Definition of a plane crash
An air accident, also known as "plane crash", is an event related to the operation of an aircraft that results in the death or serious injury to one or more persons and often irreparable damage to the body shell of the aircraft. An event involving flight safety without serious consequences is considered an air incident. The term air disaster is used by the media, especially for accidents involving an airliner. In most accidents is only one plane involved. Mid-air collisions of two planes are rare. The attacks on the World Trade Center (WTC) 9/11 are not considered air accidents.
States may establish an authority to ensure flight safety and accident investigation. These agencies, as well as a few non-governmental organizations, maintain databases whose purpose is to advance security. All American airlines, be it Delta Air Lines or United Airlines experienced fatal crashes.
The main reason is bad weather in combination with human error misjudging the thunderstorm in front. Other problems of human errors include not to communicate in the cockpit. Problems leading to structural damage include design flaws, material fatigue or mistakes in maintenance of an airplane.
The development of statistics groups air accidents according to various criteria, thus makes it possible to raise the awareness of manufacturers, operators, crew, air traffic controllers, maintenance personal and others by identifying the primary or secondary causes of accidents.
- Destruction of the plane in flight: collision between two planes, major structural defect, fire, terrorist attack, interception by the Air Defense of the country overflown
- Destruction of the structure on impact with the ground, better known as "crash": navigation error and striking an obstacle, serious mechanical incident forcing the pilot to attempt an emergency landing
- Ground accidents: collision between a plane in take-off or landing with another aircraft that has entered the runway
The vast majority of accidents concern general aviation but the media and the public are mainly interested in accidents involving airliners.
The International Civil Aviation Organization - ICAO
The ICAO definitions and the resulting statistics relate to motorized aircraft used by organizations or civil companies. States relying on ICAO recommendations to establish an investigative agency may, however, extend the scope of the jurisdiction to include non-motorized aircraft accidents, unmanned aircraft on board and military uses, but excluding related cases.
Aim of the ICAO is the recommendation of an accident analysis process to investigate the causes and to derive actions to improve safety. The accident report establishes the primary cause and, often, the sequence of secondary causes that contributed to the problem. These conclusions are of interest to manufacturers and equipment manufacturers, airlines or operators, crews, navigation controllers and maintenance services. The determination of responsibilities does not fall within the scope of investigations.
The term "disaster" does not appear in the official texts but appears in the media when the accident concerns the commercial air transport of passengers. The notion of "catastrophe" is also changing in relation to the increase in traffic and the increase in the size of aircraft.
General aviation and, in particular, light aviation generate far more accidents than air transport, but they are rarely the subject of media coverage at the national level. Air accidents related to military activities, training and missions outside conflict, are rarely the subject of a report made public that could reveal classified information.
Aircraft accident investigations aim to improve flight safety. An accident rarely has a single cause. Unofficial reports or databases compiling accidents most often identify a determining cause, but the report of the investigative office looks for the causes that generate or participate in the determining cause as well as the errors of perception or action that did not allow corrections or palliatives. The report is used by the Official Services to modify the standards and by the manufacturers, operators, crews, air traffic control service and maintenance workshops to modify the procedures. In principle, the report of the investigative office does not determine the responsibilities but is an essential element for any legal action.