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.
As a New York resident or tourist, you may have taken an exciting "doors off" scenic helicopter flight in the past or are contemplating taking one in the future. Before you do so, however, you should be aware that this may be a deadly decision.
Small plane crashes frequently make headlines across New York, and if you have ever been a passenger in one, you may have had your reservations before taking to the skies. The majority of modern plane crashes involve small, private aircraft, as opposed to larger commercial planes, and when small planes crash, the repercussions are often catastrophic.
Small plane and commercial airplane accidents occur in New York and across the United States. Whether due to a flaw in the plane design, a systems failure or a pilot's error, these accidents have the potential to cause significant destruction and loss of life. In some cases, a pilot's split-second decision in the face of a catastrophe can save lives.
If you are a typical New Yorker, commercial airline flights are a normal part of your life. If you work for one of the many companies that own a private jet or helicopter, you likely are well acquainted with corporate business flights, too. You may even have friends who own their own private plane or own one yourself. Has it ever occurred to you to wonder if these small planes are safe?
Boarding a helicopter in New York or another part of the United States poses inevitable risks, but pilots who abuse substances before getting behind helicopter controls considerably amplify these risks. A recent Albuquerque, New Mexico, helicopter crash offered possible evidence of this, as an autopsy report that followed the fatal crash revealed the pilot had fentanyl in his system at the time the incident occurred.
A recent small plane crash in Arizona is raising questions about what exactly caused the plane to crash shortly after takeoff, leading to the deaths of all six people onboard. The National Transportation Safety Board is now conducting a comprehensive investigation into the cause of the crash with the hope that doing so will reveal additional details that can help prevent future, similar incidents.
Anytime you board a flight in New York, whether getting on a small plane, a helicopter, a commercial airplane or something else entirely, you assume a certain level of risk. Mechanical failures, weather-related complications and pilot errors are always possibilities, but according to one study involving the use of certain drugs by pilots, pilot errors caused by drug abuse should also be valid concerns for flyers.
Most New York residents are familiar with helicopters, but few recognize the potential dangers involved. Fortunately, there are sections of aviation accident law that provide a way of dealing with the unexpected and often disastrous results of a failed helicopter tour.
If you live in New York and frequently travel by plane, you may have concerns about just how safe it is to travel via aircraft, given that small and commercial plane crashes frequently make headlines. Given how far aircraft construction has come in recent years, a rising number of plane crashes have ties to pilot errors, rather than mechanical failures, so it is important that you, as a passenger, learn to recognize common pilot mistakes. At Kreindler & Kreindler LLP, we understand that catastrophic injuries and even death can result when pilots make errors, and we have helped many aircraft passengers and their families seek recourse after crashes.