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An Alaska aviation accident can point to larger problems

When people hear about an aviation accident in Alaska, they often focus on the crash itself, as well as whether the pilot made an error. However, the real problem may lie at a deeper level. In fact, one recent report points fingers at airline management and a lack of oversight as the real causes of an aviation accident. 

Investigators who studied a Cessna crash that occurred in 2013 looked at the big picture, and the evidence they found uncovered a wealth of problems with the airline. Some of the alleged issues inherent within the corporate culture of the airline that operated the Cessna included the hiring of pilots without the proper attitudes toward safety, as well as untrained personnel who made decisions regarding appropriate weather conditions. Most troubling of all is a suggestion by the FAA that this might be a more widespread concern for passengers flying in Alaska.

A spokesperson for the FAA in Alaska admitted that airlines had to police themselves, which did not always happen. With inspectors reportedly strapped for time, much goes unchecked in terms of airlines, airports and the airplanes themselves. Therefore, the picture is troubling for any airline passengers who want to travel safely to their destinations.

The good news is that the airlines can be held accountable for their lack of security and failure to follow appropriate procedures. Injured victims and family members of those killed in an aviation accident can seek compensation for their injuries and losses. When airlines are forced to settle lawsuits, or are court-ordered to pay restitution, it is an incentive for them to show more respect for those they serve.

Source:, "New investigative records suggest loose operations a factor in fatal St. Mary's plane crash", Lisa Demer, Apr. 23, 2015

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