So little is heard about airplane accidents in the U.S. that most people assume they are rare or do not happen at all, but those who have suffered injuries or know of someone killed in aviation accidents tell a different story. Aviation crashes occur, on average, three out of every four days in this country, and much more happen on international flights.
Because air travel involves complex machinery at great heights, most accidents are severe, and injuries and fatalities are quite common. When someone is involved in a plane crash, the most effective and efficient way to sort out the mess is to hire an experienced aviation accident attorney, such as those at Rizio Law Firm in Riverside, California.
What Is an Aviation Accident?
The term aviation accident has a strict definition that was agreed upon in Annex 13 of the Convention on International Civil Aviation, which has been accepted by authorities in the U.S. and around the world. According to this definition, an aviation accident occurs any time a person is seriously injured or dies on an aircraft between the time of boarding and disembarking or when the aircraft is missing. Exceptions to this definition include injuries that are self-inflicted, inflicted by other people or from natural causes.
Also, manned flights where the aircraft sustains damage or fails to operate in a way that affects its performance are also considered accidents.
Aviation Accident Statistics
Statistics on aviation accidents are recorded and analyzed each year by the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), a federal agency directly under the leadership of Congress. In 2014, the NTSB reported a total of 1,290 aviation accidents, and of these, 265 accidents resulted in 444 deaths.
While only 29 accidents and zero fatal accidents occurred in this year among commercial airlines, commuter and charter aircraft experienced 39 accidents, eight of which were fatal. The vast majority of aviation accidents, injuries and fatalities are listed under general aviation, which includes private and recreational airplanes.
When it comes to international aviation accidents, Boeing has compiled statistics for commercial aircraft in the U.S., Canada, and Worldwide. From 2006 to 2015, 182 accidents involving commercial aircraft occurred in the U.S. and Canada, and of these, 11 were fatal. In the rest of the world during the same period, there were 317 total accidents and 54 fatal crashes.
Leading Causes of Airplane Crashes
Although the NTSB compiles aviation accident statistics, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) takes a closer look at individual accidents, how they occur and who is at fault. All aviation accidents fall within these four general groups:
- Loss of control
- Controlled flight into terrain
- Approach and landing
Fault can often be found by looking at what the FAA calls accident themes, and the most common issues are as follows:
- Flawed assumptions
- Human error
- Organizational lapses
- Pre-existing failures
- Unintended effects
As for specific accident types, the FAA has a wide variety, all of which have happened at some point in the past. Some of these types of aviation accidents are as follows:
- Hazardous cargo
- Avionics confusion
- Fuel exhaustion
- Inclement weather
- Landing and takeoff excursions
- Structural failure
- Engine failure
Contact an Aviation Accident Attorney
If you or someone close to you is the victim of an aviation accident, it can be of great benefit to contact a reliable and experienced aviation accident attorney. A skilled aviation attorney will be able to assess how the accident occurred and who is at fault. Once liability is determined, your lawyer will work hard to ensure you recover from your injuries and recoup any losses and damages sustained.
For further information and a free consultation with a trusted aviation accident attorney at Rizio Law Firm, just fill out the form on this page or call (888) 292-8888.