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

"Pennsylvania DUI may soon include operating an aircraft"

July 3, 2005

A bill that has been agreed upon by both chambers of the General Assembly yesterday would change Pennsylvania DUI laws to include flying. Just one of three states not to have a law on the books regarding flying an airplane while under the influence, the bill's sponsor, Rep. Kathy Watson, R-144 (Bucks), believes the omission was “a glitch in the law.”

The new aviation laws would make flying while drunk or on drugs a DUI charge punishable by a maximum fine of $5,000 and imprisonment of no less than 72 hours. Because of the increase in private planes, the risk of DUI accidents has been heightened. Last year, a Pottstown native man flew his single-engine Piper Cherokee within a quarter-mile of restricted airspace around the Limerick nuclear power plant. After being found to have a blood-alcohol level of 0.15 percent, he was sentenced last year to six to 23 months in prison for risking a catastrophe and reckless endangerment.

Under the Pennsylvania DUI aviation law, a blood-alcohol level of .02 percent would trigger a DUI, which is similar to laws regarding school bus drivers. Last year, a similar bill passed both chambers, but Gov. Ed Rendell opposed several unrelated amendments that were tacked onto the bill. Gov. Rendell has 10 days to sign or veto the legislation, and a spokeswoman said he would take a look at the bill.

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