Aviation Accidents

Morrow & Sheppard are privileged to represent those who have been involved in aviation accidents, as well as their families.

Please click here for a free, confidential consultation to discuss your legal rights before they are jeopardized.

National Transportation Safety Board

Civil aviation accidents in the United States are investigated by the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB). The NTSB was founded in 1926, and since 1967, it has investigated accidents not just in aviation, but also those involving highways, marine venues, pipelines, railroads, and transportation of hazardous materials.

The NTSB has investigated more than 132,000 aviation accidents, and issued over 13,000 safety recommendations to more than 2,500 recipients.

The lawyers at Morrow & Sheppard have assisted common carrier airlines in NTSB investigations. As a result, they bring unique insight and experience that can help if you or a loved one is involved in an airplane or helicopter crash.

Contact us now for a free, confidential consultation to find out how we can help.

Helicopter Crashes Generally

Helicopters are arguably the least reliable and most dangerous form of air travel.

This is particularly problematic in the Gulf of Mexico, where thousands of offshore workers in the oil and gas industry rely on helicopters to transport them to and from offshore rigs and platforms.

In fact, a 2011 study by researchers at the Johns Hopkins Center for Injury Research and Policy found that helicopters servicing the drilling platforms and vessels in the Gulf of Mexico crash more than six times per year, killing an average of five people. From 1983 to 2009, 178 helicopter crashes resulted in 139 deaths, including the deaths of 41 pilots and 3 co-pilots. The most common cause was mechanical failure (68 deaths). Pilot error, including the failure to properly plan and execute flight plans, was another primary cause.

Causes of Helicopter Crashes

The most common causes of helicopter crashes are:

  1. Pilot error. This includes the failure to operate aircraft in accordance with operational limitations, flying in bad weather or unsafe environmental conditions, and inadequate training.
  2. Poor maintenance. This issue is particularly prevalent in the Gulf of Mexico, where saltwater can accelerate deterioration of mechanical and electrical systems. Poor maintenance can involve the failure to do the following: perform proper routine maintenance, conduct safety audits, properly track repairs and maintenance in logbooks, conduct proper preflight inspections, identify and timely resolve maintenance issues, and properly perform needed repairs.
  3. Mechanical failure or malfunction. This can include faulty design, testing, manufacture, warnings, instructions, quality control, and installation.
  4. Electrical malfunction. A helicopter’s electrical systems can malfunction for a variety of reasons, including product defects, short circuits, and corrosion.

Plane Crash Statistics

According to the Aircraft Crashes Record Office, more than 200 people have died in aviation accidents every year since 2000, not including helicopter crashes.

Causes of Plane Crashes

The causes of airplane crashes are similar to the causes of helicopter crashes, and include:

  1. Pilot Error
  2. Mechanical Failure
  3. Bad Weather
  4. Terrorism
  5. Other Human Error

Aviation Accident Litigation

Every plane and helicopter crash is preventable. As a result, if you or a family member has been involved in an aviation accident, you most likely are entitled to assert a legal claim for compensation.

It is important to understand, however, that plane and helicopter crash lawsuits are usually complicated, and the companies responsible will hire armies of lawyers in an effort to minimize the compensation paid to injured persons and their families.

You need an experienced lawyer on your side. Please contact us now for a free, confidential consultation to discuss how we can help.

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