The basics of aviation accidents

Even with thousands of flights and millions of Americans flying daily, air travel is considered among one of the safest methods of transportation. Although we often hear about serious plane crashes occurring across the world, often taking the lives of hundreds of passengers at a time, these accidents are quite rare. Smaller planes are not immune to accidents either, although many are not reported and do not make national or even local headlines. This doesn’t mean that such non-commercial small aircraft accidents don’t lead to injuries or fatalities as well.

Considering the complexity of planes and air travel in general, it should come as no surprise that there are also countless causes for such accidents, both large and small. Common reasons for an accident include but are not limited to: faulty equipment, aircraft design issues or human error, such as pilot error or negligence by flight service station employees, federal air traffic controllers or violations of Federal Aviation Administration regulations.

Following any aviation accident, two federal agencies, the Federal Aviation Administration, or FAA, and the National Transportation Safety Board, or NTSB, do a thorough investigation. The FAA is in charge of establishing and enforcing regulations including safety standards, such as pilot conduct and flight operations. The NTSB investigates incidents and makes recommendations to avoid future incidents.

Air travel is often very complicated. It may be wise for the victim of an accident to get more information about options when aviation accidents occur to see whether the accident is grounds for a claim for compensation. Victims may be entitled to money to pay for medical expenses, rehabilitation costs, pain and suffering and even lost wages.

Source:, “Aviation Accidents – Overview,” Accessed April 24, 2017