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Lewis & Tompkins

Pilot Error: The Most Common Cause of Airplane Crashes | Aircraft Accident Lawyer

David E. Tompkins
Car Accident, Bicycle Accident and Pedestrian Accident Attorney for Maryland, D.C. and Virginia
Although some think that poor weather conditions or mechanical problems are the number one cause of aircraft accidents, pilot error or cockpit error is the most common cause of plane crashes today. Although most pilot errors are unintentional, many pilots who cause plane accidents show an intentional disregard for safety that can be considered negligence. Pilot errors can range from simple mistakes to deadly oversights to lapses in judgment to a mistake in operation. Some pilot errors occur during the course of a regular flight while other pilot errors occur after a mechanical problem or during a flight in adverse weather conditions.

Some examples of pilot error include:

· Flying a plane in poor weather conditions or knowingly flying into a storm.

· A navigational error that could result in flying the plane in to a building, mountain, or other obstacle.

· A pilot's failure to correctly read cockpit instrumentation or the pilot's failure to monitor the cockpit instrumentation regularly.

· A pilot's failure to follow directions from an air traffic control tower during takeoff or landing.

· A pilot ignoring the fuel levels and having the plane run out of gas during flight.

· A pilot does not properly utilize the plane's de-icing system.

· A pilot's mistake in maneuvering could cause the plane's engines to fail or could cause a collision with an obstacle or another plane.

· The pilot and crew fail to extend flaps during takeoff, causing a crash.

· A pilot loses spatial awareness during flight.

· The pilot does not monitor or maintain proper speed during the flight.

· The pilot flies at the wrong altitude.

· The pilot accidentally disconnects the autopilot.