The recent crash of a single engine plane and a tour helicopter after they collided in mid-air of the Hudson River in New York is yet another illustration of the catastrophic impact of an aviation accident. It also illustrates the many players involved in any aviation accident, which experienced transportation accident lawyers must consider as potential defendants. Potential liability in an aviation accident extends not only to the pilots and crew members, but also to:
- Airport controller personnel
- Governing bodies such as the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA)
- Aircraft manufacturers
- Aircraft parts suppliers
- Third-party charter companies
It is unlikely that any one entity is solely responsible for the negligence that caused severe injuries or death as a result of the aviation accident. It is critical to hire an experienced aviation or personal injury lawyer to identify all potential defendants and to hold the right parties accountable. Experienced transportation crash lawyers will conduct a thorough factual investigation into the cause of the plane crash. Depending on the accident, there may be a negligence or products liability-based cause of action.
Negligence. or carelessness, can apply to the aircraft pilot, crew members and airport controller personnel. These groups are responsible for the safety and well being of passengers, and failure to act in a reasonable manner that results in severe injury or death may be considered negligence. Product liability may become an issue as to the aircraft manufacturer, aircraft parts supplier and third party charter companies. These groups are responsible for following the guidelines for building aircraft, be it an a single engine airplane, a commercial jet or helicopter.
The FAA has specific guidelines that must be met before a Standard Airworthiness Certificate, or official authorization, can be issued. According to the FAA, a Standard Airworthiness Certificate “remains valid as long as the aircraft meets its approved type design, is in a condition for safe operation and maintenance, preventative maintenance, and alterations are performed in accordance with 14 CFR parts 21, 43, and 91.” An experienced public transportation injury attorney has a thorough understanding of such federal regulations, and can help you determine if product liability is at fault.