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Common causes of aviation accidents

Airplane crashes, while not that common, can be caused by weather, human error, mechanical problems or a combination of the three.


Many West Virginia residents travel by airplane. This high-flying transportation is often thought of as being safer than land travel, but that does not mean that crashes never happen. According to the National Transportation Safety Board, there were a total of 1,282 civil aircraft accidents over the course of a single year. Of this number, 1,210 were in the general aviation segment, 43 were in the commuter and on-demand carrier segment and 30 were in the air carrier segment. Only 238 of these crashes lead to a fatality, but there were 406 deaths caused by the accidents.

Weather conditions

Weather can deteriorate quickly when traveling at high altitudes. Pilots need to know how to recognize worsening weather while in the air to avoid fatal accidents. Most weather-related crashes include fatalities because of the loss of flight control caused. Pilots may be unable to get the readings they need to properly maneuver the aircraft when flying in bad weather, which means that they have to fly the plane blindly.

Storms can also affect the conditions on the runway. For example, slush caused by snow can make the planes have a hard time landing or taking off. When slush fills the runway, it could lead to dangerous situations for passengers, workers and passerby.

Human errors

Human error plays a large role in the cause of airplane crashes. Many people could make mistakes that lead to an accident, including pilots, mechanics, loaders, fuelers and air traffic controllers. Because so much function relies on the workers, it is no surprise that long shifts can increase the chance of human error. A pilot has to have a clear enough head to calculate the proper fuel uplift, and air traffic controllers have to be able to guide pilots on their courses. Even though these people can make mistakes, often they are the ones who have to attempt to correct a bigger problem to reduce the casualties of a crash.

Mechanical problems

Airplanes are made up of a lot of equipment. This equipment can malfunction and fail causing the aircraft to lose power and plummet from the sky. Engine issues and instrumentation failures can result in hard-to-handle aircraft. In these cases, pilots are the last defense. They have to react quickly to fix the issue in the air or crash land the plane as best as they can.

When people from West Virginia get in an airplane, they expect to safely make it to their destination. If a crash takes place, it can be hard to understand the proper process, which is why it may be beneficial for anyone involved in an aviation accident to seek the help of a knowledgeable attorney.