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Small Aircraft Safety: Risks and Dangers

April 13, 2012 | Comments: 0 | Views: 184

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 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, maintenance is inadequate and the private aircraft, unlike scheduled airlines, does not have a redundancy of systems in the event of a system failure.

At any given time, about 10,000 scheduled airlines are airborne. Yet, the accident rate is quite low, given the total number of operations. Scheduled airline transportation in the developed countries, mile for mile, is statistically twenty times safer than driving. However, in countries such as Russia and many African nations, scheduled airlines have a far greater accident rate. Scheduled airline accidents in Africa are ten times greater, mile for mile, than in the United States.

When airline accidents do occur, they make the headlines because of the high casualty rate. However, travel by scheduled airlines is, by far, the safest form of transportation. Each year the trend is toward safer flight. But aircraft are built, maintained and flown by humans. And humans are imperfect. Three of the major causes of airline disasters involve a design flaw, improper maintenance and pilot (or controller) error.

Victims of aircraft accidents should consult attorneys who have an extensive aviation practice. It is preferable that the attorney is also a licensed pilot, since an extensive investigation is necessary to assess the liability issues in the case, including pilot error, controller error and manufacturing and maintenance errors.

When seeking a Northern or Southern California aircraft accident attorney, finding a California attorney who is also an experienced pilot can make all the difference.

James Cunningham is a Sacramento area Personal Injury Attorney and a 2800 hundred hour Multi-Engine and Instrument Rated Commercial Pilot, with extensive aerobatic experience who has flown over thirty-five different models of aircraft including gliders. Call Cunningham and Landsen at 916-294-0700 for a free consultation.

Source: EzineArticles
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Aircraft Accidents


Aircraft Accident Statistics


Air Safety


Plane Crashes


Flight Safety


Air Disaster

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