Dangers of Private Planes

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Believe it or not, private planes can be almost a deadly form of travel as your average car ride. Although this type of travel has become much safer since the 1970s, private planes are much more dangerous than commercial flights. Additionally, according to federal safety experts, the accident rate in general aviation hasn’t changed much in the past 10 years.

According to statistics, the fatality rate is about 1 death every 100,000 hours. Also, while accidents and fatalities have gone down in corporate and business jet flights, the accident rate in personal flights has increased 20% in the past 10 years, and the death rate has gone up 25%.

Studies by the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) have shown the majority of these crashes and fatalities boil down to pilot error. Compared to commercial planes, which have safety features and redundancies, private planes are much riskier. They also only likely have one pilot aboard, which means if the pilot is incapacitated, there is no other person capable of taking over flight. Additionally, while private plane pilots are required to complete training and proficiency checks every 2 years, they are not as stringent as those for pilots of commercial flights.

In 2012, the Government Accountability Office found the highest incidence of fatal accidents on planes occurred with single-engine piston airplanes in personal flights, in which pilots lost control of the aircraft. In some cases, bad weather could be blamed. Around 75% of weather-related accidents are fatal.

What’s more alarming, perhaps, is that there is no current federal requirement for the owner or pilot of a private plane to carry insurance covering injuries to passengers or a 3rd party on the ground. Some states do require this, but the regulatory laws overlooking this area are inconsistent. This lack of federal regulation can be a problem for victims of aviation accidents. For example, in 2013, a single-engine private plane crashed into a house in Florida. The owner of the destroyed house survived but found that the pilot had no insurance to cover the damage.

Make sure you stay safe this summer, especially if you plan on taking a private plane anywhere on vacation. However, if you’ve already been injured in a private plane accident, it may be time to hire an excellent San Francisco personal injury lawyer. Scarlett Law Group’s founding attorney, Randall H. Scarlett, has more than 25 years of legal experience to offer your case. Let us see what we can do for you. Contact us at (415) 688-2176 or fill out our online form to schedule a case consultation today.

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