Alaska is one of very few U.S. locations that routinely offers residents and visitors the chance to explore the state from small commercial aircraft. Small airplanes are a common sight in Alaska as they ferry people to remote locations that are otherwise unreachable. In some cases, people also rely on small aircraft to travel to and from work locations.
A famous person’s death
Traveling via small commercial aircraft is fun and exciting. However, this mode of transport is often more hazardous than travel in large airplanes. In 2010, long-serving former Alaska Senator Ted Stevens died when the single-engine airplane in which he was a passenger crashed. Stevens had already survived a 1978 plane crash that killed his wife.
What are some specific hazards?
It is always wise to understand the hazards inherent in all modes of transport. Some of the challenges commercial pilots face in Alaska include:
- Extreme weather. The weather here can range from sunny and warm to treacherous and unpredictable. Most pilots report weather as one of the most common hazards they face when flying.
- Rugged terrain. The lack of airports with federal funding plays a role in the state’s crash rate. Many aircraft must take off and land in rugged terrain or by way of harbors, which is more dangerous than landing and departing from airports.
- Few ground-based receivers. Pilots rely on ground-based receivers to track other aircraft and avoid mid-air collisions. Unfortunately, Alaska offers few of these receivers, increasing the risk of mid-air plane accidents.
Unfortunately, many aviation accident victims do not survive. Those who do survive must often learn to cope with devastating injuries. We wanted to discuss these crashes to help victims of personal injury and those left bereaved after a wrongful death find closure. For many, an injury claim or lawsuit opens the door to closure by holding all responsible parties accountable for their negligence. Learn more about aviation accidents and their possible legal remedies on our website.