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5 Causes of Plane Crashes & Preventive Measures | 2022

By: Propel RC
Updated On: May 9, 2022

Plane crashes are, unfortunately, all too common. In 2021, there were 15 commercial passenger airline crashes worldwide, resulting in the deaths of 134 people. So what causes these deadly accidents? And how can we prevent them from happening?

One of the most common causes of plane crashes is pilot error. Pilot error is responsible for about 40% of all commercial airline accidents. There are a number of different ways that pilots can make mistakes, from flying too low to not following proper procedures.

To help prevent these types of accidents, airlines need to provide better training for their pilots and make sure that they are always up-to-date on the latest safety procedures.

Another common cause of plane crashes is mechanical failure. This can be due to a number of different factors, such as faulty engines or incorrect maintenance. To help prevent these types of accidents, it is important for airlines to properly maintain their aircraft and to regularly check for any potential problems.

In some cases, plane crashes are caused by weather conditions. This is often beyond the control of the airline and pilot, but there are some things that can be done to help avoid these types of accidents. For example, airlines can adjust their flight routes to avoid severe weather conditions.

Finally, some plane crashes are simply caused by accidents. These are usually due to factors like bird strikes or runway collisions. While it is not always possible to prevent these types of accidents, airlines can help by investing in better safety measures.

It is important to understand the underlying causes of plane crashes in order to prevent future incidents.

Read: What Is The Minimum Age To Get A Pilot License?

Causes of Plane Crashes And Their Preventive Measures

A combination of factors often causes plane crashes. The most common cause is pilot error, accounting for about 40% of commercial airline accidents. Other common causes include mechanical failure, weather conditions, and accidents.

Pilot Error

One of the leading causes of plane crashes is human error. This can occur when a pilot makes a mistake, such as misreading a map or failing to monitor the aircraft's speed, height, and position properly.

Causes of Plane Crashes: Pilot Error

A poorly-trained pilot may also make mistakes due to inadequate knowledge or skill level. Additionally, fatigue can affect pilots' ability to react quickly and make sound decisions, increasing the risk of human error.

Airlines and aviation authorities have implemented training programs that help pilots stay up-to-date on safety procedures and gain experience in a variety of situations to combat this issue. Pilots are also required to undergo regular medical exams to ensure they are fit and able to fly.

Weather Problems

Inclement weather is another leading cause of plane crashes. Strong winds, low visibility, and other hazardous conditions can make it difficult for pilots to control the aircraft and land safely.

Causes of Plane Crashes

In some cases, bad weather may also cause structural damage to the plane, leading to a crash.

Pilots must be trained to recognize and avoid hazardous weather conditions to avoid weather-related crashes. Additionally, airlines must have procedures for rerouting flights around bad weather and handling emergency landings when necessary.

Read: How Do Planes Fly In Bad Weather Conditions? Is It Safe or Not?

Mechanical Failure

Another common cause of plane crashes is mechanical failure. This can happen when an aircraft's engines, landing gear, or other critical components fail. In some cases, manufacturers may be aware of a potential issue with a certain part but fail to promptly issue a recall or fix the problem.

Causes of Plane Crashes: Mechanical Failure

This failure can lead to potential safety hazards and put passengers at risk of a crash. Airlines must take preventive measures to regularly inspect critical aircraft components, including engines, brakes, landing gear systems, fuel tanks, and wiring to address this issue.

Additionally, manufacturers must monitor the performance of their parts carefully and implement recalls as needed to prevent future crashes.

Errors Caused By ATC or Ground Workers

Air traffic controllers and other ground workers play a vital role in ensuring the safety of flights. However, errors by these individuals can sometimes lead to plane crashes. For example, a controller may fail to properly guide an aircraft during takeoff or landing, leading to a collision.

Causes of Plane Crashes: Errors Caused By ATC or Ground Workers

Additionally, ground workers may fail to inspect an aircraft properly before takeoff, resulting in a mechanical in-flight failure.

To reduce the risk of errors by ground workers, airports and airlines must implement strict safety procedures and provide regular training for all employees.

Additionally, individuals working in high-pressure environments, such as air traffic controllers, should be given breaks regularly to avoid fatigue.

Read: How Difficult Is It To Get A Private Pilot License?

Other Causes

Beyond human error, mechanical failure, and weather problems, other factors can also contribute to plane crashes. These include sabotage by passengers or others on the ground, collisions with birds or other wildlife, and carelessness by airport workers.

Airlines and aviation authorities must work together to identify the underlying causes of plane crashes and implement effective safety measures to address these issues.

This may include improved training, stricter safety procedures, and more frequent maintenance checks. Additionally, passengers should be aware of the risks involved with air travel, as well as any specific safety protocols that must be followed during each flight.

The Swiss Cheese Model

One way to think about the causes of plane crashes is to use the Swiss cheese model of accidents. This model suggests that there are multiple layers of defense against accidents, each represented by a slice of cheese. When all of the layers are in place, they form a barrier that can protect against an accident. However, if even one layer is missing or defective, an accident can occur.

It's important to identify and address the underlying causes of these incidents to prevent future plane crashes. By better understanding how mistakes are made and how safety protocols can be improved, we can reduce the risk of accidents in the skies.

Many different factors may contribute to plane crashes, including human error, mechanical failure, inclement weather, and other hazards. It is important to understand these causes and take corrective action when necessary to prevent future crashes and ensure the safety of passengers and crew members.


Plane crashes are, unfortunately, a reality of air travel. However, by understanding the causes of these accidents, we can work to prevent them in the future.

By implementing better safety procedures and training for all individuals involved in air travel, we can make flying a safer experience for everyone.

Thank you for reading. I hope this has helped to better understand the causes of plane crashes.

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