California aviation lawyer Mike Danko uses the Aviation Law Monitor to provide insight and commentary on aviation accidents and the law. Mike is a frequent speaker on topics related to aviation accidents and the law, and is a pilot with more than 2500 hours who has owned and operated personal aircraft continuously since 1984.
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Cirrus says Cory Lidle crashed because he was inexperienced, not because his controls locked up. But a surprise witness testified that Lidle had flown the East River Corridor successfully four times in the two months before the crash. According to a NY Daily News account, the...
Early news reports described the pilot in the Senator Stevens crash as a hero. According to the reports, the fact that there were any survivors at all is a testament to his flying skills. I disagreed. (See Pilot in Senator Stevens Crash a Hero?) As I saw it, the pilot took off in poor...
When Corey Lidle's widow sued Cirrus Design, it caused a bit of an uproar in the aviation community. Her suit alleges that it was a defect in the aircraft's flight controls that caused the Cirrus SR-20 to slam into a Manhattan hi-rise. That claim led many to call the suit...
And everyone walked away. The video is proof that if it has a properly designed fuel system, a helicopter need not catch fire after an otherwise survivable accident. Hope the folks at the Robinson Helicopter factory take note.
Can any question remain about the R44's tendency to roll over and catch fire? It happened again yesterday, in Glendale Arizona. This time, the helicopter had barely gotten off the ground. Fortunately, no one was hurt. But the story is becoming all too familiar. According to...
Robinson Helicopter Company likes to say that its helicopters are safe in crashes. According to an excerpt from Robinson Safety Notice SN-10: The R22 and R44 have demonstrated excellent crashworthiness as long as the pilot flies the aircraft all the way to the ground . . .The ship may roll over...
Some pilots believe that their insurance won't cover them if it's their own screw-up that causes an accident. They believe, for example, that if they inadvertently violate an FAA regulation, their policy will be "voided." That's seldom correct. The purpose of insurance...
Foreign countries routinely bring criminal charges against pilots after an accident. But in the US, criminal charges are very rare. And that's a good thing because "criminalizing negligence" usually does little to promote safety. But perhaps there are exceptions. Pilot Steven Fay...
The pilot says he warned Lauren Scruggs away from his propeller. According to the NTSB's preliminary report: After [the pilot] opened the door, [Scruggs] started to get out of the airplane. Upon noticing that she was exiting in front of the strut, the pilot leaned out of his seat and...
The NTSB says that during tomorrow’s hearing, it will be looking to industry leaders to give it a “deeper understanding of regulations” bearing on the operation of the nation’s air shows. Of course, the only regulatory body that has the authority to control air shows is...