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

"Yankees Pitcher Dies in Manhattan Plane Crash"

October 12, 2006

A small airplane carrying New York Yankee pitcher Cory Lidle, and a flight instructor crashed into the side of a luxury high-rise condominium building Wednesday, killing them both, and setting a portion of the building on fire.

Lidle and the flight instructor were on a leisurely flight around New York on a hazy afternoon when something went wrong just after passing over the 59th street bridge. It is unclear who was piloting.

The plane crashed into the 30th floor (which was labeled as the 40th floor) of the building. The 29th through 31st floors were badly burned, and those who live on the affected floors have not been allowed to return there.

Investigators from the National Transportation Safety Board, and other agencies are sifting through the aftermath to try to determine the cause of the accident. They are taking fuel samples, examining Lidle’s flight log book, maintenance records, and looking at “anything that will give us a clue about what happened,” said Debbie Hersman, National Transportation Safety Board member.

They are not yet sure what caused the crash, but some suspect it was a mechanical failure. Experts say suicide and terrorism are unlikely causes.

“There’s a significant amount of damage,” said Hersman. The bodies had fallen 31 stories to the street, along with various aircraft parts and debris. The propeller separated from the engine and landed on the floor of an apartment.

The airplane was a Cirrus SR20, manufactured in 2002. It was small, with only four seats, and it had a parachute designed to allow the plane to float slowly down to earth in the case of an emergency. The parachute did not deploy.

NTSB records list 12 accidents involving this plane model. In two of the accidents this year, pilots reported engine failure.

An anonymous federal official said that there were reports of a distress call from the plane to the Federal Aviation Administration before the crash, but this was unverified by the FAA.

“We’ve asked the FAA and they have reviewed some aircraft-control tapes. At this point they have no indication that there was a mayday call,” Hersman said.

In addition to the two that died in the plane, at least 21 people were injured and taken to the hospital. Approximately 13 of them were firefighters.

If you or a loved one has been seriously injured or killed in a plane crash, please contact us to discuss your legal rights with a caring and experienced aviation law attorney.

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