If you are injured in an aviation accident in California – whether you are injured on a commercial airliner, a smaller private plane, or a helicopter – discuss your injury and your case at once with an experienced Pasadena personal injury attorney. In one tragic case, Caryn Stewart – eight years old – was supposed to be on a sightseeing tour of eastern Iowa in her uncle’s Piper Cherokee, but the plane crashed in a field. Caryn suffered severe burns. Her mother, cousin, and 11-year-old sister were killed. The manufacturer and federal investigators said that Caryn’s uncle lost control of the Piper that Sunday in 2005, but company documents and the government’s own records pointed to another culprit – a faulty carburetor. The manufacturer later urged Piper Cherokee owners to remove that carburetor because it was causing engine failures.
Nearly 45,000 people have died in the last fifty years in private plane and helicopter crashes. That’s almost a thousand a year, nine times the number that have been killed in commercial airline accidents. In 86 percent of those private plane crashes, federal investigators cited pilot error. Last year, an investigation by USA Today showed that, overwhelmingly, crash deaths and injuries are caused by defective parts and dangerous designs – but rarely by pilot error. USA Today found that some defective parts remained in use for decades – and some are still in use – because manufacturers refuse to acknowledge or recall the suspected parts. Among the findings:
- helicopter fuel tanks that easily rupture and ignite
- ice-protection systems that fail to keep airplane wings clean during flight
- helicopter blades that flap wildly in flight
- airplane exhaust systems that leak exhaust gas
- carburetors such as the one in the Iowa crash
A Florida judge – who found that one manufacturer had known for “many years” about a possibly lethal defect in thousands of planes – wrote in 2001 that the company could be guilty of “a reckless disregard for human life equivalent to manslaughter.” If you’ve been injured in any kind of aviation accident in California, you have the right to be compensated for your medical treatment and related expenses. Discuss your case as quickly as possible with an experienced Pasadena personal injury attorney.