When it comes to flying, it doesn’t matter how experienced or confident a pilot may be. An understanding and application of aviation safety policies and techniques is crucial to protecting passengers, civilians and the aircraft itself. By understanding how to prevent flight issues before they occur and implementing preliminary safety measures, accidents, injuries and deaths from aircraft failure can decrease dramatically.
All aircraft are subject to basic safety regulations that aim to catch any possible problems before they cause harmful consequences. All aircraft in the United States, for example, must meet specific requirements before being deemed flight-worthy. Aircraft must first possess the proper tools for flight and navigation; for example, items like radios, gauges, radars and other flight tools must be present and working on an aircraft. The same applies to all mechanical aspects of the aircraft, as well as satellite navigation systems, landing gear and much more. All of these systems must be thoroughly tested and approved before the craft can be allowed to take off. This helps identify problems before they occur in the air, lowering the risk of engine failure, instrumental inaccuracy or other system failures. The plane itself must also be inspected for any nefarious objects, including bombs or other weapons.
Before boarding the plane, passengers and pilots must be inspected to ensure they are not carrying any dangerous objects. Anti-terrorism measures, especially, are important in aviation safety. Suspected terrorists, criminals or other threats must not be allowed to board the plane, and often flights may be delayed for further inspection. Pilots, co-pilots and other aircraft employees should also be assessed for health, awareness, sight, hearing and sobriety. Investigators and safety regulators are appointed to manage and maintain the safety standards for all aircraft, though they are more attentive to commercial aircraft than private.
Once in the air, there are still strict safety standards that pilots and passengers must abide by. Certain outside factors affect the safety of an aircraft, such as lightning and other weather issues, foreign objects and even collisions with birds. In the event of these mid-flight occurrences, pilots are often required to re-route their original flight path or land at another airstrip. In the event that a problem does occur mid-flight – such as an engine stall – safety regulations require the pilot to put passengers first. Safety measures, such as oxygen masks, floatation devices, inflatable boats and emergency exits are kept in most aircrafts in cases of emergency. Some aircrafts include more extreme safety measures, such as parachutes or ejection seats. Without these safety measures, flight and aviation would be a much more dangerous venture than it is today.