While flying in commercial jets is, by and large, a safe endeavor, there are many things that can go wrong. In some cases, pilot errors can lead to disaster, while in some cases, a commercial airline accident is due to mechanical failure of some kind. It is rare, however, that the cause of a crash could come from some sort of external cause.
Several weeks ago, we wrote about the hectic aftermath of an Asiana Airlines jet crash at the San Francisco International Airport in July. A new report had described how firefighters weren't able to communicate with one another effectively, leading to the death of one of the survivors when she was hit by a fire truck. The federal Department of Transportation has underscored the chaos that ensued -- at the airport and for families trying to get information -- by fining the airline $500,000.
As we have talked about frequently on our aviation accidents blog, there may be many factors at play when there is a catastrophic event involving an airplane. In a small plane crash, there may be relatively few variables; the pilot might be the only person responsible for the maintenance and upkeep of a single-engine plane, for example.
It would be logical to assume that with all the technology available to us in 2013 that many things that used to be dangerous in past years are now safe to the point of being routine. Car travel, for example, is much safer these days, thanks to fewer drunk drivers and better safety features in automobiles, among other reasons. While some kinds of surgery, such as major organ transplants, used to be experimental and highly risky, they are now commonplace.
One of the nation’s busiest airports closed for more than an hour on Monday following a scare in which a Southwest Airlines jet made a hard landing after the aircraft’s nose landing gear malfunctioned.