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Small plane manufacturer facing numerous lawsuits over alleged design defect, P.2

In our last post, we began looking at the ongoing litigation against a Florida-based small aircraft manufacturer accused of defectively designing stabilator wings and causing numerous accidents as a result. As we noted, the manufacturer denies the allegations of defective design, and points to the federal government’s blaming the accidents on other factors in official reports as evidence that defective design is not the problem.

Attorneys involved the litigation say, however, that federal regulators aren’t independent enough from the aircraft manufacturing industry in the investigation of general aviation accidents to come to unbiased conclusions about the causes of accidents. Because manufacturers are too involved in the process, they say, there is always going to be a bias toward concluding that accidents are caused by pilot errors.

Federal investigations of accidents can be a critical piece of evidence in building a strong aviation case. The aircraft industry, of course, has a financial interest in seeing investigations resolved in a way that minimizes manufacturer blame. For victims of aircraft accidents caused by design defects, the hope is that manufacturers will simply be found at fault when such a finding is appropriate.

For small aircraft accident victims, it is important to pay careful attention to the investigations that take place following the accident and to ensure, as far as possible, that authorities investigate each accident thoroughly and in as unbiased a manner as possible.

Federal aviation investigations can be complex, involving numerous specialists and responsibilities. In our next post, we’ll look briefly at the process, and how aviation accident investigations can be used in aviation accident litigation to help ensure victims are fairly compensated. 

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