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Airplane Crashes

Facts About Private Airplane Crashes

Private plane crash cases are complex and challenging. Private aircraft do not have the "black boxes" which commercial planes do. In addition, regulation and enforcement of maintenance and certification procedures are not nearly as rigorous for private aircraft as for commercial aircraft.

General aviation refers to all flights other than military and scheduled airline and cargo flights. The majority of air traffic in the United States falls into this category. Most of the airports in the United States, around 5,300, serve general aviation exclusively. According to the NTSB, in 2009 over twenty million flight hours were flown by general aviation aircraft. In that same year, 1,474 accidents were reported involving general aviation aircraft.

Commercial Plane Crashes

Two major manufacturers produce most of the large commercial civilian aircraft flown today: Boeing in the United States, and Airbus in Europe. In the United States civil aviation incidents are investigated by the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB). Families involved in air crashes are often astonished to learn that they or their representatives can have no role whatsoever in the crash investigation. Compounding this disadvantage of initial inaccessibility is that parties potentially responsible for the crash (who are usually the defendants) are invited by the NTSB to be party participants in the agency's investigation.

Common Causes Of Airplane Crashes

The most common causes of aircraft crashes include the following:

  • Defective Design and/or Materials - Defects in this category can cause metal fatigue, cracking, and/or in-flight failure of critical components.
  • In-Flight Instrument or Avionics Failure - Cockpit instruments such as attitude indicators, altimeters, and autopilots can fail in flight without warning, with catastrophic results to pilots and passengers.
  • Negligent Maintenance or Repair - Maintenance records and log books are kept to record an aircraft's maintenance history, and are an important part of any postcrash investigation.
  • Pilot Error - A pilot's failure to exercise due diligence can be a principle or partial cause of a crash.
  • Air Traffic Control Errors - Failure to follow proper air traffic control rules and procedures can lead to disaster.
  • In-Flight Icing - Icing is a contributing or causal factor in numerous fatal aircraft crashes.
  • Fueling Errors - Fuel mismanagement such as starvation, exhaustion, or contamination often results in crashes.

We would be honored to put our specific experience in these types of cases to work for your family. At such a difficult time, it is so important to have legal counsel you can trust to handle your case with the special professional care it deserves.

Call us toll free at (800)474-1339 or contact us by e-mail.



Examples of Our Results In Airplane Crash Cases

Our law firm has handled many landmark airplane crash cases across the country. Highlights of some of our firm's favorable results are listed below:

$52.5 million settlement for fatal DHC-6 Twin Otter plane crash.

$48 million Jury verdict including compensatory and punitive damages for wrongful death from crash of DeHavilland plane. Jury found aftermarket compressor turbine blade manufactured by defendant Doncasters was defective because they substituted a metal alloy which did not meet the engine manufacturer’s specified design criteria.

$27.5 million The firm has obtained a record $27.5 million settlement on behalf of skydivers killed in a Cessna 206. In-flight engine failure occurred when an oil transfer tube failed, cutting off the supply of oil to the engine. In addition to the cash settlement payment, defendant Teledyne agreed to modify its engine overhaul manuals to include notification that owners, operators, and repair facilities should inspect the oil transfer tubes.

$26 million The firm obtained a $26 million settlement (the largest settlement in a wrongful death suit in North Carolina history) for the wrongful deaths of a prominent North Carolina real estate executive and his wife. The crash of the Cessna 421 took place just after takeoff, following the pilot's communication to controllers that the plane's right engine was failing. Defendants in the case included Teledyne Continental Motors, RAM Aircraft, Vibratech, and Stevens Aviation.

$15 million In 2009 the firm obtained a $15 million settlement for the wrongful death of a Chicago restaurant executive in a Cessna 421B aircraft. The case alleged that Morgan Stanley, the employer of the pilot, allowed its employees to use private aircraft flown by non-professional pilots on company business. Following the lawsuit Morgan Stanley changed its policy on flights, insuring that their employees would never again use their private aircraft to transport Morgan Stanley customers.

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Personal Injury Lawyers - Kansas City, Missouri

Personal injury is an area of law that pertains to the injury of an individual. Both physical and emotional injuries fall into this branch of tort law. A personal injury lawyer is generally involved in cases where an injury has occurred due to the negligence of another party.

Examples of cases that a personal injury lawyer in Kansas City, Missouri can assist with include workplace accidents, falling or other accidents in the home, premises liability, defective and hazardous product cases, and dental and medical malpractice cases. If negligence on behalf of another party can be proved in court, compensation may be awarded.

Personal injury attorneys can also assist with industrial disease cases that may include respiratory diseases or a decline in health due to hazardous occupational conditions. These and other medical cases are often very complex, and it is advised that all aspects of the claim be handled by an experienced attorney.

Wrongful Death Lawyers - Kansas City, Missouri

Wrongful death falls under the common law jurisdictions wherein a person may be held liable for a death. It is important to note that wrongful death is the only course of legal action in which a company, rather than an individual, is at fault for a death.

In Kansas City, Missouri, cases involving wrongful death accidents require a preponderance of evidence as the standard of proof. Generally, the suit is filed by close relatives.

This web site is designed for general information only. The information presented at this site should not be construed to be formal legal advice nor the formation of a lawyer/client relationship. Past results afford no guarantee of future results. Every case is different and must be judged on its own merits.

Robb & Robb LLC One Kansas City Place, Suite 3900 - 1200 Main Street , Kansas City , Missouri 64105

Telephone: 816-474-8080 Facsimile: 816-474-8081 Toll Free: 1-800-474-1339