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U.S. Aviation Accidents Law Blog

What you should know about airline inspections

If you are a little intimidated about flying on a commercial aircraft, you are not alone. Many people are nervous when boarding an airplane, especially when flying long distances. Although the Federal Aviation Administration requires American aircraft to be inspected and maintained on a routine basis, accidents occur and unfortunately, lives have been lost due to equipment malfunctions and systems failures. As with all equipment and parts, aircraft equipment has aging patterns and diligent teams work to ensure people catch these problems before they result in a catastrophic accident.

When commercial airplanes are built, engineers develop a maintenance schedule for each aircraft based on certain factors, including the number of landings and takeoffs, number of hours in use or specific dates depending on which arrive first. All systems are inspected, including landing gear, engines, controls, fluids, safety systems and electronics. While some quick inspections happen overnight, others require the plane to be out of commission for months or years as every part is examined for stress, metal fatigue, cracks and fissures.

The NTSB resumes investigations after the shutdown

Airline and aviation crash lawsuits in New York and across the country often depend heavily on evidence supplied by federal investigators. What happens when these professionals are unable to do their jobs?

This question might have an answer soon. In the aftermath of the record-length government shutdown, the NTSB announced a backlog of delayed and stalled investigations.

Defects, safety lapses to blame for fatal Pakistan plane crash

Residents of New York, the nation and the world are becoming increasingly concerned about the risks of international plane travel now that an investigation into a fatal crash revealed that defects and safety lapses played a role in the wreck. At Kreindler & Kreindler LLP, we recognize that safety lapses and manufacturing defects are common causes of domestic and international plane crashes, and we have helped many people who suffered injury or lost loved ones in such incidents pursue appropriate recourse.

According to Geo TV, the plane crash, which claimed the lives of 49 people onboard after crashing near Havelian, Pakistan, occurred after a blade of an engine power turbine broke apart, which ultimately caused an engine failure. The investigation also revealed, however, that the crash could have been avoidable, as a safety inspector who examined the plane 25 days prior to the wreck noted that the turbine blades in question needed replacement.

Manufacturing defect to blame in fatal military helicopter crash

Boarding a small plane or helicopter in New York or another part of the country brings with it inevitable risk, and while environmental conditions, pilot errors and similar circumstances can all cause crashes, manufacturing defects are another common area of concern. Recently, a thorough investigation into a deadly military helicopter crash revealed that a defect during the manufacturing process played a key role in the crash. At Kreindler & Kreindler LLP, we recognize that aircraft defects and design flaws are common contributors to plane and helicopter crashes, and we have helped many people who suffered hardship because of manufacturing defects seek appropriate recourse.

According to the Army Times, the surviving military members who were on board the helicopter when it crashed noted that the tail of the aircraft began shaking violently prior to going down. A subsequent investigation into the wreck indicated that the tail of the helicopter had a rotor blade that should have been affixed to the Black Hawk helicopter's rotor section, but it was not properly bonded, which resulted in the rear section of the airframe splitting off.

Who is liable for commercial airline accidents?

Commercial airplane accidents can be devastating. If they do not result in complete loss, they often result in severe personal injury and extensive financial damages. If you or a loved one was injured in a commercial airplane accident in New York, you may have several questions, one of which, who is liable for your damages?

Determining liability in these types of accidents is important for several reasons. On the one hand, it helps victims and their family members know who to sue for compensation for damages such as medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering and other harms. On the other, it helps airlines and regulators better understand what went wrong to cause the accident and what they can do to prevent crashes in the future.

What are the 4 types of liability in a products liability case?

When you decide to file an aircraft products liability lawsuit in New York, you will need to discuss with your attorney the legal theory or theories under which you should bring your case.

As FindLaw explains, you generally have four choices as follows:

  1. Negligence
  2. Strict liability
  3. Warranty
  4. Tortious misrepresentation

Is it safe for you to fly on a small, private airplane?

If you have received an invitation to take a smaller, private aircraft on an expedition in New York, you may be excited about the opportunity to have a customized flying experience. While flying on private aircraft is a unique experience, it is essential that you understand the risks of your decision as well so you can be confident in choosing to participate or not. 

According to The New York Times, a majority of airline accidents happen in the general aviation category which usually excludes larger carriers. This sector includes both larger, corporate jets to smaller, private aircraft. When compared with commercial aviation, the general aviation carriers experience a much higher percentage of accidents. Research indicates that the number one cause of general aviation accidents is an error made by the pilot and the primary contributing factor to these accidents is inclement weather. When you are preparing to ride on a private airplane, it is crucial that you assess your decision by making sure you have adequate information beforehand. 

Airline deaths soar more than 900 percent in 2018

When you board an airplane in New York or another part of the nation or world, you probably feel relatively confident that you will land in your final destination without facing too much trouble. The past year was a particularly tough one for airplane passengers, however, with worldwide airline fatalities reaching their highest number since 2014. At Kreindler & Kreindler LLP, we recognize that airplane crashes frequently have catastrophic results, and we have helped many people who lost loved ones in airplane crashes pursue appropriate recourse in the aftermath.

According to Forbes, 555 people lost their lives in 16 plane crashes as of Dec. 27, 2018, which is a more than 900-percent increase over the year prior. In 2017, which some dubbed, "the safest year ever," 59 people lost their lives in plane crashes. As for what is responsible for the uptick in this year's plane fatalities, the answer is not entirely clear.

Regular inspections of aircraft are critical

Whether you are boarding a commercial aircraft or flying your own small airplane, you trust that all of the parts of the plane are in good working order. Aircraft parts are designed to withstand tremendous amounts of pressure, high stress loads and variances in temperature. When all of the parts are not working together, however, it could be recipe for disaster. Aircraft collisions and crashes could be due to airplane defects or design wear and tear in different parts of the plane. These include:

  •          Navigation system
  •          Rudder and stabilizers
  •          Wing and propeller components
  •          Engine, controls and fuel tank
  •          Landing gear, brake system and wheels

Regular inspections of aircraft are critical to ensure everything is in good working order before and after take-off. Inspections are the responsibility of ground maintenance crews, pilots, mechanics, maintainers and manufacturers, according to the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association. There are different routine schedules, depending on the type of plane and what it is used for. For example, general aviation aircrafts require an inspection annually. Aircrafts that carry people, other than a crew member, or are giving flight instruction must be inspected once every 100 hours of flight time.

What is the FAA's responsibility when a plane crashes?

If you are like most New Yorkers, you probably think that the Federal Aviation Administration conducts an investigation every time a plane crashes. Actually, this is not the case.

As the FAA itself explains, the National Transportation Safety Board, an independent U.S. governmental agency, is the one tasked with investigating aviation accidents, disasters and incidents. The FAA has considerably different responsibilities.

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