What are the thematic similarities among aviation accidents?

Residents of Billings, Montana, would agree that unlike a motor vehicle accident, the magnitude of devastation can be much larger in an aviation accident, as it typically involves a loss of human life and property damage.

Several factors can contribute to an aviation accident. While many factors can be addressed before a flight, some factors contributing to aviation accident, such as bad weather, are beyond human control. In order to prevent aviation accidents, agencies responsible for running aviation services investigate previous accidents and work toward eliminating those factors contributing to accidents that are under human control.

Some of the common factors of aviation accidents include:

  • Flawed assumptions - Assumptions about every aspect of design, operation and maintenance of the airplane play a great role in accidents. If assumptions turn out to be correct, the result will be expected. However, if those assumptions are incorrect in a particular situation or condition, the results can be catastrophic.
  • Human error - Mistakes are associated with all accidents in one form or another. A person who is not doing the required things correctly during the course of his or her duty can cause or contribute to an aviation accident.
  • Organizational lapses - To prevent aviation accidents, it is necessary that there is no breakdown of communication at the organizational level and that all information is handled in an effective way by involving all the persons or organizations responsible for safe aircraft operation.
  • Pre-existing failures - In many aviation accidents, it was later found that there was a latent condition or an active fault in the aircraft exposed and combined with other malfunctions to result in the accident.