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Runway defects can cause aviation accidents

On Behalf of | Apr 25, 2023 | Aviation Accidents

Crashes involving airplanes are rare, and most of us have misconceptions about how these crashes happen. Usually, when you think of a plane crash, you may think of engine failure or a midair collision. However, the truth is that most airplane accidents and injuries happen on the runway during landing or takeoff. 

Several hazardous runway conditions can cause aviation accidents. Below are some of them and how they can contribute to an airplane accident. 

Runway incursions

People, vehicles and airplanes can sometimes be on the runway improperly, resulting in a crash or near crash with another aircraft as they land or take off. For example, incursions can occur if the air traffic controllers improperly direct pilots to an obstructed or active runway. However, errors from pilots and other employees may also lead to damaging runway incursions. 

Poorly designed runways

Airports are designed depending on the surrounding geography. For example, airports near mountains have specially designed runways out of necessity and may require specially trained pilots to land there. On the other hand, some airports have squeezed runways, and pilots may have to make sharp turns to avoid obstacles. If a pilot crosses an active runway, they may be at risk of crashing with other planes traveling at high velocities. 

Damaged runways

When runways are poorly paved and can’t withstand harsh weather conditions, ruts, frost heaves, potholes, depressions and soft spots can occur. Sometimes, cracks can form over time, making landing dangerous. 

A damaged runway can affect the aircraft’s performance in the following ways:

  • Increased stopping distance due to the reduced braking performance
  • Degraded handling, which may cause the aircraft to veer off
  • Increased takeoff distance

If you were injured or a loved one tragically died in an aviation accident, you may be eligible for civil damages. But first, seek legal guidance to help you identify the responsible party and pursue the compensation you deserve.