This week, Chicagoland was rocked by yet another light aviation accident, this time claiming the lives of three people. A single-engine Piper PA 46 plane was taking off from the Rantoul Airport when it crashed. The pilot and both passengers were killed, although it is not yet clear whether it was the crash or the subsequent fire which claimed their lives.
The FAA has begun an investigation, as has the National Transportation Safety Board. The FAA regulates airplane manufacturing and maintenance, as well as in-flight operations, and will investigate the accident from this perspective. The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) is responsible for investigating aviation accidents and recommending changes, and will be looking into the accident with this view in mind. The Champaign County Coroner’s office is likewise conducting its own investigation.
Until those investigations are complete, we will not know the true cause of last week’s crash. Many have been quick to blame the severe weather moving through the area at the time of the crash, and that may indeed prove to be the explanation. But our Chicago airplane crash attorneys are not so quick to dismiss the many possible causes of a light aviation crash.
Many aviation accidents are caused by pilot error. But they are just as frequently caused by defects in the plane itself, or negligent maintenance. Although, due to the fact that the plane was destroyed by flames after the accident, it will be difficult to reconstruct what occurred in this case, detailed and difficult forensics are often a part of aviation accident cases.
It remains to be seen whether the weather, or some other cause, was to blame in this latest accident. If defective equipment or improper maintenance were factors in the crash, then the families of the victims may have a legal claim for some of the damages suffered. A top airplane accident attorney can help the victims of this, and any, crash to sort out their options.
For a free consultation with an experienced Chicago plane crash lawyer at Passen & Powell, call us at (312) 527-4500.