Common Causes of Airplane Accidents

Airplanes are the quickest means to travel from one country to another. While you can take a ship, it will take you several days to reach your destination. On the other hand, an airplane can take you only hours or a few days. Although quite uncommon than car accidents, plane crashes can still prove to be devastating. According to the website of Schuler, Halvorson, Weisser, Zoeller & Overbeck, P.A., airplane accidents can cause severe injuries and fatalities.

There are many factors that can contribute to airplane crashes. The good news is that aviation accidents are quite rare. According to the National Safety Council, the chances of death from a plane crash is 1 in 7,178 as compared to a car crash which is at 1 in 98. In addition, the odds of being killed in a single flight on one of the top 78 major world airlines is 1 in 4.7 million. But then again, luck will not always be on your side. Here are 5 of the most common causes of airplane accidents:

1. Pilot Error

Pilot error accounts for half of all plane crashes. This is quite understandable considering what pilots do during the flight. They must navigate through dangerous weather, respond to mechanical problems, ensure a safe takeoff and landing and others. Airplane accidents happen when pilots misread equipment, misjudge weather conditions, or react late to mechanical errors.

2. Mechanical Failure

A study by Boeing attributed 20 percent of today’s airplane accidents to mechanical failure. Such factor is not as major as it is today than before when 80 percent of accidents were due to mechanical error. According to Kyle Bailey, FAA Safety Team representative, the decrease in mechanical-related accidents were the result of improvements in airplane technology.

3. Weather Conditions

Although flights are grounded or canceled when there is a weather disturbance, it can prove a challenge to pilots and air traffic controllers. Traveling on heavy winds and fog can be dangerous for airplanes. Lightning can disable the plane in a variety of ways as it can result to electrical failure or ignite fuel tanks and pipes.

4. Sabotage

Airplanes getting hijacked account for only 9% of plane crashes. Despite strict TSA regulations, some passengers are still able to sneak in bombs or firearms onto planes. When they are able to do so, they can bring down planes and kill hundreds of passengers.

5. Other Human Error

Some accidents are caused by the fault of other humans. For instance, when an air traffic controller makes a mistake, the plane crashes into mountains, land on occupied runways, or collide with other planes.

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