The National Transportation Safety Board released an accident report concerning an airplane crash in Arizona that killed a father and his three sons. While a variety of factors were said to have contributed to the 2011 aviation accident, the errors were said to be related to a culture of "complacency" that took place among ownership of the company that operated the airplane.
Among other things, the report concluded that the 1976 Rockwell 690A was not airworthy. The new owners of the airplane failed to conduct a required inspection of the airplane when it was delivered just one week earlier. Additionally, other airworthy airplanes were available to be used at the time.
The airplane was not equipped with terrain avoidance warning system as is required by Federal Aviation Administration regulations. While it was removed by the previous owner of the plane, it's not entirely clear why the TAWS application was not present. In any event, the accident pilot never contacted the tower over concerns that there was little room to maneuver to avoid mountains when a landing at the Phoenix airport was delayed. The airplane was also being flown on a moonless night.
Because the consequences of such a crash can be so severe, individuals that are responsible for failures of the plane to operate properly will need to be held responsible. Attorneys experienced in investigating such crashes often can make a determination as to what parties are responsible.
The cause of the airplane crashes requires detailed investigations. As the above accident demonstrates, it can be months or even years before determinations as to the cause of a crash can be made. Attorneys with access to the needed resources can in some cases expedite these investigations. However, attorneys will also need prior experience in trying these cases and be familiar with FAA and local regulations.
Source: Flying, "Culture of 'Complacency' Led to 2011 Twin Commander Crash," Stephen Pope, Jan. 16, 2014
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