The families and friends of the men killed in a private jet crash in Huntsville, Alabama, did not learn much from the National Transportation Safety Board this morning. The NTSB's preliminary report confirmed what the press had reported: The plane with the three men aboard took off from the Huntsville International Airport, climbed between 50 and 200 feet, rolled to the right and slammed into the ground just west of the runway.
Small plane crashes occur with astonishing regularity in the United States. The causes of these crashes are not uniform; private plane crashes can occur for any number of reasons. Discovering the precise reason for a crash is of crucial importance for the surviving family members of an aviation accident so that they can try to recover compensation from whatever parties might have been accountable for the crash.
Many small plane crashes can be attributed to pilot error. In many cases, pilots become disoriented or otherwise negligent for any number of reasons -- one of which is inexperience. However, in some cases, a crash or other incident could be due to an aircraft design defect.
When a problem happens in mid-air with a small plane, there may not be time enough for the pilot to take evasive action to avoid people or buildings on the ground. A pilot may try to land on a street or highway if possible, but in many small plane crashes, the aircraft just ends up going down out of the control of its occupants.
For the survivors of a plane crash, memories of the incident -- if not the injuries -- can linger on for years, sometimes for a lifetime. For people who have to travel for work, this can place a huge burden on their careers. Such is the case for a well-known drummer for a rock band who is staying at home in the U.S. rather than flying with his bandmates to Australia for a tour.
When a small plane crashes, there are often many more questions than there are answers. And when there are no survivors of a small plane crash, interviewing the people involved becomes impossible. Official investigations can take years to complete as employees of the National Transportation Safety Board attempt to explain what has occurred.
The Hudson River is no stranger to plane crashes. Four years ago this month, US Airways Flight 1549 famously ditched into the river near New York City's 48th Street, famously captained by Chesley "Sully" Sullenberger. All 155 people on board survived, and the image of the plane half-submerged in the river was an indelible one for anyone involved in the aviation industry.
A Piper PA-46 Malibu Mirage turbo-prop aircraft, FAA registration N5339V, crashed shortly after takeoff near Paris, Texas, on January 12, 2013, at about 8:53 am local time.
Information can be hard to come by for people in the United States when they find out that a loved one has been involved in an international plane crash. Mexican-American singer Jenni Rivera's Learjet went down in Mexico last month, killing seven people, setting off a scramble to determine what went wrong.
Accidents involving small planes happen all of the time in the United States. Just yesterday, a small plane went down on the northeast coast of Florida. The Beechcraft Bonanza BE35 was en route from Daytona Beach to Knoxville, Tennessee, when the pilot reported a mechanical problem, federal authorities said.