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Could Pilot Inexperience Cause a Plane Crash?

February 27, 2015
Colson Hicks Eidson

From 1990 to 2002, 75 percent of commuter-carrier accidents and 45 percent of major airline accidents were found to be the result of human error, according to a 2006 Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) study. Factors behind the human errors that lead to airplane accidents can include fatigue, poor training and pilot inexperience.

In fact, one of the above-mentioned factors—pilot inexperience—was recently unearthed as the cause of a 2012 Polk County, Florida plane crash that claimed the lives of the pilot, his wife and their four children.

According to WFTV-TV, although the pilot in the Polk County crash had been a pilot since 1994 and obtained his instrument rating in 1997, the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) reported that prior to purchasing the 2006 single-engine Pilatus PC-12/47 plane involved in the fatal airplane accident, the pilot had not:

  • Logged any instrument flight time for seven years
  • Logged any hours as pilot-in-command of a turbo-propeller aircraft

The NTSB alleges that even though he “met the minimum qualification standards to act as pilot-in-command,” he did not have the experience flying a turbo-propeller plane that he needed to “maintain control of the airplane after the autopilot disengaged.” Reportedly, during its descent, the plane was traveling over twice as fast as the recommended maximum operating maneuvering speed.

How Do I Know If I Can Sue If I Was Hurt in an Airplane Accident?

In the video above, injury lawyer Curtis B. Miner explains how compensation is decided in airplane accident cases.

Colson Hicks Eidson – Injury Attorneys