Determining Liability and Causation in Small Plane Accidents

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According to Boeing's annual "Statistical Summary of Commercial Jet Airplane Accidents," there have been ten fatal accidents involving U.S. and Canadian commercial operators in the past nine years.

However, within one year alone, there were 1,209 general aviation non-commercial accidents (data compiled by Insurance Information Institute.) The accidents resulted in 376 deaths, the majority of cases caused by human error.

Discovering all the reasons an aircraft crashed requires a thorough investigation. For example, the issue with mechanical failure becomes whether the plane crashed due to a party's negligence:

  • The plane manufacturer
  • Engine component manufacturer
  • Airplane mechanic

Small plane crashes usually have catastrophic consequences. They occur more frequently and for many reasons, including:

  • Mechanical failures
  • Pilot errors
  • Atmospheric conditions (heavy storms)

Plane accidents are extremely complicated legal cases and are best handled by an experienced aviation accident attorney. Given the complexities associated with aviation accidents, it is imperative that you work with an attorney that has extensive experience in handling them. If you, or a loved one, have been injured in an aviation accident, The Law Offices of Sean M. Cleary can help.

Common Causes for Small Plane Accidents

They say you're more likely to die on the drive to the airport than on a flight. For commercial flights, that's true. However, the risks are higher with small planes, as is evident in the accident cases below.

  • One Person Was Killed, and Another Was Seriously Hurt Following a Two-Seat Private Plane Crash in Okaloosa County, Fl. The crash took place shortly after taking off from Ruckel Airport. Two people were in the small plane that crashed upside down. One person died from injuries while a second was undergoing treatment. To prevent the risk of fire from a minor fuel leak, firefighters removed the plane's battery. The plane accident was examined by a Federal Aviation Administration crash scene investigator.
  • A Small Airplane Crashed Into a Building in South Florida and Left One Dead. A small airplane collided with a building in Fort Myers, Florida, that housed a child care center and was luckily vacant at the time of the accident. Only one person lost their life, and one more sustained serious injuries. The plane was a Piper PA-28, essentially, a single-engine plane that had been manufactured as early as the 1960s. Over the years, the model has, in fact, gone through several modifications and changes. Moreover, it is to be noted that the PA-28 was involved in several crashes over the years, including one in which the coach, as well as the assistant coach of the Oklahoma State Women's Basketball team, lost their lives. A primary investigation explained that a diversity of factors were likely to be involved in the cause of the crash, including:
    • The aircraft's condition
    • The engine
    • The human factors
  • Small Plane Crashes in Florida Everglades. A single-engine plane that went missing was later found at the Florida Everglades with the pilot dead. The aircraft, Cessna 152, was lying in a marshy area located southwest of Miami, along with the pilot's body and the debris. The pilot was the only person on board.
  • Small Plane Wreckage Found Near Marineland; no Indication of Survivors. A small airplane, more specifically a Piper PA44 Seminole trainer aircraft, crashed in the proximity of the Flagler-St. Johns county line. The aircraft was confirmed as belonging to the Ormond Beach school of flight, whose representatives confirmed that the airplane was on a training routine. The scene of the crash was investigated by law enforcement and government representatives, who were able to find the fuselage and to confirm the fact that there were no signs of survivors. Additionally, they also reported that the victims were an Ormond Beach flight instructor and a student pilot.
  • Midair Collision of two Small Planes, Crash Into a Wooded Area. Two single-engine planes collided against each other in midair over the central Florida coast, leaving both pilots dead. The airplanes then crashed into a forested area towards the west of Interstate 95, close to Edgewater. An eyewitness revealed that they saw the moment when the airplanes collided. The debris at the crash site was just about a half-mile distance from the highway. The FAA confirmed that one of the planes was a Cessna 170, and the other was an "unidentified experimental aircraft."

10 Most Dangerous Airplanes

Here is a list based on the number of fatal crashes encountered against the aircrafts' flying hours.

  • Boeing 737 JT8D:1 crash per 507,500 flying hours.
  • IL-76: 1 crash per 549,900 flying hours.
  • Tu-154: 1 crash per 1,041,000 flying hours.
  • Airbus A310: 1 crash per 1,067,700 flying hours.
  • McDonnell-Douglas DC-9: 1 crash per 1,068,700 flying hours.
  • Tu-134: 1 crash per 1,087,600 flying hours.
  • Boeing 727:1 crash per 2,306,300 flying hours.
  • McDonnell-Douglas MD-80: 1 crash per 2,332,300 flying hours.
  • McDonnell Douglas DC-10: 1 crash per 2,908,800 flying hours.
  • McDonnell-Douglas MD-11: 1 crash per 3,668,800 flying hours.

How Can an Attorney Help With Your Aviation Accident Claim?

After losing a loved one in an aviation accident, you may not know where to turn. In such a terrible situation, it is very important to work with an experienced attorney in order to seek the compensation that your family deserves.

Our aviation attorney has represented surviving family members of commercial planes, small planes, and helicopter crash victims, helping them expose gross negligence and reckless conduct.

The Law Offices of Sean M. Cleary is dedicated to serving individuals and families against the negligence of another person or entity. We handle all types of wrongful death cases, including airplane and airline accidents.

Disclaimer: Please note that the information provided on this site is not formal legal advice, also the site does not allow you to form an attorney-client relationship.