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Aviation Accidents

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The NTSB

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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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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"Safety Officials Push for More Charter Flight Oversight"

December 29 , 2006

As it stands now, those who put up the extra money for the convenience of charter air travel may end up on a plane operated with no oversight from the Federal Aviation Administration.

This is the subject of a lawsuit filed by actress Susan St. James and NBC Sports executive Dick Ebersol over a plane crash that killed their son in 2004.

Charter flying has gained popularity among the wealthy as a convenient alternative to commercial flights with long lines. They have become safer in the last 20 years, but they still crash much more frequently than commercial planes.

There are some charter operations outside the FAA umbrella. These operations are not required to train their flight crews as well as certified companies, and it’s not always easy to spot the operations that aren’t certified.

The Accident

In Ebersol’s lawsuit, the family claims that it wasn’t told that the charter company Key Air Inc. had subcontracted another operator, Air Castle, for that flight.

Ebersol witnessed slush slide off the plane’s fuselage just moments before the plane took off from Montrose, Colorado on Nov. 28, 2004. The plane crashed moments later killing his 14-year-old son, a flight attendant, and the pilot.

The Cause

According to the lawsuit, the Air Castle pilots were not qualified to fly in weather such as they were experiencing on the day of the crash.

Robert Clifford, Ebersol’s attorney said, “This is an issue Dick Ebersol thinks needs to be at the forefront of commercial aviation in America.”

The crash may also have been caused in part by ice that had formed on the airplane’s body and wings, which would make the plane heavier and also alter the plane’s shape and aerodynamics.

The National Transportation Safety Board found that the crash was probably caused by the pilot’s failure to examine the plane carefully for icing.

The NTSB claimed that there were several safety precautions the pilots should have taken, but did not before attempting to take off. They are now urging the FAA to play a larger role in ensuring the safety of charter plane patrons. They want the FAA to require crews to undergo more training, and to require better disclosure to customers.

Click here to speak with an experienced attorney if you or a loved one has been injured in an aviation accident.

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September 28, 2007 - Government Takes Action Regarding Delayed Flights

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August 3, 2007 - Airlines In Trouble

July 27, 2007 - Two Men Awarded $54M in Plane Crash Settlement

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