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Air Carrier Safety; History, Statistics, and Forecast - Essay Example

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On U.S. air carriers alone, it has been predicted that in the coming two decades, the number of passengers will double. Therefore In this paper, I discuss the history of air…
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Air Carrier Safety; History, Statistics, and Forecast
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Download file to see previous pages The first laws that deal with commercial aviation were passed during the 1920’s. One specific act that was critical in the development of the aircraft safety is the Air Commerce Act of 1926 (McDougall, 2007). This act required pilots and aircraft to be examined and licensed for accidents and crashes to be sufficiently investigated. Moreover the establishment of safety rules and navigation aids were established under the Aeronautics Branch of the Department of Commerce. Given these advancements in the policy arena, over the course of 1926 and 1927, there were a total of 24 dangerously fatal commercial airline accidents (Bamber, 2009). Furthermore, the following 2 years resulted in a total of 67 accidents which is a record in terms of the worst period of time for accidents in aviation history. The calculated accident rate was about 1 for every 1,000,000 miles flown. If converted to the current rates of travel, such numbers would translate into 7,000 fatal incidents per year (McDougall, 2007).
Though 1927 is the most fatal year in terms of airline travel, ever since that year, the number of annual accidents have steadily declined. Furthermore, after 1997 the number total number of fatal airline accidents dropped less than .2 percent of its previous rate with less than 1 for every 2 billion miles flown per person. Consequentially air travel has become one of the most safe methods of travel. It seems as if most accidents are not caused by human error but rather by external conditions that effect travel such as weather (Bamber, 2009). This is empirically proven by the fact that a disproportionate number of all U.S. aircraft crashes occur in Alaska, largely as a result of severe weather conditions. Between 1990-2006 there were 1441 commuter and air taxi crashes in the U.S. of which 373 (26%) were fatal, resulting in 1063 deaths (142 occupational pilot deaths). Alaska accounted for 513 (36%) of the total U.S. ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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