Orlando Airplane Accident Lawyer
Plane crashes are almost always incredibly traumatic events. The injuries can be severe, and fatalities are not uncommon. We take every aviation accident that we handle very seriously and employ every ounce of resources in our disposal to finding out what happened. Often, in private plane accidents, the pilot that may have caused the mishap was a family member or a friend of our clients, which adds another layer of personal complexity to the case. However, when the financial future of your family is at stake when it comes to paying for medical bills and lost wages, it is vital to pursue the financial damages to their fullest potential. And, it can be of some solace that it will be very likely that the insurance of the pilot will cover the costs, and the financial burden will not rest on the shoulders of the pilot. Whatever the cause of the crash, and whatever type of plane it was, if you have been injured, you deserve to speak with an experienced Orlando airplane accident lawyer at once.
Which is More Dangerous: Commercial Jetliners or Private Planes?
The type of plane accidents that make international news are extremely rare–the catastrophes in which hundreds of people die in a commercial jetliner crash. Commercial air travel is actually very safe, and while accidents do happen, they are few and far between. However, small private plane crashes occur on a much more frequent basis, and the chances of a fatal accident are roughly the same while flying in a private plane as driving your car, according to Livescience. In fact, according to the New York Times, 94 percent of aviation fatalities in 2011 were those of general aviation, which includes professionally piloted corporate flights as well private plane flights.
Commercial aviation has an accident rate of 0.16 per 100,000 hours of flight, compared to six accidents per 100,000 flight hours of general aviation. This means that a general aviation accident occurs 40 times for every single commercial aviation accident. Commercial jets are not only easier to pilot than small engine planes, partially due to advances in auto pilot and other technology, but the professional pilots that fly them have thousands of flight hours of experience. Additionally, there are strict safety protocols that they must follow and their aircraft are kept in much better condition by professional mechanics than the aircraft of private, weekend warrior pilots.
Increase in Commercial Aviation Traffic, Decline in Air Traffic Controllers
How many times a year did you fly growing up? For most Floridians, that number was probably not more than a few times a year at most. Nowadays, it is not uncommon to take half a dozen round trip flights a year for work, to visit family, and to take vacations. Traveling by plane has become inexpensive over the last three decades. The average 1980 domestic round trip flight cost over $600 adjusted for inflation. Today, that flight costs around $350, according to Bits of Science. As such, more Americans are flying than ever theses days. There are nearly 43,000 flights per day in the U.S., transporting 2.5 million commercial passengers and 40 billion pounds of freight, according to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). Airline travel has been increasing by eight to five percent on average, each year, according to Statista, and the trend is expected to continue. However, according to the Air Traffic Controllers Union, we are experiencing a 30-year low of certified air traffic controllers, as reported by ABC 10 News. There are just 14,000 air traffic controllers spread across the United States. With air travel taking place 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and 365 days a year, the last thing that an airport needs is a tired, overworked, and understaffed air traffic control group. This 30-year-low of air traffic control employment drastically increases the chances of runway accidents, as jets clogging the runways and the airspace above are given incorrect directions about when it is safe to land or take off.
When Airline and Airplane Accidents Are Most Likely to Occur
While pilot inexperience and equipment malfunctions are two top causes of plane crashes, there are certain times during flight that are the most dangerous, and when the chances of an accident are greatest. For small private planes, flying any time during inclement weather is a risk, particularly if it affects visibility. For commercial jets, landing and takeoff are by far the most dangerous parts of any flight, which is also usually true for small private planes as well.
- Landing—According to research conducted by Boeing, 48 percent of fatal commercial airline incidents occur during landing and the final approach, as reported by Travel and Leisure. This is an astronomically high percentage given that the vast majority of time during flight is not spent during the landing or approach process. Landing and approach only account for four percent of flight time on average;
- Takeoff—13 percent of fatal incidents occur during takeoff, which only accounts for a few minutes of each flight;
- Bad Weather—Dangerous flying weather typically effects smaller, non-commercial airplanes more than large jets. Due to stringent restrictions, many jets are grounded during heavy snow or ice storms, while it is up to the pilot’s own judgement whether they want to take their private plane out or not. Moreover, poor visibility due to fog, darkness, or clouds is more likely to affect a small private plane than a commercial jet. Adverse and potentially dangerous weather conditions include the following;
- Lightning storms;
- Strong wind; and
- Poor visibility due to heavy fog;
An Experienced Orlando Airplane Accident Lawyer
No matter the type of plane (commercial jet or private single engine), aviation accidents usually involve very long and detail oriented investigations, and having an experienced Orlando plane accident lawyer to help conduct those investigations is paramount to a successful litigation. And while commercial jets are equipped with black boxes that record the events leading up to the crash, private planes usually are not, which makes the investigation and determining the cause of crash that much more difficult. If you have been injured in a plane accident, or had a family member perish in one, you deserve a substantial amount of financial compensation to help pay for medical costs, pain and suffering, lost wages, and possible loss of future income. Contact an experienced Orlando airplane accident lawyer with The Pendas Law Firm today at 1-888-573-6327.