Aviation Law News

Aviation Accidents

It has been predicted that airline accident rates will grow in a corresponding ratio to the increasing number of airline passengers.

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The NTSB, which operates independently of other government agencies, is primarily responsible for investigating aviation accidents and issuing safety recommendations based on its findings. While the NTSB has no direct regulatory or enforcement power with regard to aviation law, it does have significant power of influence on those who can effect change. In fact, approximately 80 percent of all NTSB safety recommendations are adopted by the FAA or other regulatory agencies.

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Your Legal Rights

Aviation law is becoming increasingly important, as the number of passengers and airplane flights grows larger. Human mistakes and mechanical difficulties are two of the most common causes of aviation accidents. Our expert aviation accident attorneys can help families and victims of aircraft accidents and help eliminate preventable disasters from occurring in the future.

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Aviation Law News

"Aviation Charter to Pay $25 Million Settlement for Wellstone Crash"

Family members of the late Senator Paul Wellstone and the five other passengers killed in a plane crash last October have agreed to a $25 million insurance settlement with the company that operated the flight.

The settlement will prevent a lawsuit by the families against Aviation Charter Incorporated, although the National Transportation Safety Board has not yet determined the cause of the crash. Preliminary reports released this spring by the NTSB suggest that pilot error occurred.

Roberta Walburn, who represented the families of the six passengers, confirmed a report that her investigation determined that pilot error caused the twin-engine plane to crash on its approach to Eveleth-Virginia Municipal Airport. The plane was enroute to a funeral that Wellstone planned to attend.

According to Walburn and Mike Ciresi, another attorney representing the victims’ families, the flight captain Richard Conroy and co-pilot Michael Guess “failed to maintain appropriate power and airspeed.” The attorneys also claimed that the company was negligent in matters relating to crew hiring, supervision, and training.

An attorney for Aviation Charter, Mike Lindberg, confirmed that the settlement had been reached, but said that it is not an acknowledgement of pilot error or responsibility on the part of the charter company.

The settlements have determined set amounts of money to be awarded to the various families. Trustees for each victim will disburse the money, and all arrangements are subject to court approval.

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