Since 1962, The National Travel and Safety Board (NTSB) has maintained a database of aviation accidents across the United States. NTSB has found that the fatality rate for private aircraft is significantly higher per 100,000 flight hours than commercial aircraft. According to recent reports, private aviation crashes are about 200 times more likely to be fatal. Furthermore, the journal Live Science reported that flying on a private aircraft is about 19 times more dangerous than driving a car.
Plane crashes can happen for a myriad of reasons and sometimes the causes may not always be clear. However, there are multiple explanations for why private plane crashes can result in an increased risk of fatalities.
Pilots with Less Experience
One of the most common explanations is that some private pilots have less flying experience than commercial pilots. The Federal Aviation Administration mandates that all commercial airline pilots have a minimum of 1,500 flight hours to obtain an airline transport pilot certificate; however, someone only needs 40 hours of flight time to get a private pilot license.
In addition, private pilots are not always required to have an instrument rating, which means they may not be certified to fly in “IFR” or Instrument Flight Rules where a pilot operates in weather conditions not clear enough to see where they are going. This can lead to more accidents when flying in poor visibility or during a storm.
Lack of Safety Regulations
Private planes are also subject to far fewer safety regulations than commercial aircraft. For example, private planes are not required to undergo the same level of maintenance as commercial planes, and they do not have to follow the same strict takeoff and landing procedures. As a result, there are more opportunities for something to go wrong.
Location of Flight and Destination
Another factor to consider is the locations where private planes typically fly. They often take off and land at smaller, less busy airports which can have shorter runways and less sophisticated landing equipment. In addition, private planes are more likely to be flying to remote locations that are not served by commercial airlines. This can make it more difficult for pilots to find help if something goes wrong.
The Dallas attorneys at Lyons & Simmons, LLP understand the complexities that can come with aviation disasters. Our team can help ensure that your family obtains the result you deserve. Schedule a free consultation today by calling (844) 297-8898.