What leads to an aircraft crash?

What happened to Kobe Bryant and the other eight people onboard is terrible and should never happen. Aircraft crashes can have several reasons: failure or malfunction of an equipment, human error, or weather conditions. Let’s see them one-by-one.


Equipment Failure/Malfunction

In spite of inspections before as well as after flights, this cause still comes up here and there. It can come from design flaw, manufacturer flaw or wear and tear from use. Murphy’s law is everywhere, that’s why it is extremely important to get an aircraft checked each time before it takes off and after landing. If this process is superficial, it can lead to the next cause of aircraft crashes, human error.


Human Error

Many people takes part in preparation of aircrafts before and after each flight. Ground crew make sure that the plane is ready to take off, flight attendants make sure that everything is going well on the plane during the flight and air traffic controllers help pilots with navigation. If an equipment failure exists before the flight and wasn’t uncovered during the inspection, then we talk about human error. When an accident happens, FAA investigates on if it was a human error, by overviewing the training of workers, communication between the air traffic control. This investigation can uncover the real reason of an accident.


Mid-air Collisions

It might be the least common cause, because of FAA requirements about air traffic control system. Furthermore, airlines need to have TCAS II collision-avoidance systems that’s main reason is exactly this. It allows pilots to recognize other aircrafts nearby and follow the proper instructions to avoid collision with each other. When these devices malfunction or are ignored, accident might happen.


Pilot Error

Being a pilot is one of the most responsible jobs, they need to assure the safe transportation of hundreds of people kind of on a daily basis. They need to operate the aircraft properly, but sometimes they fail to comply with the proper procedures. On the other hand, there is a factor that nobody has an effect on, the weather.



Weather conditions are the least preventable factor. However, there are certain rules that you need to follow such as VFR vs IFR. Turning back to last week’s accident, for instance, the weather conditions required flying under instrument flight rules. Even though the pilot had the certificate for IFR as well as the helicopter’s instruments allowed instrument flying, the company was not approved by FAA to fly passengers under these rules. At the same time, the pilot also failed to file an IFR flight plan that would have been necessary and might have helped avoid this accident.
Fortunately, as technology involves, planes are getting safer and safer. However, as we saw, there are other factors that can lead to a tragedy. Fly safe and never forget how responsible you are, not just for yourself, but many other people.