we have consulting offices in Palatka, Middleburg, Keystone, Starke, Gainesville, and Ocala.


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