Aviation accidents are not nearly as common as vehicle accidents, but they do occur. The general public typically does not hear about aviation accidents unless they involve major airlines or famous individuals on board. However, general aviation accidents, those involving what most people think of as “little planes,” occur in various ways. Here, we want to discuss the most common causes of general aviation accidents.
Pilots are involved in every stage of flight for an aircraft, so it makes sense that pilot errors are a leading cause of accidents that do occur. Mind you, general aviation accidents are incredibly rare. However, a pilot error can occur at any point during the process.
A pilot error refers to an action or decision (or a failure to act or a failure to make a decision) on the part of the pilot that leads to a crash. There are various ways pilot errors can occur. This can include poor training, a lack of experience, pilot fatigue, and intoxication of alcohol or drugs.
Equipment failures account for approximately 20% of all aviation crashes. However, “mechanical failure” can occur in a wide variety of ways. This can include anything from total engine failure to poor repairs. For example, it is not uncommon for investigation results to come back after a plane crash saying that the incident occurred due to improper repairs that led to mechanical failure in the air.
Mechanical failure does not always lead to accidents in the air. Landing gear failure can lead to crashes on the ground. Improvements in manufacturing and design processes have made airplanes more reliable, but mechanical failure can still occur.
Flying is immensely more dangerous in inclement weather. A study by the National Transportation Safety Board shows that more than two-thirds of all weather-related airplane crashes have been fatal. There are various types of weather that make flying more difficult, including snow, heavy rain, fog, and other natural elements. This is a major reason why flights get delayed so often. Airlines and pilots know that inclement weather increases safety risks.
Pilots are not the only individuals responsible for the safe departure and arrival of airplanes. Other individuals play a significant role in air traffic safety. This includes maintenance engineers, air traffic controllers, flight dispatchers, and more. Flight, whether we are talking about commercial aviation or general aviation, is an intricate “dance,” so to speak. All the individuals involved in this process must work together smoothly in order for a flight to be safe from beginning to end.
If you or somebody you care about has been injured as a result of an airplane accident or crash, or if you have lost a loved one as a result of a general aviation crash, reach out to an attorney as soon as possible. A skilled aviation accident lawyer in San Diego can examine the facts of your case, conduct a full investigation, and gather the evidence needed to prove liability. A lawyer will work with trusted medical and economic experts who can help properly calculate total expected losses and work to recover full compensation for your losses.