For those of us lucky enough to call Florida home, we have abundant beaches and clear skies to enjoy for most of the year. This beautiful weather is also conducive to an alternative method of travel- flying. Florida is home to 129 public-use commercial service and general aviation airports and many more that are used for private purposes. With so much air travel, there are bound to be accidents, and at Ver Ploeg & Marino, we assist insureds when their insurance carrier wrongfully denies their complex claim. Ten of the most common causes of aviation accidents that we have encountered are listed below.
Pilots often have tedious schedules that involve long flights and commuting back and forth to their home country. Such long hours is one of the reasons why many pilots suffer from fatigue. Fatigue causes a person to be less alert and slows their time to react. Pilots are often faced with situations that cause them to make quick decisions and when they are overly tired, it is easy for a mistake to occur.
#2 Inclement Weather
Weather plays a significant role in many aviation accidents. While technology has come a long way in predicting bad weather, it is not fool-proof, and accidents do occur. Also, human error in interpreting predicted weather can also lead to accidents. Common causes of weather-related accidents include:
These conditions lower visibility and can cause turbulence, making it difficult for pilots to maintain control of the aircraft. When weather is especially rough, pilots may have to re-route their flight path or delay or cancel the flight altogether.
Our feathered friends can be the cause of an in-air accident. Most often, the plane is not affected and the flight can continue (Although the news is not so good for the bird!)Typically, these accidents occur when the birds are sucked into the engine and in worst-case scenarios, the engine becomes disabled and the pilot is forced to make an emergency landing, or the plane crashes.
Fire onboard a plane in flight is a nightmare for all involved. Typically caused by electrical failures, improper cargo, or overheated equipment, cabin fires can spread quickly. If they are detected in enough time, staff can usually promptly extinguish them. When they start in areas that are not easily accessed, like the cargo hold, the ability to prevent a catastrophe becomes much more difficult.
Ramp fires, which occur before a plane takes off, and post-crash fires are also a danger.
#5 Air Traffic Control Error
Air traffic controllers have an important job: to communicate with pilots and control the flight path of planes. They must ensure that there are no collisions with other aircraft while also responding appropriately to any emergency situation that occurs. When these licensed professionals are distracted, they may fail to properly communicate with pilots or they may fail to respond to an urgent matter. Air traffic controllers also need adequate training to ensure they understand their role and how to perform their job duties appropriately.
#6 Pilot Error
Pilots have an enormous amount of responsibility to keep their crew and passengers safe. Being a pilot requires special training, licensing, and experience, and commercial pilots actually have more training than pilots of private planes. Even so, pilot error is a leading cause of aviation accidents. Causes include:
- Bad decision making
- Stress from multi-tasking
- Flying while under the influence of drugs or alcohol
- Extreme fatigue
- Inadequate experience and training
#7 Mechanical & Design Issues & Defects
A defectively designed plane, or a plane that has been designed well but manufactured defectively, is much more likely to be involved in an accident. A defective design means that the plane was manufactured according to the way that it was designed, but the design itself contained an error.
A manufacturing defect means that the design of the plane was without error, but when the design was actually created, an error occurred. It could be that a part was not manufactured according to plan or that it was manufactured using sub-par materials.
#8 Maintenance Matters
Planes require regular extensive maintenance to keep them in good working order. Failure to have repairs made, or having repairs made incorrectly, is a leading cause of plane accidents, especially with private planes. Typical maintenance errors include:
- Loose object being left after repairs are made
- Using wrong parts for the job
- Failure to secure parts, such as the fuel caps or access panels
- Installing the correct parts improperly
- Failure to adequately lubricate parts
#9 Improper Landing Conditions
An ineffective runway can cause a plane to be involved in an accident upon landing. Reasons for this include runways that are designed around mountains or water, making the runway take an awkward shape. Other runways are too short, causing pilots to crash into objects once the runway ends. Still, others are made out of inferior materials or have been worn down by years of usage and bad weather.
#10 Buildings & Power Lines
Colliding with a building or a power line can cause a serious aviation accident. While buildings are more obvious, power lines can be hard to spot. Because of this, there are requirements regarding how they should be marked so that pilots can easily spot them in time to prevent coming into contact with these high-voltage dangers. When these power lines are not marked or are improperly marked, pilots can miss seeing them and collide with them, causing a catastrophic crash.
Speak With An Experienced Lawyer At Ver Ploeg & Marino
If your insurance carrier has wrongfully denied your aviation claim, our attorneys are here to help. We are a firm that focuses on insurance litigation and appeals, and our results speak for themselves. Contact us to make an appointment and find out how we can help you.Share