Aircraft Accidents Caused by Weath

Topics: Air safety, Wind, National Transportation Safety Board Pages: 6 (2345 words) Published: March 19, 2013
Accidents in the aviation industry can occur due to many factors. An aviation accident is the worst nightmare of every pilot or passenger that has ever ridden in an aircraft. Although air travel is one of the safest forms of transportation, accidents do happen with dramatic and terrifying results. The causes of these aviation accidents vary greatly depending on specific circumstances and problems that may develop during the flight process. Weather is one of the factors that can influence an aircraft accident in a number of ways. There are several weather factors that cause and contributed to aircraft accidents. An aircraft can become directly impacted by weather when they are struck by lightning in storms, blown off course, incur malfunctions due to icing up of engine and wing parts, or are bounced about in the air by turbulence. Even if the act of weather itself doesn’t cause an accident the distraction of the weather could cause an accident.  

Weather plays a significant role in a great number of aircraft accidents and incidents. Weather is one major issue that is not within the control of technology or aviation system planners. Statistics has indicated that 28% of general aviation accidents involved adverse weather conditions (PlaneCrashInfo). Weather conditions can cause aircraft accidents indirectly as well. An aircraft that encounters adverse weather often has to travel out of its way to miss flying through a storm, and this can dangerously reduce its fuel level. Furthermore, adverse weather conditions such as haze can cause problems with visibility or disorientation can lead to an accident. Weather conditions can also affect the performance of an aircraft, like when parts are iced and cease to function. In most cases, adverse weather can be a distraction on land and in the air. Distractions are often the cause to many accidents. Weather conditions influence the frequency of aircraft accidents in many ways. Some of the weather factors that cause or contribute to weather related accidents are icing, turbulence, wind shear, thunderstorms, and haze. Weather Conditions

According to the AOPA Safety Advisor when temperature is 0 degree Celsius or less and moisture is present. Ice can form on an aircraft structure (Aircraft Icing). The most significant hazard of structural icing is the disruption of airflow over the aircraft surface. What is meant by the disruption of airflow is when airflow reduces lift and increase drag. This causes the aircraft to stall at a lower angle of attack and at a higher speed than normal. Ice can also form in the engine intake, blocking the flow of air to the engine, which can cause engine failure. In-flight icing is not only dangerous, but also has a major impact on the efficiency of flight operations. Icing poses danger to aircraft in several ways. The structural icing on wings and control surface increase aircraft weight, degrades lift, generates false instrument reading, and compromise control of the aircraft. Mechanical icing in carburetors, engine air intakes, and fuel cells impairs engine performance, leading to reduction of power. Here is an instance where icing caused an aircraft accident. According to Aviation Knowledge website on October 31, 1994, an aircraft departs from Indianapolis going to Chicago O'Hare for a regular flight taking one hour five minutes. When the airplane was about 50nm from Chicago it was placed in a holding pattern at 10,000 feet because of heavy traffic. Thirty minutes later the plane crashes in a field close to Roselawn, Indiana. The 68 passengers and crew died, while holding, the plane encountered freezing rain. When they were clear to descend to 8,000 feet, they were ordered to hold again. While in the holding pattern a warning sound indicating an over speed warning due to extended flaps was heard. Soon after the pilot took action, an uncommand roll excursion occurred, which disabled the auto pilot. The crew encounters...
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