Every year, over a thousand civil aviation accidents involving planes and helicopters occur across the United States. Some of the main reasons why aviation accidents happen are pilots misreading the flight equipment, misjudging weather conditions, or failing to properly address unpredicted mechanical errors. Pilot error is the number one reason why planes crash, accounting for 53% of aviation accidents. Nevertheless, these accidents can also occur due to air traffic controller errors, design and manufacturer defects, maintenance failures, and inclement weather.
Furthermore, crew members can also be responsible for aviation accidents if they fail to adequately store luggage or perform onboard duties, which can lead to serious injuries for the passengers. Aircraft maintenance negligence is another contributing factor to aviation accidents, as a leading trend in the aviation industry is to cut corners and outsource aircraft maintenance and inspections. Unfortunately, it has become increasingly common that the reasons why planes crash are closely tied to the airlines doing the absolute minimum to keep planes in the air.
Another significant factor that may cause a plane or helicopter to crash is adverse weather conditions, which cause up to 35% of aviation accidents. However, bad weather in and of itself is rarely the only cause of a plane crash. Most flights are grounded if dangerous weather conditions are present, and failing to do so is a sign of negligence. Even when bad weather sneaks up on pilots and air traffic controllers, they should be able to work efficiently in those emergencies. Despite so many risk factors, air travel remains among the safest modes of transportation.
It is worth noting that aviation accidents may not necessarily involve aircraft crashes. Often, passengers fall while boarding airlines, experience health issues while onboard, or sustain injuries from turbulence. Nevertheless, when planes and helicopters do crash, approximately 376 people lose their lives annually in the United States. When fatalities occur, a team of investigators, which include metallurgists, engineers, meteorologists, and other experts, will thoroughly assess the accident to determine how it happened and whether it could have been prevented.
The investigators listen to evidence from the cockpit voice recorder, check the flight data recorder, read through corporate policies, inspect the aircraft wreckage, and get to the accident site itself. Still, there are often gaps in aviation accident investigations, such as failure to consider human error as the starting point of the investigation and the oversimplification of the accident. The crucial phases of a proper air crash investigation are the collection of evidence, technical analysis, and reporting.
Regrettably, aircraft accidents occur, and single-engine aircraft are particularly prone to them. Unlike car accidents that may result in minor or moderate injuries, airplane accidents tend to be more severe, often resulting in fatalities.
Official statistics highlight pilot error as the primary cause of fatal aircraft accidents, followed by mechanical failure, adverse weather conditions, and sabotage. Among these, mechanical failures, particularly engine failures, pose a significant risk. In the case of single-engine aircraft, engine failures are especially concerning as they often lead to accidents or, at the very least, forced landings away from designated airports.
Some of the most common injuries that can occur following a plane or helicopter crash are fractures, burns, traumatic brain injuries, emotional trauma, and back injuries. It is essential for the survivors of aviation accidents to know that they might be entitled to financial compensation for their injuries. With the assistance of a skilled and experienced personal injury lawyer, they can recover the damages they deserve for their suffering. Although filing a lawsuit requires a lot of time and patience, the results will definitely be worth it.
About the Author
Sean M. Cleary is a personal injury lawyer whose law firm, The Law Offices of Sean M. Cleary, is headquartered in Miami, Florida. With over 20 years of professional experience, he provides assistance to aviation accident victims by helping plane and helicopter crash survivors recover compensation for their injuries.
About the Creator
Sean M. Cleary is a prominent high net worth divorce attorney based in Miami, FL. Sean has successfully assisted his clients in complex high net worth divorces & family law disputes. He is also an excellent Miami personal injury attorney.