It is the duty of every pilot to safely transport passengers to their destinations and to take whatever actions are needed to protect them when meeting unforeseen circumstances during each flight. When an aviation accident results in injuries or the loss of life, the pilot becomes the center of an investigation into what led to the accident. Nearly half of the time, the pilot will be accountable in some manner either due to an error in judgment, failure to act or miscalculation. While no person can be expected to be perfect, it is entirely reasonable to demand compensation when the error of a pilot causes catastrophic injuries or the death of travelers.
Accountability of Commercial and Private Airplane Pilots to Protect Passengers and People on Ground
Commercial pilots are subject to much stricter scrutiny by the FAA and must adhere to specific rules and protocol that are intended to minimize the probability of an aviation accident. Private pilots are not held to the same standards and the leniency toward these pilots is reflected in the rate of pilot error when compared to their commercial counterparts. A staggering 83% of aviation accidents resulting from pilot error occur during private flights.
While much more is expected of commercial pilots, private pilots are held equally liable when an error results in an aviation accident. The liability can extend to the owner of the aircraft or the pilot’s employer. In the case of commercial accidents, the airline itself could be deemed liable in addition to the pilot.
Common Aircraft Piloting Errors That Result in Crashes
What constitutes a pilot error primarily depends on whether the pilot breached the duty of care— a term that defines what another pilot would do under similar or identical circumstances. Types of errors made by pilots may result from the following.
- Failure to communicate with air traffic controllers or misunderstanding the directions received.
- Miscalculating velocity, altitude or location.
- Navigational errors, often caused by shifting weather conditions or turbulence.
- Incorrect use of equipment, such as flaps, landing gear or safety devices.
- Failing to monitor fuel levels, resulting in the need to make an emergency landing.
- Not performing routine preflight checks to ensure that equipment is working properly and all safety devices are operational and accounted for.
Most of the errors made by pilots are unintentional, but intent is not required when making the case for negligence. When a mistake or failure to follow safe operational procedures results in an accident, it is not unreasonable at all to expect that the pilot be held accountable and that the owner of the aircraft provide compensation to anyone who is harmed as a result.
If you or a loved one has been injured or killed in an aviation accident, it is important to understand your rights and legal options. You may be entitled to the recovery of compensation to cover the cost of medical bills, wages lost due to inability to work, pain and suffering and the loss of income or life. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation with an experienced aviation accident attorney.
We will be happy to review the details of your case and perform a thorough investigation to provide answers to why the accident occurred and who should be held accountable. If it determined that the accident resulted from pilot negligence, we will pursue the maximum compensation to which you are entitled by law and if for any reason at all we are unable to assist you or collect damages on your behalf, our advice and our services will be provided free of charge.