Law Offices of Michael J. Schneider a professional corporation
907-331-3549 Anchorage, Alaska Personal Injury Law Firm
In the section

Alaska’s CFIT plane crash problem

Riding in small planes is a way of life for many who live in Alaska, but your chances of crashing and suffering injury or death as a result are higher in a small plane than it is in a larger, commercial aircraft. While the number of small plane crashes across the state has declined somewhat in recent years, officials within the National Transportation Safety Board feel the number of small plane accidents still occurring in the state is far too high.

Controlled flight into terrain accidents, in particular, have received increased media attention in recent months. Such accidents occur when pilots unintentionally fly planes into hazards such as mountains, waterways or other obstacles, and many such accidents arise from similar circumstances.

Causes of CFIT crashes

As of 2016, the state of Alaska sees about four CFIT crashes each year, with many of these accidents sharing two similar characteristics. First, there is an undeniable “bush pilot culture” in much of the state, meaning many pilots seek out unexplored terrain and otherwise engage in potentially dangerous aviation efforts.

In other words, many of Alaska’s pilots are taking unnecessary risks, which, when mixed with the second major cause of small plane crashes in Alaska, can have deadly results. The second likely contributor to Alaska’s high number of CFIT plane crashes is that many of the state’s rural areas simply do not have the technology and infrastructure in place that prevents accidents in many other parts of the country. This means that while pilots in Alaska’s rural areas may be more prone to taking risks, they do not have enough resources available that would help identify hazardous weather conditions and other potential hazards.

Alaska’s aviation industry faces unique challenges, and until infrastructure in rural areas improves, CFIT accidents may continue to be a part of the state’s aviation culture. Pilots can do their part to minimize risks by maintaining safe, legal practices every time they take to the skies.

No Comments

Leave a comment
Comment Information
  • "He is very professional and is the best at what he does - believe me. Our settlement was nearly five times what the opposition offered us." — Clint Q.
  • "I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart ... Words cannot express the gratitude I have for the gift you have given me " — Sincerely, Lacey T.
  • "I met Michael Schneider after a tragic auto accident took the life of a loved one. We were lost in more ways than one. Mike guided us through the maze of " — Kathy O.
  • "It is with pleasure that I give Michael Schneider my recommendation. Mike represented me in a personal injury lawsuit. " — Clint Q.
  • "About three years ago we were in a motorcycle versus motor-home vehicle accident. We were both very seriously injured. " — Phil and Mary W.
  • "I thank you so much. I am very grateful for the time and effort you put into my case. The money really helps us out in what has been a very difficult situation " — Lonnie B.
  • "It has been a long time but I have thought of you guys over the years and always am so grateful to you. " — Tristene and Jason