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Any commercial airline accident is worrisome and temporarily undermines the public's trust in flying. But when the cause of a commercial airline accident remains unsolved and/or its wreckage cannot be found, the feeling of unease and grief is typically greater than it would otherwise be.
Airliners have been known to crash for a variety of reasons, including equipment failure, weather, pilot or traffic controller error, or terrorism. However the last thing a passenger expects to happen is to die in a plane crash because the pilot decided to commit suicide.
After any fatal plane crash, recovering the "black box" is a high priority for investigators. Although these flight recorders are typically bright orange (for visibility) instead of black, the information they contain is crucial. They can answer many questions about how and why the plane crash occurred.
In our last post, we discussed the difficult mental, emotional and psychological consequences associated with fatal or near-fatal airplane crashes. These consequences vary depending on one's relationship to the crash itself. Families and friends who lost loved ones in the crash struggle with profound grief. Survivors of an otherwise deadly crash suffer that same grief, but they may also experience post-traumatic stress disorder and survivor guilt.
Commercial airline accidents can have serious consequences for those involved in them. These consequences can be fatal, but not always. In some cases, serious physical injury can result, or even simply severe emotional and mental trauma.
Recently, quite a scare arose during a commercial airline flight here in the United States. That scare was an engine failure.
Many readers of our aviation accidents blog at Kreindler & Kreindler LLP (a national law firm with offices in New York City, Boston and Los Angeles) have likely seen dire news accounts many times of aircraft post-accident investigations. A recurring image in many such stories is focused upon a team of investigators with the acronym NTSB emblazoned on their jackets combing through wreckage.
Many of the safety devices we take for granted have not been around as long as we might assume. As just one example, consider the Enhanced Ground Proximity Warning System, now used on the majority of airplanes and mandated for commercial carriers.
Today we wrap up our conversation about survival tips as they pertain to commercial airplane crashes. The key theme with these tips is awareness. Each tip has to do with being fully aware of your surroundings and being prepared for any possible event. This doesn’t mean an individual should be paranoid. It just means they should be knowledgeable about how to handle an emergency situation, much as motor vehicle drivers should be if they are on the road.