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U.S. Aviation Accidents Law Blog

How are aircraft product failures reported?

When you step aboard an aircraft, you trust that the plane will get you to your desired destination safely. To ensure the aircraft is safe to fly under high stress, heavy pressure and volatile weather conditions, it is critical that all of the parts of the plane are designed to work properly and are in perfect working condition. All product manufacturers are required to report any malfunctions, system failures and product defects that occur in order to minimize the risk of a catastrophic event.

All types of failures and defects must be disclosed, including the following:

  •      Engine exhaust system defects or engine failure
  •      Accumulation of toxic fumes in the passenger cabin
  •      Leakage of flammable fluid
  •      Fatigue, corrosion or structural defect
  •      Problems with the electrical system or hydraulic power system

How easy is it to get sick on a plane?

You may already take precautions to avoid catching something from a fellow passenger whenever you fly, such as washing your hands frequently or packing antibacterial wipes and a protective mask in your carry-on luggage. Exactly how common is it to catch a flu or other illness on an airplane, you and other New York residents may wonder?

The answer may surprise you. According to Health.com, a professor of biostatistics and bioinformatics has said illnesses are not spread through recirculated airplane air as much as people have been led to believe. However, that does not mean you will avoid getting sick if other passengers are suffering from a bug. It is relatively easy to catch an airborne virus from the person sitting next to you or from the airline attendants serving each passenger. You may also pick up an illness by touching hand rests, walls and other surfaces inside the plane that sick passengers have touched.

Boeing and FAA sued by family of Ethiopia crash victim

The commercial airline industry has (for the most part) been able to maintain a very strong safety record thanks to stringent policies and regulations aimed and ensuring that all commercial airliners are fit to fly. Knowing of the this dedication to safety, travelers from Manhattan and from the rest of the U.S. are willing to place trust in the aircraft manufacturers by frequently traveling on their planes. Yet along with addressing safety concerns, aircraft companies are also focused on turning a profit by providing airlines with more planes. If (in the rush to sell aircraft) a manufacturer bypasses safety procedures, they open themselves up to liability claims

That is exactly what Boeing is facing in the wake of a deadly crash involving one of its aircraft in Ethiopia. One family in particular has filed a lawsuit on behalf of their daughter, a Massachusetts resident who had been working in Africa when she was killed in the crash. The Ethiopia crash marks the second incident involving one of Boeing's newest commercial airliners. In its lawsuit, the family states that the aircraft was rushed to the market despite apparent flaws in its operation. The Federal Aviation Administration is also named as a defendant in the lawsuit, as the woman's family claims that there were not enough technical workers available to perform safety checks on this model of aircraft. 

Allegations of safety concerns by airline mechanics

In light of the recent crashes involving two Boeing jets and the subsequent grounding of planes, it is not unreasonable for residents in New York to ask questions and investigate just how safe it is or is not to board a commercial aircraft today. Aircraft manufacturers and airlines themselves are just some of the entities with responsibility for passenger safety. At every step of the way, safety should be the top priority. 

However, as Travel Pulse recently reported, some airline mechanics are asserting that profits are the priority ahead of safety. Instead of being lauded for following all protocols, some workers say they are asked why they can't skip steps to get work done faster. They also allege that during the course of performing a task, they are told not to report or document any additional problems they may notice.

Alcohol and commercial pilots

While air travel is generally regarded as one of the safest methods of travel, people in New York have good reason to be concerned about safety when taking to the skies. As a passenger, a person is completely vulnerable and subject to the actions and decisions of pilots and crewmembers. If a problem occurs, there may be fewer options for airplane passengers to flee a scene safely than for people riding in cars.

Many accidents that happen on roads involve the negligent choices of drivers, such as drinking and driving. When it comes to pilots, one might wonder what rules are in place to prevent impaired operation of an airplane. As explained by CNN, there are actually no consistent rules around the globe. Instead, a global aviation organization issues some general guidelines and leaves each country to develop its own set of rules and penalties for breaking those rules.

Common causes of small plane accidents

If you live in New York, the thought of flying in a small plane may either excite you or terrify you. Although flying is a fear for some people, the chances of being in an accident is much greater with small aircraft than with large commercial jets. The following discusses the problem and some of the common causes of accidents. 

According to Live Science, accidents on corporate jets are down but there has been a 20% increase in personal aircraft accidents over the last decade and there has been a 25% increase in fatalities. Most of the private plane accidents occur due to a loss of control. While this is a general category, some examples of this include stalling and spinning out of control or flying in bad weather conditions and not being able to see.

Boeing slowing production of 737 Max jets after fatalities

When you board an aircraft in New York or another part of the country, you likely do so without thinking too much about whether the aircraft you will ride in is, in fact, safe for travel. Regrettably, several recent fatal plane crashes have raised concerns about air travel and potentially defective flight control software, and so much so that the company behind the planes at the center of the controversy are slowing production on new ones. At Kreindler & Kreindler LLP, we understand that many Americans are now hesitant to travel on these particular planes, and we have helped many people who suffered injuries or lost loved ones in plane crashes seek recourse.

According to NPR, Boeing, the company behind theĀ Boeing 737 Max planes involved in both fatal crashes, is reducing production on the controversial aircraft, transitioning from manufacturing 52 of the planes each month to 42. Though Boeing has about 4,600 orders for the plane that are outstanding, many passengers across the United States and the globe are becoming fearful of boarding these particular airplanes because much is still unknown about what caused the two recent crashes.

Who is to blame for aviation education accidents?

Human flight, once an unattainable dream, is now well within the grasp of many people. However, it still takes considerable training and dedication to master the operation of aircraft.

This necessity for intellectual investment leads to an extensive secondary industry of professional education. Teachers, universities, airports and even equipment manufacturers compete to attract students. If your loved one were injured studying, you may find it difficult to assign responsibility.

World awaits FAA decision on Boeing proposal

People who live in New York have no doubt been concerned about the safety of airline travel, especially after two fatal accidents have been likely linked to defaults in a specific aircraft designed and produced by a market leader in commercial aviation. Worldwide, the Boeing 737 Max aircraft has been grounded as a result but what is really needed to revive consumer trust is some way of knowing how the problem can be fixed.

As reported by CNBC, the aircraft manufacturer put forth a proposal to address the problems recently. Now, the matter is in the hands of the Federal Aviation Administration as it reviews the proposal to determine whether or not it will approve it. If that happens, however, the planes will not be released to the air immediately. It could actually take as long as three months before that happens.

What should I know about depression in pilots?

Depression is an affliction many people in New York deal with, and unfortunately, airline pilots are no exception. A 2016 article in the Los Angeles Times cited research that found that 13 percent of the commercial airline pilots in the United States are possibly suffering from a state of depression, with about 1 in 25 pilots having reported suicidal thoughts. Although the L.A. Times emphasizes that airplane flights remain a safe mode of transportation, nonetheless the problem of depressed pilots does create the potential for airplane accidents.

The L.A. Times pieces identifies special burdens that pilots carry in addition to the normal problems a person may experience in everyday life. Unlike an individual who works a normal nine to five job, a pilot works schedules that shift around, creating an irregular work schedule. The hours may also be long. The combination of long hours and shifting schedules can result in irregular sleep patterns. All of these factors can contribute to depression.

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