Researchers from the Center for Disease Control and the National Institute for Occupational Safety and have found that Alaska has an annual pilot fatality rate of 410/100,000 a year. This is the highest in the nation. The research conducted by the Center for Disease Control and the National Institute for Occupational Safety uncovered that the key factors leading to fatality in airplane crashes include post-crash fire, inclement weather, and non-Alaskan residency.
While Florida’s annual pilot fatality rate is lower than Alaska’s, airplane crashes are a concern in this state. Many of the findings from the Alaska research study can also help prevent fatalities and serious injuries – including burn injuries and spinal cord injuries – which are a factor in airplane crashes. According to the findings of the study, pilots and passengers can increase their chances of survival in a plan crash by:
1) Wearing shoulder belts. The research conducted by the Center for Disease Control and the National Institute for Occupational Safety found that pilots and passengers who wore shoulder belts or seat belts had a significantly higher chance of surviving a crash.
2) Flying in good conditions. The study found that those flying in daylight and in good visibility and good conditions increased their chances of survival. Although sudden weather changes cannot always be predicted, good weather helps the pilot land safely, even when a landing is unscheduled. Good weather and visibility also allows emergency personnel easier access to a crash site, which means that injures parties can be helped promptly.
3) Check airplane condition. Flying in aircraft that is well maintained and not overloaded is always safer.
4) Select experienced pilots. Ask your pilot about his or her expertise, flying experience, license, and certification. Pilots who are experienced with a specific terrain and area are more likely to notice problems earlier and are more likely to respond appropriately when problems arise. Flying early in the day can also be a way to stay safe, since pilots may be more rested early in the day than later, after a few flights.