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U.S. Aviation Accidents Law Blog

How can parts manufacturers be liable after a plane crash?

It may seem clear who was at fault in a plane crash, but the truth may not be as simple as appearances. Although pilots and crew must adhere to strict guidelines for safe aircraft operation, their own human error is not the only reasons that things don't go well on flights.

  • What else may cause an aircraft malfunction or problem?

Fixed-wing aircraft, as well as helicopters, are incredibly complex machines with thousands of parts that must work in perfect operation. Faulty parts or out-of-date maintenance procedures can doom a flight before a pilot is even assigned to it.

  • How are manufacturers and distributors held accountable?

NTSB report on fatal air crash may not have all the details

If you would check to make sure your car tires are inflated before you start on a drive, you would take some safety precautions before you start the engine of a plane. But most people who fly to get places don't know or care much about the maintenance involved in maintaining a safely operating plane.

Although large jet airliners often have complicated and recorded maintenance procedures, record keeping and precautions may vary with smaller operators. A recent investigation into a fatal air crash shows that even federal reports on accidents may not tell the whole story in these incidents.

Survivor recalls final moments of doomed flight

It is easy to fly from one part of the world to another without thinking much of it. But there are some astonishing feats of human engineering at work in an atmosphere with a lot of hazards. Some of those hazards are unpredictable even to the people who build and operate airplanes.

A man on a recent flight that ended in disaster reported that all was well until relatively soon before the crash. The pilot went on the intercom to report that the landing may be "troublesome." The next thing in the man's memory is waking up amid chaos after the plane struck a neighborhood near the destination airport.

How do lawsuits apply to aircraft product design problems?

There are few products that are more important to their users' safety than airplane and helicopter components. This is because the slightest problem can endanger property and life in an instant. How can designers and manufacturers be held accountable?

  • What is the nature of aircraft design defects in law?

Accident reports and other documents are very important to investigations because there are multiple reasons that an aircraft could experience a problem. Pilots are often legally liable for the safety of people in their aircrafts, but the manufacturers of planes and parts can also be at fault under certain circumstances.

  • What are these circumstances?

2 more lawsuits filed over small plane crash

People step on and off jetliners and other aircraft every day without thinking much of the risks involved. After all, jumbo jets are sleek machines that brings millions of people places every week without a major incident. But it is still possible for something to go wrong in the air.

The dangers may be higher for smaller aircraft, as pilots may lose control in rough conditions and their hulls may not be as hardy in emergency conditions. Although the capacity of a smaller aircraft is usually no larger than a dozen, the lives inside are dependent on the safety of the plane.

Counterfeit aircraft parts can make their way onto U.S. planes

When it's time to replace parts or even entire airplanes, owners and airlines are often looking for a deal. The history of commercial aviation shows that lower prices win out, and designers put ever more seats and spaces in for more fliers.

This may not be true with small aircraft owners or pleasure fliers, but one problem can easily affect all people responsible for airplanes and helicopters. Cheaper parts are often tempting, but they may be too good an idea to be true.

Occupants survive small plane crash into river

Thousands of small plane flights happen every week across the country, and there are probably more flights taken by propeller aircraft than by passenger jets around the world. Although there are many advantages to smaller aircraft, they may be more prone to weather events and other risks.

But some problems with flights are neither the fault of pilots or so-called acts of God. Aircraft require regular maintenance and their parts must be of the highest quality. If manufacturers or other people helping with plane construction and conditioning are negligent in their duties, they may be liable for the results of accidents.

What happens if a family member is in a plane crash?

Many people are afraid of flying, despite the statistics that show it is a relatively safe way to travel great distances. But some fears can be founded when there are problems with one or more of the many systems that keep a jet functioning from takeoff to landing. The fear here is that something went wrong that could have been prevented.

  • What preventable problems could cause a plane crash?

Jets require a lot of maintenance, especially as they approach the end of their use life. Even the smallest mistake or omission by a member of the flight crew or ground crew could result in a disaster. Design and manufacturing defects that occurred in the early phases of a plane's construction could eventually lead to problems as well.

  • What are victims and their families entitled to after a crash?

Jet planes can be built with design problems

Airplanes and airlines can seem nearly flawless, even if their arrivals and departures are often late. Pilots are always trained professionals and nearly all commercial flights come off without a hitch. But the forces and mechanics involved mean that any one problem can cause a catastrophic failure.

Some issues are due to pilot error or foul weather. Before instrument landing systems, pilots and air traffic controllers had to work hard to make sure collisions and runway misses did not happen. But some issues are related to the construction of an aircraft or its design before anyone tried to put it together.

Airline injuries are a complicated issue

Maybe it was a patch of turbulence that threw people around. Maybe it was an accident involving a cabin cart. The amazing physics of plane flight means that any failure, no matter how small, has the potential to cause serious damage or injury.

There are many cases in which an airline or one of its employees could be liable for a specific injury that someone suffered on a plane. There are, however, several complicated legal issues involved in any claim for financial damages. The Federal Aviation Act requires U.S. air carriers to operate with a high attention to detail when it comes to safety.

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