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One state's rate of fatal plane crashes higher than average

Residents of New York may have heard that the National Transportation Safety Board discovered that the rate of fatal airplane crashes is higher in Alaska than the nationwide average. According to the NTSB's preliminary report for the calendar year of 2019, there have been 10 fatal airplane crashes. This isn't including the fatal crash at Unalaska Airport that occurred on Oct. 17, 2019, because there is no federal report for it yet.

In 2018, there were nine fatal airplane crashes, and in 2017, there were eight. The years 2015 and 2016 saw a total of 11 and 12 such crashes, respectively. In 2016, 5.4% of the nation's fatal airplane crashes, 221 in all, took place in Alaska despite the fact that this state contains less than 1% of the nation's entire population.

Some of the reasons for this are obvious: treacherous weather, landings and takeoffs that occur in rugged terrain, the enormous size of the state itself, etc. One major factor is the lack of ground-based radio receivers that can help pilots keep track of other planes via automatic dependent surveillance-broadcast, or ADS-B. This surveillance technology has been known to prevent midair collisions in the past.

While some crashes involve commercial airlines, others are private airplane accidents, and these can pose a challenge from the point of view of those who are injured. For instance, one cannot file a premises liability claim against an aircraft manufacturer if the aircraft in question is more than 18 years old.

If airplane mechanics are to blame for a crash, it will be hard to sue them since they carry little or no insurance. The same goes for general aviation pilots. To learn what their options are, victims may want to talk with an attorney. An attorney may work to help them receive the compensation they deserve.

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