Are most aviation accidents brought on by human error, structural points or climate? By the best way, you’re one in all my favourite investigators! And the place is MH380 (the Malaysia Airways flight that mysteriously vanished in 2014)?
– #planecrashgeek, North Carolina
Practically all plane accidents are trigger by a number of contributing elements. There’s nearly by no means a single, easy trigger. Human elements are contributing or causal in most accidents. This may be pilots, designers, controllers, mechanics or operator administration.
Through the years, plane have grow to be extra dependable, better-designed and maintained. A structural failure accident is so uncommon that I can’t consider one in current occasions.
Climate can actually contribute to accidents, however pilots can deviate round thunderstorms, fly to an alternate airport or elect to not fly in sure climate (equivalent to freezing rain), so it is laborious to say that climate “causes” an accident. Nonetheless, climate situations could make flying or touchdown way more difficult.
Ask the Captain:Can turbulence alone trigger a aircraft to crash?
Thanks for the sort phrases. My objective is to be taught as a lot as we are able to from accidents to stop a reoccurrence.
MH370 is within the southern Indian Ocean, based mostly on all of the credible proof I’ve seen. We all know what occurred to the flight, however finding the wreckage may be very tough. I hope they discover it in the future.
How a lot of a visit is autopilot? I’ve heard the landings are; is that this true?
– LRC24, Middletown, New Jersey
Pilots often have interaction the autopilot shortly after takeoff and disengage it a number of miles from the touchdown runway. Pilots command the autopilot to do a number of totally different capabilities: fly a heading, navigate to a radio station or waypoint, climb/descent, maintain altitude and infrequently fly a holding sample. Autopilots do what the pilots inform them to; they don’t seem to be autonomous.
Landings are often finished manually by the pilot. Some airplanes can auto land however that is finished most ceaselessly in very low visibility situations and requires a major quantity of preprogramming and monitoring.
John Cox is a retired airline captain with US Airways and runs his personal aviation security consulting firm, Security Working Programs. The views and opinions expressed on this column are the writer’s and don’t essentially mirror these of USA TODAY.