Two aviation crashes recently drawing media attention cast a spotlight on the disparate causes of fatal aircraft accidents.
In 2014, a pilot of a small plane crashed in Colorado, killing both himself and his passenger. As it does in all U.S. aviation crashes, the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) investigated to determine what went wrong and why.
Pilot Error Cited by Federal Agency
According to the NTSB’s recently released report, the cause of the deadly airplane crash was pilot error. The agency concluded that the pilot was taking selfies with his cell phone, which likely led to the fatal airplane accident. NTSB investigators reasoned that the pilot’s use of his cell phone distracted him during particularly important moments of the flight, causing the plane to stall.
Federal rules do not bar private pilots from using cell phones during flight. However, disconnection from distractions for all modes of transportation is included in the NTSB’s “Most Wanted List” for 2015, which is the agency’s annual collection of top transportation safety concerns.
Do Age and Maintenance of Aircraft Contribute to Fatal Crash?
In 2014, a Navy pilot was flying a mission in a MH-53E Sea Dragon helicopter above the Atlantic Ocean. A fire warning came on and shortly thereafter the copter caught fire and crashed into the waters below. The pilot and another crew member were killed.
The Sea Dragon is the Navy’s largest and oldest helicopter. According to media reports, this pilot and other Navy personnel had expressed concerns over the age and the improper maintenance of the helicopter. Reportedly, the Sea Dragon helicopters have crashed three times more than any other Navy copter.
Maintenance errors, pilot errors, and structural problems with the aircraft are leading causes of fatal aviation crashes. And all could be avoided with proper care and judgment. If you lost a loved one in an aviation crash, you may to consult an attorney who handles aviation accident matters to investigate the accident and hold accountable those responsible.
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