Harrowing Reminders of What Can Go Wrong in the Skies

We know that aviation is one of the safest ways to travel, with a fairly low accident rate. This is largely due to impressive technological advancements and excellent quality pilot training. However, airplane accidents still happen more frequently than many passengers may realize.

Airplane manufacturers that fail to ensure the reliability of their products put the lives of passengers at risk. This concerns airplane accident lawyers at Pintas & Mullins Law Firm. We work to ensure that loved ones of victims receive adequate compensation by holding negligent or reckless manufacturers and operators responsible.

A woman recently survived an airplane crash but had to spend many hours in the rough seas off the US Virgin Islands. She was eventually rescued, but the search for other possible survivors continued six miles to the south of St. Thomas. The woman was traveling in a Piper Aztec twin-engine airplane flying into St. Thomas.

Other aircraft that flew in the area reported a field of debris. The woman was spotted at around 2 PM in the ocean by a Coast Guard helicopter. When a boat directed by the Coast Guard helicopter finally reached her and took her to a hospital in St. Thoma, she revealed that two men and another woman were still on the aircraft.

One shocking revelation is that the plane no longer had certification status, according to records of the Federal Aviation Administration.

In another recent plane accident, four people lost their lives in a small plane crash. This plane, a Beechcraft Bonanza, left from Roanoke, Texas. A massive search for the plane began after air traffic control lost all radio contact and radar.

According to a Flight Aware graphic, the plane took off smoothly towards the southeast from Roanoke but started to travel in an erratic manner over the airport at Terrell. It then hovered for around three and a half hours before it finally crashed.

The Federal Aviation Administration said the plane was manufactured in 1985. This was the second fatal crash that happened in two weeks involving a plane that left from Roanoke.

A more high-profile recent crash involved author Richard Bach, best known for the novella from the 1970s, “Jonathan Livingston Seagull.” The author suffered serious, though not fatal, injuries. The 76-year-old avid pilot was flying alone over the state of Washington when his amphibious single-engine SeaRey aircraft crashed, clipping power lines in the process. Bach sustained a broken shoulder and head injury.

Plane crashes happen for many reasons. Boeing’s “Statistical Summary of Commercial Jet Airplane Accidents, 1959 – 2008” showed that 24% of the 364 plane accidents that occurred between 1998 and 2007 resulted from technical or human error while landing. More than 85 of the incidents occurred while landing.

Approximately 57 % of the accidents occurred while the plane was cruising. 12% of the accidents occurred during takeoff and 8% during the plane’s initial climb. 12% took place between the period of climb and cruise.

During descent, it was found that there were only five percent of mishaps. 10% of the incidents occurred during the flight’s initial approach and 9% during its final approach before landing. The report also highlights the fact that twelve percent of the accidents occurred during taxing and towing of airplanes at the airports.

More than 1,100 have been killed in plane crashes categorized under controlled flight into terrain. This is when a pilot unintentionally flies the aircraft into terrain without awareness of the obstacle.

Fatal airplane accidents can also occur because of a design malfunction or failure of an aircraft system or component. Another cause of airplane accidents is “runway excursion,” when the aircraft veers off the runway surface.

Plane crashes and resulting fatalities devastate the lives of family members left behind. Lawsuits related to airplane crashes involve complex federal and state aviation laws. When a plane crash happens, experienced airplane accident attorneys can fully explain your legal rights.