Plane accident attorneys at Pintas & Mullins Law Firm report on a recent crash occurring in a working-class neighborhood in Connecticut. A small plane, headed for Tweed New Haven Airport, crashed into two small homes, killing at least two and leaving a third missing.
It is believed the plane was carrying two passengers in addition to the pilot, however officials are still trying to verify whether that is fact. Soon after the crash, three were reported to be missing: the pilot and two young children inside the homes the plane crashed into, aged one and 13.
The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) affirms that the multi-engine propeller-driven aircraft left New Jersey’s Teterboro Airport, flying until it crashed, around 11:15 a.m. The crash engulfed two homes in flames, which took firefighters at least two hours to extinguish.
The plane was a Rockwell International Turbo Commander 690B, and the pilot was in good communication with air traffic control at Tweed Airport, not indicating any signs of distress or concern. Tweed’s airport manager told reporters that all her and her personnel knew was that the aircraft missed the approach and continued on, trying to re-approach when it went down.
A nearby neighbor said that he heard a loud noise, like a thump, but no engine noise or anything else to indicate a plane crash. Seconds later, he heard a woman screaming that her kids were in the house. Upon hearing this, the neighbor ran outside and into the burning house, to the upstairs where the woman believed her children were, however, he was unable to find them. He and the woman continued to search for the children until the smoke and flames became too strong, when he had to carry the woman out of her house.
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Another good Samaritan also ran to help when he saw the scene, trying to dig through the upstairs room to find the children, but also had to leave when the fire became too intense. He told reporters that the plane, lodged inside the house, was burning slowly at first, and then quickly increased in strength. Firefighters arrived about 10 minutes later to control the blaze.
In related news, a woman in East Palo Alto, California recently settled a lawsuit with Tesla Motors over the damage done to her home in a similar plane crash in 2010. The woman, a day care center operator, filed a lawsuit against the deceased pilot’s estate and his employer, Tesla Motors. The settlement remains confidential.
The woman’s house was partly destroyed by the right wing of the Cessna 301 aircraft, which crashed on February 17, 2010. Fortunately, the day care center she ran operated out of an adjacent building, and no children were hurt.
Those killed in the crash included the pilot, a senior electrical engineer with Tesla, and his two passengers who also worked for the electric car manufacturer. The small plane took off from Palo Alto Municipal Airport in a heavy fog, during which it struck a PG&E power line and electric tower at an altitude of about 50 feet, crashing in a nearby neighborhood.
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The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) affirmed that the cause of the crash was the pilot’s error in failing to follow instruction for departure and failing to maintain sufficient altitude to clear the power lines. In its report, the NTSB said there was near-zero visibility in Palo Alto that morning, and air traffic controllers told the pilot that if he flew it would be at his own risk.
There were several lawsuits filed after the crash, against the pilot’s estate, Tesla, and Air Unique, which owned the Cessna aircraft. Plaintiffs allege emotional distress after the crash as well as significant damage to their homes and property. One plaintiff claims his family members were injured as they fled from the crash scene by going over six-foot fences.
Plane crash lawyers at Pintas & Mullins Law Firm have decades of experience advocating on behalf of those injured by private and commercial aircrafts. Lawsuits of this nature can be extremely complicated, so it is best that any injured victims contact a qualified attorney as soon as possible, so you may be informed of your legal rights and guided through the intricate legal process of filing a claim.