Small Plane Accidents
Most of us have been comforted by the aphorism “it is more dangerous to ride in a car than fly in a plane” to curb anxiety about flying. However, aircraft not associated with commercial air, such as private planes, helicopters, and even hot-air balloons, have a much higher rate of accident and injury than the giant jet liners. These assorted small aircraft are all in the category of general aviation. In the year 2015, there were 123 general aviation accidents in the United States, 17 of those were fatal, resulting in a total of 28 fatalities.
On March 9, 2015, one of these accidents occurred in Fort Myers. Gregory Piehl was flying his 85-year-old mother Donna in a recently purchased private plane and crash-landed in a parking lot on the corner of Colonial Blvd and US 41, unable to reach the landing space at Page Field. Unfortunately, the injuries sustained by Donna Piehl in the crash resulted in her death. In December, a National Transportation Safety Board report concluded that the crash was a result of pilot error leading to an engine failure.
Causes of Florida Small Plane Accidents
The accident in Fort Myers was an example of the FAA’s leading cause of small aircraft accidents: loss of control in-flight. Some of the other causes the FAA lists include:
- Low altitude operations
- Loss of fuel or low-quality fuel
- Midair collisions
- System component failure
- Negligence of Air Traffic Controllers
- Structural or design problems
While the rate of general aviation accidents has declined over the years, the bottom line is smaller aircraft designs and the variety of experience in pilot training lead to accidents that can result in the injury or death of those aboard or even on the ground. Sometimes, these accidents are the result of negligible acts on the part of the pilot or owner of the aircraft. It is important to know your rights when involved in a general aviation accident.
Who to Call If You Have Small Plane Accidents
If you or someone you know has suffered from an injury sustained in small plane accidents, it is important to seek legal counsel to get the justice you deserve. The knowledgeable attorneys at Goldstein, Buckley, Cechman, Rice & Purtz have over 50 years of legal experience in dealing with personal injuries. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation.