Airplane Accident Case Study

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Airplane Accident Case Study The first fatal fixed-wing airplane accident occurred merely five years after the first recorded controlled airplane flight launched by the Wright brothers in Kitty-Hawk, North Carolina. On September 17, 1908, while riding as a passenger on an airplane built by the Wright brothers, Lieutenant Thomas E. Selfridge became the airplane’s first fatality. Consequently, spurring the first fatal airplane accident investigation (Kingseed, 2001). Unfortunately, this would not be the last airplane accident resulting in fatalities. Between the years 1960-2014 a combined total of over 24,800 fatalities have been recorded in Part 121 air carrier operations and Part 91 general aviation alone (US DOT, 2016a, 2016b). In addition…show more content…
The study, incorporates the years 1995 to 2000 and separates the accidents by phase of flight: (a) takeoff, (b) cruise, and (c) landing. The accidents for each category were then analyzed to determine the most likely cause of severe injury or death in each of the three phases of flight. The total number of accidents for phase of flight for carrier operations were analyzed accordingly. But, due to the tremendous amount of serious or fatal general aviation accidents which occur each year, a random selection of 20 accidents were taken from the total population of accidents for each phase of flight during the specified time period. This was accomplished by using a computer to generated random number for each accident. Then, the lowest 20 numbers were extracted from the population to be analyzed for each phase of flight.
To understand what constitutes an accident and a serious injury according to the NTSB, the NTSB definition of each is provided below. An aircraft accident is defined as:
An occurrence associated with the operation of an aircraft which takes place between the time any person boards the aircraft with the intention of flight and all such persons have disembarked, and in which any person suffers death or serious injury, or in which the aircraft receives substantial damage. (Definitions,
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Of the six, three accidents resulted in fatalities and three in serious injury. Of the six accidents during takeoff, the accident category that appeared most often was mechanical failure. In fact, three of the six accidents had a mechanical problem which led to the accident. An interesting finding, is two of these accidents resulted from engine compressor blade failures. In both cases, cracks formed in the compressor blades which were not identified by maintenance during their last engine overhaul (FAA, 2016). This shows that even mechanical failures involved in an accident can sometimes be traced back to human

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