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What causes airline accidents?

On Behalf of | May 17, 2023 | Accidents & Incidents

Airline travel is safe, and accidents are rare, particularly in commercial airliners with experienced pilots. However, some incidents, such as a bird strike or unexpected turbulence, are unavoidable. This post discusses accidents caused by human errors or mechanical failures.

Pilot error

Many aviation accidents attributable to pilot error result from inadequate training of newly-licensed pilots. However, there are a variety of mistakes that anyone might experience. Of course, every slip in judgment won’t result in an accident, but here are some behaviors that set the stage for a tragedy:

  • Flying while fatigued
  • Allowing distracting personal possessions in the cockpit
  • Failure to communicate with air traffic controllers
  • Neglecting to run through the pre-flight checklist
  • Underestimating the amount of fuel needed
  • Failure to check the weather forecast
  • Flying while intoxicated

Ground support errors

It takes a team to fly a plane, including the pilots, the air traffic controllers and the marshallers who direct the aircraft on the ground to and from the gate. No one can let their guard down just because a plane has landed. Some of the deadliest crashes have happened on the ground. Fog and miscommunication are a disaster just waiting to happen.

Sometimes accidents occur when air traffic control fails to spot two airborne planes on a collision course. Other times, controllers keep the plane circling for an extended time while waiting for an available landing runway. If it takes too long, the aircraft could run out of gas and crash.

Mechanical failures

Planes are safe, but some issues remain undetected until too late. Rudders stick, landing gear won’t descend, and radios don’t work. There are lots of components that can fail. Poor maintenance may sometimes play a role, or the parts may be defective.

If you’ve been the victim of an airline crash and feel that your offered settlement isn’t enough, don’t accept the money or sign paperwork until you speak with someone about possibly filing a lawsuit. Negligence is inexcusable.