Airplane Accidents Due Either to Pilot Error or Air Traffic Controller Error

Posted by in Injury on Jun 28, 2016

Airplane Accidents Due Either to Pilot Error or  Air Traffic Controller Error

In 2014, the International Air Transport Association received reports of 38 million flights which transported about 3.3 billion people to different parts of the globe. From 2011 to 2013, yearly share of passengers from the U.S. were 734 million, 739 million and 744 million, respectively.

Though aviation accidents happen, their number have always been minimized, making transportation authorities, including those from the Aviation Safety Network, the U.S. Department of Transportation and the Federal Aviation Administration, agree that air travel is the safest and fastest means of transportation in the country and around the world.

There are different causes of aviation accidents; the two most recurring, however, are pilot error and air traffic controller error. Pilot error, which tops the list, includes oversights, mistakes in operation, and lapses in judgment. These usually result to:

– Navigational errors;
– A pilot causing a plane to head into a storm’s path;
– Failure to follow directions given by air traffic controllers, especially during takeoff or landing;
– Failure to regularly check or correctly read cockpit instruments;
– Failure to extend flaps during takeoff; and,
– Disconnecting of the autopilot intentionally or accidentally.

When comparing the number of mistakes committed in the cockpit and in the control tower, one would be overwhelmed to know that so many more mistakes are committed in the control tower. In 2012 alone, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) discovered 4,394 errors in the 132 million flights handled by air traffic controllers (ATCs); 41 of these errors were serious and could have had disastrous endings.

The main concern of air traffic controllers is to ensure safety in commercial and private aircraft operations by: coordinating their movements to make sure that they are safely distanced from one another; directing them during landing and takeoff; and, guiding them around bad weather. These tasks are definitely not as easy as they sound, especially during peak air travel times, when about 5,000 planes are in the sky every hour.

As stated by the law firm Schuler, Halvorson, Weisser, Zoeller & Overbeck, P.A., pilots, manufacturers and airline companies are expected to do all that they can to ensure the safety of airplane passengers. If any of these parties fail to uphold their responsibilities, though, then results can be catastrophic. While nothing can undo the suffering that victims and their loved ones experience, taking legal action can go a long way towards helping them pursue the compensation they need to cover the costs of the accident and secure the much needed closure.

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