Every pilot must safely transport passengers to their destinations and 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 crash. 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 fault 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 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 aviators 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 an aviator error primarily depends on whether the pilot breached their 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 correctly and all safety devices have been accounted for and are operational.
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 to expect that the pilot must be held accountable and that the owner of the aircraft provides compensation to anyone harmed as a result.
If you, or a loved one, have been injured or killed in an aviation accident, it is essential to understand your rights and legal options. You may be entitled to recover monetary damages to cover the cost of medical bills, along with 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 crash occurred and who should be held accountable. If it determined that the accident resulted from pilot negligence, we would pursue the maximum compensation you are entitled to receive by law. If for any reason we are unable to assist you or collect damages on your behalf, our advice and our services will be provided free of charge.