Airplane Accidents

Airplane Accidents occur rarely but when they do they often result in fatalities. Airplane accidents that relate to aviation law include small planes, jets, charter flights and helicopters.

There are two federal agencies that regulate air travel, The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). The FAA establishes the safety standards for airplane manufacturers, flight operations and pilot conduct. The NTSB investigates all aviation accidents and proposes safety standards.

Airplane AccidentAirplane accidents can cause serious personal injury and likely will require personal injury lawyers who is experienced in accident and personal injury law. If you’ve been in a aviation accident, you should contact lawyers and seek legal aid as soon as possible to be sure your rights are protected.

Aviation Law

Aviation Law is a complex area of law and requires experienced aviation lawyers. Because airplane accidents can be caused by a number of issues and can be addressed by different areas of law, and an experienced aviation accident attorney is a must. For instance, airplane accidents usually will be the fault of a defective airplane part or pilot error or negligence, or a combination of both.

The most common causes of airplane accidents include the following:

  • Pilot Error
  • FAA Violations
  • Product Defects
  • Airplane Employee Negligence
  • Air Traffic Controller Negligence

Airplane Accident Damages

Airplane accident personal injury damages are very similar to other personal injury claims and include the following:

  • Emotional Distress
  • Lost Income (Past or Future)
  • Medical Expenses
  • Pain and Suffering (Past or Future)
  • Punitive Damages

Airplane Accident Frequency

Accidents and Accident Rates by NTSB Classification, 1987 through 2006,
for U.S. Air Carriers Operating Under 14 CFR 121

Year
                  Accidents
Aircraft Hours Flown
Accidents
per Million Hours Flown
Major Serious Injury Damage (millions) Major Serious Injury Damage
1987 5 1 12 16 10.645 0.470 0.094 1.127 1.503
1988 4 2 13 11 11.141 0.359 0.180 1.167 0.987
1989 8 4 6 10 11.275 0.710 0.355 0.532 0.887
1990 4 3 10 7 12.150 0.329 0.247 0.823 0.576
1991 5 2 10 9 11.781 0.424 0.170 0.849 0.764
1992 3 3 10 2 12.360 0.243 0.243 0.809 0.162
1993 1 2 12 8 12.706 0.079 0.157 0.944 0.630
1994 4 0 12 7 13.124 0.305 0.000 0.914 0.533
1995 3 2 14 17 13.505 0.222 0.148 1.037 1.259
1996 6 0 18 13 13.746 0.436 0.000 1.309 0.946
1997 2 4 24 19 15.838 0.126 0.253 1.515 1.200
1998 0 3 21 26 16.817 0.000 0.178 1.249 1.546
1999 2 2 20 27 17.555 0.114 0.114 1.139 1.538
2000 3 3 20 30 18.299 0.109 0.109 1.093 1.475
2001 5 1 19 21 17.814 0.281 0.056 1.067 1.179
2002 1 1 14 25 17.290 0.058 0.058 0.810 1.446
2003 2 3 24 25 17.468 0.114 0.172 1.374 1.431
2004 4 0 15 11 18.883 0.212 0.000 0.794 0.583
2005 2 3 11 24 19.390 0.103 0.155 0.567 1.238
2006 2 2 7 20 19.560 0.102 0.102 0.358 1.022

 

Note Since March 20, 1997, aircraft with 10 or more seats used in scheduled passenger service have been operated under 14 CFR 121.

Definitions of NTSB Classifications

Major – an accident in which any of three conditions is met:

  • a Part 121 aircraft was destroyed, or
  • there were multiple fatalities, or
  • there was one fatality and a Part 121 aircraft was substantially damaged.

Serious – an accident in which at least one of two conditions is met:

  • there was one fatality without substantial damage to a Part 121 aircraft, or
  • there was at least one serious injury and a Part 121 aircraft was substantially damaged.

Injury – a nonfatal accident with at least one serious injury and without substantial damage to a Part 121 aircraft.

Damage – an accident in which no person was killed or seriously injured, but in which any aircraft was substantially damaged.