The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Bureau of Transportation Statistics (BTS) reported that U.S. airlines and foreign airlines serving the United States carried an all-time high of 895.5 million system-wide (domestic and international) scheduled service passengers in 2015.
With all of that volume, there will unfortunately be airplane crashes, but the number of non-flight related airport incidents is more likely to increase as well. In addition to investigating crashes, ARCCA’s engineers also evaluate all non-flight related airport incidents, including trip and falls, slip and falls, escalator incidents, tarmac incidents, baggage handling, crew member incidents, jet bridge incidents, motor vehicle incidents, and pedestrian incidents that occur in or around airports.
As an example, ARCCA was retained to evaluate an incident where a crew member on a cargo plane fell while climbing air stairs within the aircraft. Based on the site and evidence inspection, engineering research and a review of incident reports (police reports, claims information and legal filings), ARCCA’s engineer expert determined that standards were met with regard to the element of the airport or aircraft in which the incident occurred. In this case, the air stairs conformed to the design specifications of the aircraft manufacturer at the time of the inspection. The maintenance records revealed timely inspections and repairs to all elements of the aircraft, including the incident stairs, and the aircraft and stair design were approved by the FAA.
If you have a case or claim involving aircraft or airport incidents, ARCCA’s engineer experts can help.
PETER CHEN, M.S.M.E., M.B.A., P.E., CFEI, ACTAR is a mechanical engineer at ARCCA and is experienced in the investigation of aircraft and airport incidents. He previously worked for a leading jet engine manufacturer and was a member of the team that developed a short takeoff, vertical landing engine. He also holds a patent for a gas turbine engine system involving I-beam struts.