Aviation accidents and crashes are more common than many people think, and not all plane crashes make front-page news. The Aviation Safety Network indicated that there were 691 airline accident fatalities as a result of 20 deadly airliner accidents in a single recent year. The number of airline accident fatalities increased significantly over the previous year, when 265 people died in airliner crashes.
Flying on airplanes is supposed to be safe because of the strict regulations on airplane design, maintenance and the licensing requirements that pilots must fulfill before they can fly a plane. Yet all of the regulations, laws and safety procedures in the world cannot prevent crashes caused by human error and negligence.
When mistakes are made and people get hurt or killed in plane crashes, injured victims or their family members have certain legal rights. Our South Carolina aviation accident lawyers at Joye Law Firm can help people who were injured in airplane accidents and those who lost close relatives in plane crashes.
Types and Causes of Aviation Accidents
Airplane accidents can occur on almost any type of aircraft. For example, aviation accidents may occur on:
- U.S. or international commercial airlines
- Private aircraft, including helicopters, jets and propeller planes
- Charter planes
- Air medical planes
- Sightseeing planes.
There are many kinds of mistakes that can lead to a plane crash or aviation accident. For example:
- Pilot error may be responsible for at least 40 percent of all airplane accidents. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has stiffened regulations for co-pilots to try to prevent pilot error accidents. For example, first officers are required to have the same number of hours of flying experience as airline captains: 1,500. This is a significant increase from the 250 hours previously required. First officers must also have an aircraft-type rating, which means additional training and testing for the specific kind of aircraft they fly.
- Failure to comply with FAA rules and regulations can lead to airplane accidents.
- A problem may develop with mechanical devices or electrical components of the aircraft. Faulty equipment might occur as a result of defects in the design or construction of the plane or because repairs were not made properly.
- A problem with the fuel on a plane can affect the engines and can necessitate an emergency landing and cause serious issues.
- If the owner of the aircraft does not regularly maintain the plane or if the maintenance crew makes mistakes in repairing and maintaining the plane, this can also lead to a deadly aviation crash.
- Air traffic controllers are responsible for safely managing traffic into and out of airports. Errors made by the tower can result in serious crashes.
These are just some of the leading errors that can cause crashes involving commercial airlines, charter planes and private planes.