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What types of pilot errors cause plane crashes?

On Behalf of | Oct 19, 2021 | Commercial Airline Accidents

Millions of commercial airline passengers book and board commercial flights each day in the United States, but what happens when something goes wrong due to pilot error and planes crash, causing serious injuries and death? The National Law Review notes that while incidents of aviation accidents are not as numerous as they were in previous decades, the pilot error still remains a major cause for many of these occurrences.

While human error is not always the catalyst for commercial airline crashes, there are several factors that may cause pilots to make mistakes that lead to passenger injuries and fatalities.


Guidelines for commercial pilots ensure that any single worker only flies so many hours to prevent the fatigue that could affect his or her decision-making abilities. However, despite these safety measures, some pilots still suffer from a lack of sleep or work fatigue. When a pilot is overly tired, this could lead him or her to become indecisive in moments that require quick thinking and could lead to a crash.


Sometimes, a pilot error occurs when those at the helm become distracted by either the environment in the cabin or by personal issues that affect their focus. For example, one serious plane crash occurred when the pilot and co-pilot became engaged in conversation unrelated to the flight and when an onboard alarm went off, the pilot reacted incorrectly, causing a stall that led to a serious crash with all lives on board lost. Had the pilots not been chatting, this crash may not have occurred.

Pilots must also contend with poor weather conditions and technical issues in a way that prevents commercial airline crashes. Focus is often key to preventing problems that lead to these deadly incidents.