Recently, a man from Crown Point, New York died when his Piper PA28 crashed near an airfield near Middlebury, vermont. The pilot complained of an aircraft instrument-related malfunction soon after he took off from the Middlebury state airport, and several eyewitnesses noted that the plane was making “odd noises.” The man attempted to return to the airfield but instead struck some trees near the field.
After any fatal plane crash, recovering the "black box" is a high priority for investigators. Although these flight recorders are typically bright orange (for visibility) instead of black, the information they contain is crucial. They can answer many questions about how and why the plane crash occurred.
We recently wrote about the major charter plane crash in Colombia that resulted in the deaths of 71 people, including most members of a Brazilian soccer team. The team had been flying to a very important competition when the plane went down in the mountains of Colombia.
Previously, we began looking at some of the legal theories that are used in product liability litigation. As we noted, strict liability is a common legal theory used in aviation-related product defect cases, because it allows consumers to more easily hold manufacturers responsible for defects.
In our last post, we discussed the difficult mental, emotional and psychological consequences associated with fatal or near-fatal airplane crashes. These consequences vary depending on one's relationship to the crash itself. Families and friends who lost loved ones in the crash struggle with profound grief. Survivors of an otherwise deadly crash suffer that same grief, but they may also experience post-traumatic stress disorder and survivor guilt.
In our previous post, we briefly looked at a case appealed to the Supreme Court which involves the issue of whether state aircraft design standards can be used to determine liability in aviation-related product liability cases, even if the Federal Aviation Administration had not approved the standards. As we noted, the case is important as it could change the way airplane design is done, as well as the way those injured by defective aviation equipment go about seeking compensation.
One of most tragic accidents in the news recently was the fatal airplane crash near Medellin, Colombia. In late November, a Brazilian soccer team was traveling to a competition when the plane crashed into a mountain. In total, 71 people died, including most of the team, most journalists traveling with the team and most of the plane's crew.
Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association, in response to a court decision which allowed states to set their own standards of care regarding product liability for the aviation industry, is requesting that authority to regulate such matters be given solely to the Federal Aviation Administration, the agency responsible for regulating civil aviation and managing the development of air traffic control.
We previously began looking at the topic of small plan accidents and the fact that defective parts may be a significant factor in many cases. This issue was highlighted in a series of articles a couple years ago which reported on the role small plane manufacturers often play in small plane accidents.