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Can Human Error Cause an Aviation Accident?

Aviation accidents are not common, but when they do occur, they typically lead to deadly scenarios. In most cases, aviation accidents occur due to human error, whether that be an issue with actually flying the plane, a mechanical issue, a defect related to a part on the plane, or other human causes.

Study after study shows that most aviation accidents revolve around human error. Research by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration has found that 70% of aviation incidents involve human error.

Most Common Causes of Aviation Accidents

Human-related causes of aviation accidents vary widely, and they can occur at various stages of the flight process. Some of the most common causes revolve around pilot errors, air traffic control mistakes, as well as issues with aircraft maintenance.

Pilot or flight crew mistakes

Pilots undergo rigorous training, and the vast majority of them are incredibly skilled. However, pilots can make errors. These individuals make countless decisions during the operation of an aircraft, but if a mistake is made at any point during the flight operation, severe incidents can occur. Some of the most common examples of errors by pilots or flight crew members include:

  • Operating aircraft while influenced by alcohol or drugs
  • Pilot exhaustion
  • Misinterpreting automated aviation systems
  • Inadequate training for pilots and crew
  • Overlooking critical pre-flight and pre-landing protocols
  • Poor communication among crew members
  • Carelessness by crew members

Air traffic control mistakes

Rollers are either employed or subcontracted by the FAA, and they are responsible for monitoring and regulating every aspect of airplanes coming into and leaving an airport. Air traffic controllers direct the flow of air traffic and keep planes at a safe distance from one another at all times. This is an incredibly precise job, and anyone mistake can cause a chain reaction of issues that lead to airplane collisions.

Some of the most common causes of air traffic controller mistakes include understaffing, fatigue, improper training, failing to issue adequate warnings or safety alerts to pilots, incorrectly guiding pilots and airplanes, or poor coordination between air traffic controllers at an installation.

Aircraft maintenance issues

Most people watched the news in horror when images and videos of an Alaska Airlines flight with a door blown off mid flight showed up on the screens. This incident was incredibly scary, but luckily, the aircraft carrying 174 passengers and six crew members was able to turn around and make a safe landing at the Portland International Airport.

However, aircraft maintenance issues are a problem. When an aircraft is not properly maintained according to rigorous standards set forth by airlines, aircraft manufacturers, or government regulators, incidents like these are more likely to occur. Some of the most common causes of maintenance errors include:

  • Maintenance personnel fatigue
  • Time pressures associated with inspections or maintenance procedures
  • Complexities of maintenance tasks
  • The use of outdated manuals
  • The use of improper equipment or installation procedures
  • Improperly followed maintenance procedures

Any person who has sustained an injury as a result of an aviation accident in Texas should reach out to a Houston aviation accident attorney as soon as possible. These claims are incredibly complicated, but an attorney with resources can fully investigate the claim and help walk you through the entire process of recovering compensation for your losses.

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