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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:
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 manufacturers 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.