Cameron Park Aircraft Accident Attorney

Commercial airlines.

Historical Background of Flight

Since the birth of flight, aircraft have crashed, often with serious consequences. This is because of the unforgiving nature of flight, where a relatively insubstantial medium, air, supports a significant mass through dynamically active technological means. Should this support fail, there is limited opportunity for a positive outcome. Because of this, aircraft design is concerned with minimizing the chance of failure, and pilots are trained with safety as a primary consideration.

Early in the development of flight one school of thought designed aircraft with an eye toward surviving an aircraft accident. However, the design was too heavy and, therefore, more likely to crash. If you have ever flown in a small four-passenger aircraft, you probably noticed the doors, dash, seats and other visible interior structures seemed rather flimsy. They are. The non-structural portions of aircraft (those parts of the aircraft not designed to support it in flight) are, of necessity, very light and flimsy. When these small aircraft crash, the results can be devastating. Flight in private aircraft is far more dangerous than on scheduled airlines. Unlike scheduled airlines, in many instances pilots have less training, the aircraft have less maintenance and, unlike commercial aircraft, the private aircraft does not have a redundancy of systems in the event of a system failure.

Scheduled Commercial Airlines: Commercial Aviation on a scheduled airline has become much safer as technology and training improves. Transportation by scheduled commercial airlines, mile for mile, is twenty times safer than driving. It has been said that if a person were born on a commercial-scheduled airline flight and flew continuously (twenty-four hours per day), they would be eighty-six years old before they were in an accident. Flying by commercial-scheduled airlines is, although not without some risk, is by far, the safest form of transportation. Of course, when they do crash, the consequences are usually catastrophic, given the number of passengers. At touchdown or rotation (the speed at which an aircraft lifts-off) the massive airliners of today are traveling at a speed of well over 200 feet per second. This means they cover the distance of a football field in under 1 ½ seconds. The mass of airliners is so great that immense energy is required to stop them at these speeds. That is one reason landing and particularly the take-off phases are so critical to safety. Causes for airline disaster include pilot error, improper aircraft design, improper aircraft maintenance, improper airport design, improper (unsafe or unauthorized) practices and procedures of air traffic controllers, and miscellaneous other causes.

Private (General) Aviation: However, Private aviation is a different story. Although private aviation accidents are at their lowest point, the last available statistics indicate 1,474 fatal accidents per year including 272 fatal accidents. For every 100,000 hours flown, there were 7.2 accidents (1.33 of them were fatal). While private aviation accidents usually involve the loss of far fewer lives, they are, of course, no less devastating to the families involve. When accidents do occur (whether private or commercial) they are investigated by the NTSB and recommendations are made to aircraft manufactures, aircraft maintenance persons, and pilots so similar accidents can be prevented in the future. The two main causes of private aviation accidents are weather and pilot error, although (as in commercial airline disasters) other causes include improper aircraft design, improper aircraft maintenance, improper airport design, improper (unsafe or unauthorized) practices and procedures of air traffic controllers, and miscellaneous other causes.

Cunningham Law Group, A.P.C. has the experienced atttorneys to help you if you have been injured in an aircraft accident in Cameron Park, Auburn, Roseville, Rancho Cordova, Placerville, Sacramento, El Dorado Hills, Elk Grove and Folsom. For a free consultation, contact us today.