June 20, 2019

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Small Plane Crashes

Plane Crash Lawyers

Small planes fall under “general aviation” which is a very broad category that covers all non-military flight except scheduled passenger airlines. There were 253 fatal general aviation accidents in 2014, according to the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB). Small planes are far more likely to crash than large commercial planes, but much less likely to make headlines. Pilots and passengers are not always the only victims. People on the ground can also be injured or killed when a small plane crashes.

Causes of Small Plane Crashes

In order to seek compensation, your small plane crash lawyer must determine what caused the crash. This is one of many reasons why you need the help of experienced plane crash attorneys. Your attorney must understand how and why small plane crashes happen.

Unlike large commercial airliners, small planes do not carry the so-called “black box”. There is no record of the events leading up to the accident for investigators to rely on. Safety regulations for small planes are not nearly as strict as for large commercial planes. Pilots do not have to have as much training and experience. Safety equipment and redundancy to prevent accidents are minimal or nonexistent in small planes.

Common causes of small plane crashes include:

  • Defective plane or parts
  • Poor maintenance
  • Pilot error
  • Pilot underqualified for the conditions
  • Intoxication, including prescription drug use
  • Antiquated safety system
  • Safety system failure
  • Instrument failure
  • Air-traffic controller error
  • Runway defect
  • Fueling error

Challenges in Small Plane Crash Cases

A case involving a small plane crash can be very complex. Interstate flights and crashes involving passengers and pilots from different states raise jurisdiction issues. There may be multiple victims, including people who were injured or killed on the ground and property owners whose homes and other property were destroyed in the crash.

The General Aviation Revitalization Act of 1994 (GARA) presents challenges in crashes caused by defective airplanes or plane parts. Under the GARA manufacturers are protected from product liability suits for small planes and parts that are 18 years old or older.

There is also the fact that pilots, small plane owners, and others who may be held liable for small plane crashes are often underinsured.

Experienced aviation accident attorneys know how to handle all of these challenges and how to find every possible avenue of compensation for small plane crash victims and their families.

To find an experienced small plane crash attorney in your area, please search our network of highly credentialed plane crash lawyers today.