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Miami Injury Lawyer > Blog > Aviation Accidents > Determining Liability in a Small Plane Accident

Determining Liability in a Small Plane Accident

Small plane aviation accidents are common in the news lately. Just in the state of Florida alone, two incidents occurred within the past few weeks. A man was killed and a teenage girl was critically injured when a small plane crashed on a Florida gulf coast. Another small plane reportedly crashed at the Palm Beach County Airport, after the pilot flipped the plane during landing. These incidents exemplify the importance of mechanical maintenance and pilot abilities to small plane aviation.

According to a report in the Huffington Post, the Gulf Coast accident involved the death of a beach visitor who was walking down the shore with his daughter when the crash occurred. According to the article, the pilot of the 1972 single engine aircraft made a distress call shortly before the accident. He informed officials that he could not make it to the nearby airport and needed to land at the beach instead. While making the emergency landing, the plane and its debris struck the two victims. The fatality occurred instantly at the scene.

Fox 29 WFLX reported on the second incident, resulting in the hospitalization of one victim. According to the article, the pilot of the single engine plane overshot the runway. He turned the plane upside down and eventually landed in that position. The aircraft was reportedly homemade by the California licensed pilot.

Investigation of Florida Plane Crashes

The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) is the federal agency that investigates every aviation accident within the country. According to its website, the investigation begins when the “Go Team” initially responds. Depending on the size of the incident, this team may include as few as three participants or more than a dozen. After an accident report, some members of the team visit the scene to collect information. By mandate, the media is given daily updates regarding the findings. NTSB officials remain at the scene until an adequate investigation is completed. They then make an official determination about the cause of the accident.

Finding Liability in Plane Accidents

When aviation crashes result in injuries, there are numerous factors that go into the determination of liability. An experienced lawyer will consider the NTSB accident report, but an independent investigation may also prove necessary. These accidents may stem from a number of causes including:

  • Pilot Errors – Where the pilot did not meet his or her duty to operate the aircraft in a reasonably safe manner.
  • Maintenance Failures – This includes situations where the aircraft owner did not properly maintain the plane or maintenance was completed in a faulty manner.
  • Faulty Aircraft Design – The plane’s design may prove incorrect, which can lead to mechanical errors. This problem can occur in homemade aircrafts, as well as those that are commercially manufactured.
  • Poor Flight Communications – Aircraft flying requires adequate communication between the pilot and controllers on the ground. Pilots may fail to communicate or controllers may provide wrong flight information.

If you or a loved one has been injured in an aircraft accident, call Pita Weber Del Prado in Miami at 305-670-2889 for a free consultation. Time is of the essence for crash investigations, so contact us today.



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