aviation-accident-banner mobile aviation-accident-banner desktop

Do You Have a Case?

Find Out Now >
Home > Cases We Handle > Aviation Accidents > Causes of Airplane Crashes

Causes of Airplane Crashes

Investigation Process

Investigation Process


Video: Investigation Process

When you’ve lost a loved one in an airplane crash, you want answers. How did the crash occur? What could have prevented the accident? Is there anything I can do about it?

At Nurenberg, Paris, Heller & McCarthy, our Ohio aviation accident lawyers will investigate every aspect of the accident to help you get those answers. You don’t have to face this alone. Complete a free initial consultation form now.

Contributing Factors

Some common factors that can contribute to airplane crashes include:

Get Help Now

  • Equipment Failure/Malfunction
    Defects in aircraft can be caused by design flaws, manufacturer flaws, or wear and tear from years of use. Although inspections are performed on airplanes before and after flights, accidents can still happen due to faulty equipment and malfunctioning components.
  • Human Error
    From mechanics and ground crew, to flight attendants and air traffic controllers, industry professionals play an important role in the maintenance and safe operation of aircraft. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) looks at the training these individuals have received, the instructions provided before take-off, air traffic control communications, ground crew operations, and the pilots’ actions to determine if human error contributed to airplane crashes.
  • Mid-Air Collisions
    Mid-air collisions are less common than other types of aviation accidents because the FAA closely monitors the movements of planes in the U.S. In addition, large passenger planes are required to have TCAS II collision avoidance systems, which detect potential collisions with other transponder-equipped aircraft and advise pilots to climb or dive in response. However, when these devices malfunction or are ignored, mid-air collisions can occur.
  • Pilot Error
    Pilots are responsible for the safe transportation of their passengers. On rare occasions, pilots may fail to comply with proper procedures in the operation of aircraft.
  • Runway Incidents
    Aviation accidents that involve runways include runway incursions, overruns, and undershoots. A runway incursion happens when an unauthorized aircraft, vehicle, or person is on a runway, increasing the risk of collision. Meanwhile, runway overruns and undershoots occur when a plane either fails to stop before the runway ends, or does not reach the runway—often due to inadequate braking or pilot error.
  • Weather
    Unpredictable weather, such as wind shear, ice storms, thunderstorms, lightning, and more, can affect airplanes of any size. Before airplanes can fly in freezing weather, they must be de-iced. In addition, all airplanes are required to have forward-looking radar wind-shear detectors on board.
  • Bird Strikes
    When a bird or flock of birds strikes an aircraft, the impact can cause immediate physical damage to the airframe, engines, or critical sensors, potentially leading to the failure of key aircraft systems, a loss of control, or even a crash. The risk is particularly high during takeoff and landing when aircraft are at lower speeds and altitudes, limiting maneuverability.

If you’ve lost a loved on or have suffered injuries in an aviation accident, contact our team today for a free consultation.