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Commercial Aviation Safety - Essay Example

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Commercial Aviation Safety

After the two wars, the availability of decommissioned military aircraft as well as the increase in number of decommissioned military pilots paved the way for the modern aviation industry. At the same time, aircraft manufacturers such as Cessna, Piper and Beechcraft made passenger aircraft made for specific roles. These aircraft manufacturers eventually became the world's leaders in passenger aircraft technology ("Commercial Aviation", 2006). The development continued over the next 20 years and by the 1950's, Boeing introduced their first line of passenger aircraft that utilized jet engine technology such as the Boeing 707. The evolution of the commercial aircraft industry continues with airport authorities and airline services going hand in hand in providing safe and efficient air travel around the world ("Commercial Aviation", 2006). But the industry is never without its troubles and complications. There are several factors that make air travel rather risky and dangerous. Among these are technical problems, human error, unpredictable weather conditions, hi-jacking and many more. Out of these issues, terrorism had the most significant impact in the industry, as it was responsible for the death of thousands of innocent lives. The most infamous of these aerial terrorists act was the September 11, 2001 attacks, also known as 9/11 ("September 11 Attacks", 2006).
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Weather disturbances such as ice and other forms of precipitation pose great risks for the pilots and passengers. Take for example the case of a certain Georgian Express Flight that happened in January 14, 2004. The flight involved a Cessna 208B that took off from Pelee Island Ontario and eventually crashed into Lake Eerie moments later after take-off killing all 9 passengers and the pilot. The crash was believed to be due to pilot fatigue and poor visibility due to icy weather conditions (Aarons, 2006). Other cases of human error are linked to faulty and obsolete flight equipment, such as manual controls that are totally dependent upon the pilot's skills. Obsolete equipment combined with mediocre skills can greatly increase the occurrence of a mishaps happening in the industry (Evans, 2004). Proof of this comes from the Aviation Safety Network which reported that there were about a dozen or so airline mishaps in June 2006 alone, among these involved n A-320 Airbus incident in Sochi, Russia and a DC-10 incident in Managua, Nicaragua (Aviation Safety Network, 2005). Aircraft structural fatigue is also blamed as the number one killer in the skies, this happens especially in a lot of older aircraft that are still used by some airliners up to this date (Aubury, 2006). Also, financial problems may plague an institution if it is not ready to support airline operations. Such was the problem of South African Airways when their profit plunged into an all-time low of almost 90% because of rising fuel prices, lower cost of competition as well as their failure to generate enough profit. South African Airways has also run through debts in the course of its operations thus forcing it to cut back on costs while maintaining its ...Show more

Summary

Aviation is considered to be one of mankind's greatest inventions for it has been a dream for men to soar unto the heavens and touch the skies. It has evolved from a mere scientific curiosity into something that brings people and cultures closer together…
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Commercial Aviation Safety essay example
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