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U.S. Aviation Accidents Law Blog

What is the FAA's role in aircraft safety?

There are many companies, agencies, businesses and entities involved in ensuring the planes you fly in out of New York are safe. One such agency is the Federal Aviation Administration. You have probably heard of the FAA before, but do you know what it does to keep your flights safe?

The main purpose of the FAA is aircraft safety. It manages regulations and oversees the industry to ensure planes and other aircraft are manufactured, maintained and used safely. It does research and introduces new technology to help increase the safety of the planes you fly in. 

Are private planes more dangerous than commercial planes?

There are often reports in the New York news about small or private plane crashes. It seems they happen often. At the same time, commercial plane accidents do not seem to happen often. From this alone, you could easily surmise that small planes are more dangerous than commercial planes, and you would be correct. Looking deeper into it, though, reveals some concerning facts.

Quartz at Work notes 2017 was the safest year for commercial flights. Private plane flights, however, did not enjoy such accolades. In fact, in the final minutes of 2017, two small plane crashes killed 10 people. For the whole year of 2017, only two commercial flight accidents resulted in deaths. 

What makes small planes dangerous?

Small planes are notorious for being more dangerous than their larger commercial counterparts. In fact, you have probably heard many stories of famous people who have died in small plane crashes. So, why is it that small planes seem more dangerous than larger ones, and are they actually more dangerous? Should you fly in a small plane in New York or are you risking your life by getting on board?

According to Live Science, air travel, in general, has gotten much safer over the years, but the dangerous nature of small planes has not improved in the last decade at all. In some reports, small planes are said to be more dangerous than motor vehicles, which is a huge thing when you consider how many car accidents you hear about on a daily basis.

Are design defects a common cause of small plane crashes?

When a plane crashes, there is an immediate rush to figure out why it crashed. Authorities want to know what went wrong. They use the information gathered to help prevent the same thing from happening in the future. While this is a great thing and authorities in New York do a good job of assessing issues, sometimes the real problem is overlooked.

According to The Washington Post, when it comes to small plane crashes, pilot error is often listed as the cause. However, in many of these cases, the real cause is plane design defects. The issue with these causes being misdiagnosed is the problems or defects go unresolved. You could get on a plane with a known defect and end up in a crash because nothing was ever done about the issue.

What does the FAA do?

Many agencies, organizations and companies work together to ensure commercial flights are safe for you and other New York travelers. These agencies do many things from managing air traffic to monitoring the manufacturing of airplanes. One important agency is the Federal Aviation Administration. You have likely heard of the FAA, but do you know what it does to ensure your flights are safe?

According to the FAA website, the agency has a few different responsibilities that enable it to keep air travel safe. It works with the agencies of other countries to ensure aviation safety for international flights and to improve aviation here in the U.S. It conducts research to improve safety and help prevent aviation accidents. It also regulates air traffic control to ensure things run smoothly and to make improvements when needed.

What is the role of the US in international accidents?

You might wonder how international air disasters are handled by the United States. If you, a New Yorker and US citizen, are flying on an international flight that experiences a problem, will you still be offered the same protection as you would on a domestic flight? These questions are best answered by learning more about the National Transportation Safety Board, which is an agency that investigates accidents involving transportation, including flights.

The NTSB has the authority to investigate international flight accidents under the Standards and Recommended Practices and the Chicago Convention of the International Civil Aviation Organization. It works with other countries to seek accident causes, find survivors and manage the investigation. Generally, the U.S. has separate agreements with other countries as to how accident investigations are handled. 

Combining forces in product defect cases

Generally speaking, courts could hold manufacturers liable in New York for products they make which result in a personal injury to you or someone you love. However, your path to proving fault may not be as direct as you hope, especially in cases involving powerful corporations. As you might surmise from the vast resources and international holdings of powerful automotive and aviation companies, attempts to prove a vehicle design defect's responsibility for wrongful deaths or injuries are typically difficult.

We often receive questions here at Kreindler and Kreindler about the feasibility of airline product and design defects claims. While each case is different, you might want to review this general information if you are curious about the subject. We often talk to our clients about consumer injury claims: a specific type of legal action that involves negligent or irresponsible acts by an entity allegedly resulting in injuries to many people. If you were to become involved in such a claim, you would potentially be presenting your case alongside hundreds of other people affected by the same product or design defect. You might visualize this process as a collection of overlapping facts that could reinforce a claim of negligence against a large company, leading eventually to an abundance of proof.

Celebrities that have died in small plane crashes

Throughout the years, there have been many news stories in New York about celebrities that have died in small plane crashes. It is actually rather alarming at just how often it happens. There have been quite a few well-known people, often who were in the prime of their lives and careers, who have lost their lives this way. Here's a look at a few of them.

The Balance takes us back to March 5, 1963, when the very famous country singer, Patsy Cline, was killed in a small plane crash along with the other three people on board. The cause of the accident is assumed to have been weather related. Patsy was only 30 years old and at the height of her career.

Do defects cause plane crashes?

Air travel is pretty safe in general. Whether you fly out of New York or into it, you are relying on many people's hard work to ensure your flight goes smoothly and that you get from one place to the other safely. However, as with any mode of transportation, things can sometimes go wrong. Someone drops the ball, and it leads to a plane crash. 

You may have heard that plane crashes are attributed to four main factors. These are human error, weather, intentional actions and mechanical failure. Humor error is to be expected in any case where humans are in control. It is just a part of human nature. Weather is uncontrollable, but luckily, there is plenty of technology that can help to avoid weather related issues. Intentional actions are pretty much unavoidable because the person behind the action is determined. However, there are many safeguards in place to prevent this from happening. 

How do commercial airline crashes impact aviation safety?

When a plane crashes, it is devastating. Typically, there are many lives lost and sometimes major property damage. However, planes take off out of New York multiple times a day and most have no problems whatsoever. In fact, when something does go wrong with a plane, it is carefully studied and helps result in changes within the aviation industry that make flying even safer for you. 

Popular Mechanics took a look at some significant airplane crashes that resulted in major improvements in air travel. One such incident was Aloha Airlines Flight 243. This was an old plane being used for a short flight over Hawaii, but due to age-related issues, it ended up coming apart in mid-air. While only, one person was killed, it did spurn the National Transportation Safety Board to start making stricter rules about the maintenance and use of aging aircraft. 

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