How to Determine the Cause of Aviation Accidents

Aviation and air travel have become as commonplace in our society as other methods of transportation before it, such as the locomotive or the steam-powered passenger ship. However, unlike these other methods of transportation, air travel provides substantially greater risk to passengers than. Unlike previous methods of travel, passengers are thousands of feet in the air, which means a crash from even what might be considered a “low” height could be devastating.

If you or a loved one has been injured in an aviation accident, the first step towards recovering compensation is figuring out what caused the incident. Aviation is also unique from any previous method of transportation in the number of things that must work together in order to achieve a safe and successful journey. When any one of these things does wrong, a crash is more likely to occur. But how do you figure out what caused it?

It’s easiest to start by taking a look at some of the most common causes and figuring out whether they were the direct cause or if they in some way contributed. Let’s take a closer look at these common causes.

Pilot Error

Pilot error is where pretty much every crash investigation begins because it is the most common cause of aviation accidents. Modern aircraft have made considerable strides in technology to eliminate a substantial amount of possible pilot error, but even these advancements can’t stop certain mistakes from occurring, which can cause potentially devastating crashes. Pilots must maintain proper fuel levels, properly utilize the de-icing system, maintain correct speed, heading, and altitude, and more. Even slight errors in any of these factors could be the cause of your accident.

Mechanical Failure

The second-most common cause of aviation accidents is mechanical failure, or when a system on the plane breaks or fails mid-flight, causing the plane to become unstable. This can include everything from control systems to navigational guides to landing gear or possibly even climate-control systems, such as the plane’s pressurization and oxygen systems. In many cases, these mechanical failures occur when technicians accidentally overlook a small system on a plane, but in some cases, the unpredictable can happen, such as a bird being sucked into a plane’s engine, causing it to become damaged.

Inclement Weather

Unlike many other methods of travel, aviation is heavily dependent on the conditions in order to successfully operate. A slippery and frozen runway could prevent a plan from stopping in time, resulting in a crash. Liftoff can be difficult when it’s extremely hot outside, making it nearly impossible for a plane to get off the ground and up into the air. Other times windstorms or severe weather can cause a number of different systems to fail or even damage the plane itself. Lightning strikes are particularly dangerous, since they can overload systems, cause fires, or even ignite fuel tanks. Statistics estimate that approximately 12% of aviation accidents are the result of severe weather, so this is a good place to start if your crash occurred on a day when the weather wasn’t great.

Air Traffic Control Error

Pilots in the sky need eyes on the ground to coordinate things, and air traffic controllers perform this job 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Air traffic controllers are responsible for everything from alerting pilots of other aircraft in the sky to keeping a safe distance apart to coordinating takeoffs and landings safely, and much more. With so much going on and so many aircraft in the sky at once, particularly around major airports, even one slight error can result in a collision on the ground or even a serious problem in the air. If your plane collides with another, the air traffic controllers could be to blame, and you should consider starting your search there if previously listed causes turned up fruitless.

Speak with an Attorney

Determining the cause of your accident is a tricky process when so many different factors could be at play. When you call Lurie, Ilchert, MacDonnell & Ryan LLP, you can trust that our experienced and highly successful team of New York City personal injury attorneys is working hard to help you reach the resolution you deserve. We have earned verdicts in excess of $1 million in 150 different cases, making us one of the most successful and recognized firms in the area. We know how to analyze the evidence in your case and we put it to work helping you obtain the compensation you deserve.

Start your case with a free consultation! Contact Lurie, Ilchert, MacDonnell & Ryan LLP today at (646) 759-9910 and speak with a member of our team!

Categories: Aviation Accidents