On the face of it, it appears that flying is much safer than it used to be. There are statistics to back that up. Over the past few decades, American airlines have managed to fly for years without a single major incident. However, a number of recent fatal accidents show how dangerous it would be for us to become complacent about aviation safety.
The fact is that there are newer risks that are emerging on the horizon, even as the industry battles with older, better-known threats. One of those new threats has to do with the increasing dependence of American carriers on maintenance companies. Many airlines now outsource their maintenance activities to offshore companies, and that has raised the specter of substandard work and ill-maintained aircraft, posing a safety threat.
Another serious issue has to do with the rapidly aging planes in several large fleets. Many carriers continue to maintain older aircraft that may be well past their prime. Older aircraft may not be equipped with safety technology that can possibly divert a safety threat. This is a particularly serious problem among low-budget, so-called discount airlines.
Other issues that have been linked to aviation disasters in recent months have included mental illness. Pilots, who are mentally incapacitated, depressed or have any other kind of mental condition, continue to fly planes. The recent air GermanWings crash in France involving a mentally disturbed pilot has brought to light mental health issues involving crew, and the failure of the industry to properly tackle these matters. Other issues involving overworked and fatigued pilots continue to remain unresolved.
All of these are serious challenges, but not insurmountable. Unfortunately, as carrier competition intensifies, the industry has shown no signs that it intends invest in safety issues any time soon.
The Indiana aviation accident lawyers at Montross Miller Muller Mendelson & Kennedy, LLP represent the families of victims of plane crashes and aviation related injuries. Contact them today.