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Are Airline Pilots Ever Charged After Fatal Crash?  
User currently offlineBobcat From United States of America, joined Jun 2007, 0 posts, RR: 0
Posted (12 years 4 days 9 hours ago) and read 1962 times:

Are airline pilots ever charged after fatal crash? If not, why not?

13 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineBoeing4ever From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 1, posted (12 years 4 days 6 hours ago) and read 1919 times:

Are airline pilots ever charged after fatal crash? If not, why not?

Why so? Just because the plane crashes, doesn't make the pilot a criminal...unless he was drunk or blatently negligent. Pilot error IMO is just error.


User currently offlineBR715-A1-30 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 2, posted (12 years 4 days 6 hours ago) and read 1904 times:

They will be scheduled to appear at a hearing in some cases to find out what happened in the flight deck to determine whether they should be charged, or fined or Whatever.

User currently offline411A From United States of America, joined Nov 2001, 1826 posts, RR: 8
Reply 3, posted (12 years 4 days 5 hours ago) and read 1879 times:

So far as I know, the first crew to be arrested and charged in an aircraft accident was in October 1979 when a Swissair DC8-62 landed long on runway 15L in ATH and broke up off the end of the runway.
The crew was charged with negligent homicide and jailed. Believe they were released a short while later after many protests by aircarrier unions worldwide.

For those that are unfamiliar with the old airport at ATH, runway 33R was normally used for landings, but due to southeastery winds runway 15L was used on the night in question, the runway was wet, and the aircraft hydroplaned and was unable to stop on the very slippery runway end.


User currently offlineB744 From New Zealand, joined Dec 1999, 491 posts, RR: 0
Reply 4, posted (12 years 4 days 3 hours ago) and read 1826 times:

The pilot of an Ansett NZ Dash 8 that crashed near Palmerston North in NZ was charged with police, and as I understand it, it was the first time when the cockpit flight recorder transcripts were used as evidence against the pilot. Also as I recall, the case was thrown out (fortunately!).



User currently offlineUal777contrail From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 5, posted (12 years 4 days 2 hours ago) and read 1820 times:

werent the SQ pilots charged for their crash? the ones who went to take off on the wrong runway.

if those HP pilots who were drunk crashed they should be charged.




ual 777 contrail


User currently offlineAirsicknessbag From Germany, joined Aug 2000, 4723 posts, RR: 33
Reply 6, posted (12 years 3 days 23 hours ago) and read 1781 times:

Why shouldn´t pilots be held liable for their mistakes? If a bus driver smashes a pedestrian, he probably also only "made a mistake" - and he might be responsible of recklessly killing a person.

The pilots of the Contact Air Dash 8 operating for Lufthansa which crashed in Paris in 1993 were convicted. I believe at least the captain had to serve some jail time.

Daniel Smile


User currently offlineBackfire From Germany, joined Oct 2006, 0 posts, RR: 0
Reply 7, posted (12 years 3 days 22 hours ago) and read 1771 times:

While there might be occasions in which criminal charges could conceivably be brought (in the event of negligence, perhaps) don't forget that action only becomes reasonable to pursue if the crew survives. In the case of a fatal accident, that often isn't the case.

User currently offlineNz767 From New Zealand, joined Nov 2001, 1620 posts, RR: 1
Reply 8, posted (12 years 3 days 22 hours ago) and read 1762 times:

Ya don't say, Backfire!  Insane

User currently offlineBackfire From Germany, joined Oct 2006, 0 posts, RR: 0
Reply 9, posted (12 years 3 days 22 hours ago) and read 1754 times:

In your rush to be sarcastic NZ767 (and I can appreciate that you think I'm just stating the obvious) I think you're missing the subtle underlying comment.  Insane

Go back and read the original question. It implies that you don't hear about prosecution very often.

The question is why: Is it because there's no justification for such action? Or is it simply because you can't practically prosecute a dead crew?

There's a big difference.


User currently offlineNz767 From New Zealand, joined Nov 2001, 1620 posts, RR: 1
Reply 10, posted (12 years 3 days 22 hours ago) and read 1751 times:

Well I took the topic heading to mean after a fatal crash where passengers and cabin crew have been killed, but the pilots are still alive.
Quite simple really!


User currently offlineAA61hvy From United States of America, joined Nov 1999, 13977 posts, RR: 57
Reply 11, posted (12 years 3 days 15 hours ago) and read 1692 times:

i dont think you can compare and pilot to a bus driver, a pilot has thousands and thousands of hours training. bus drivers dont have that much


Go big or go home
User currently offlineLubcha132 From United States of America, joined Feb 2001, 2776 posts, RR: 7
Reply 12, posted (12 years 3 days 15 hours ago) and read 1687 times:

yeah but-

there are 2/3 people in the cockpit, one at the wheel of a bus
if one person in the cockpit dies the other one can take over and fly safely, its hard to get a dead bus driver out of the seat at 65mph. also a pilot can fall asleep (i mean its not a good thought) for a few minutes and if its on autopilot the plane won't be in a million billion pieces but not so with a bus.



User currently offlineMatt D From United States of America, joined Nov 1999, 9502 posts, RR: 46
Reply 13, posted (12 years 3 days 15 hours ago) and read 1683 times:

I dont think you can compare and pilot to a bus driver, a pilot has thousands and thousands of hours training. bus drivers dont have that much

What does that have to do with anything? Negligence is negligence, regardless of the training-or lack of it. If a pilot with a 4 year degree kills someone, versus an $8.00 an hour bus driver, what entitles the pilot to get away with-and let's call it what it its-murder?

If anything, using your argument, then pilots should be held to a HIGHER degree of accountability for that very reason-they are/were "better trained", had "more skills" and so on. So they should've known what they were doing.

That Southwest pilot that parked at the Chevron station in Burbank should not only have been fired, but after his stay at the hospital (assuming he went), should've been taken straight to Twin Towers in Downtown LA and booked for attempted murder due to gross negligence.


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