Palladium From Indonesia, joined Apr 2005, 270 posts, RR: 0 Posted (10 years 5 months 2 weeks 6 days 13 hours ago) and read 5416 times:
I was just wondering, since the very first commercial plane took off back long time ago until today, what is the number one or ultimate problem that cause the aircraft into crash / accident? (in overal view)
is it :
1. Bad Weather
2. Poor Maintenance (safety)
3. Pilot / Human error ( this include ATC )
4. Technical Failure
Well I know that 90 percent of the time of the accident happened during take off or landing.... but really what can cause them to crash.......
I tried to read the accident database on airdisaster.com on the statistic section it seems that bad weather is the number one cause leading to aircraft accident...what do you guys think?
727EMflyer From United States of America, joined Mar 2005, 547 posts, RR: 0
Reply 2, posted (10 years 5 months 2 weeks 6 days 8 hours ago) and read 5333 times:
Human error is by far the biggest factor. Think beyond just the big commercial crashes we always hear about and look into some GA accidents. I don't know how many times I've been reading a report and had to shake my head in dismay because it says something to the effect of "pilot with 500+ hours ran out of fuel," or "commercial pilot crashed on climbout... aircraft was x pounds out of weight & balance specs." There are a lot of other ways to commit human error too. ATC has been known to clear one airplane onto the runway when another aircraft is on short final. I know of one double human error occasion, the midair collision over (germany?) between a russian charter and a DHL 757... the controller ignored the two flights for a long time, then gave a bad last minute avoidance commands to the both aircraft, whose collision avoidance systems made the proper recommendation. The pilots chose to listen to ATC, but had either one used their own equipment the accident would have been averted.
Even some weather related accidents can be attributed to human error. Some pilots don't seem to be able to stay within their own personal limits and chose to fly despite adverse conditions, or to continue a flight even though the weather has deteriorated. Likewise a lot of faulty maintence can count as human error. Take the case of the 757 which crashed into the pacific off Peru after a mx taped over a static port to clean the surrounding area but never removed the tape, therefore disabling the pitot/static system: No one inspecting the aircraft caught the tape (since the worker used a difficult to see duct tape instead of a highly reflective product prescribed by boeing), then the pilots relied on ATC to tell them their altitude, ignoring the fact that ATC gets alt. from their own transponder... which in turn gets it from the failed static system!
Yes, computers and mechanicals will fail, but like the DPE who awarded my my ticket warned: Pilots are dumb!
LTBEWR From United States of America, joined Jan 2004, 13765 posts, RR: 17
Reply 12, posted (10 years 5 months 2 weeks 4 days 5 hours ago) and read 5202 times:
I would say human error or misjudgement combined with other factors like weather or mechanical failures. This can be further contributed by financial pressures to meet schedules and hold down costs from delays.
As to weather, past experiences, improved technology to sense potential high risk weather (including microbursts, downdrafts, unusual winds) is reducing in many locations those risks. However, as we recently seen in the AF crash landing in Toronto and in Peru with the TAMS crash, having insufficient information about or misjudging weather conditions probably were added factors of those crashes.
As to mechanical, the Helios crash in Greece is probably due to a series of mechanical failures, (depressurization failure combined with a possible faulty emergency O2 system for the cockpit) but also possible misjudgment by the co-pilot to drop the a/c to a safe level more quickly. The AA 587 crash of Nov. 12, 2001 is hotly debated here as to causes including structural failure, rudder control design issues by Airbus, poor judgment of pilots in operating the rudder perhaps due to training errors, combined with wake turbulance from a 747 that had taken off just before it.
As noted above, poor judgment of pilots can be in a number of ways. About 6-7 years ago, a FedEx DC-10 arriving at EWR crashed upon landing and became a write off (crew survived). This was at the end of a long overnight flight, so one has to consider being tired, jet lagged and related factors causing an hard or crash landing. The NW crash at DTW a number of years ago was due to improper flap settings by the pilot. The KAL 007 flight disaster has a high probability of improper settings of the autopilot and the failure of he pilots to notice or correct their error.
Failure of pilots or inexperience with a particular a/c or airport can also add to the problem. In February, when a bizjet crashed at Teterboro airport, questions were raised about the balance and overall weight on the a/c, something that should have been the responsibility of the pilot/co-pilot.
Lack of knowlege of and general inexperience dealing with hazy conditions probably led to the crash by John F. Kennedy, Jr. in his a/c.
Mechanical failures or weather rarely itself causes a crash, but since humans are behind the stick or yoke, then you will have that as a factor.