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New York Airplane Accident Lawyer

Dangers in the Air

Airplane accidents often result in tragedy and are subject to high profile attention with today’s media coverage. According to a report from the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), a total of 1,837 accidents occurred during the 2010 calendar year which involved 1,861 aircrafts.

From the NTSB's findings, it was estimated that an airplane or aviation accident at night is three times as likely to be fatal as in the day time. Additionally, 50% of airplane accidents resulted from landings and takeoffs, 27% of fatal accidents occurred during low level maneuvers, nearly 30% of approach fatal accidents derived from improper IFR procedures and nearly 50% of fatal instrument approach accidents occurred at night. Thus, 60% of fatal airplane and aviation accidents are often the result of improper pilot decisions and 20% are the result of improper technique.

If negligence is a factor, it is important to seek an airplane accident lawyer for legal representation when an airplane or aviation accident occurs.

Common Causes of Airplane and Aviation Accidents

While there may be many contributing factors to airplane and aviation accidents, these types of accidents are often the result of:

  • Mishandling of the aircraft
  • Improper decision-making
  • Inexperience of the pilot
  • Failure to maintain flying speed
  • Poor planning
  • Improper flare on landing
  • Failure to maneuver aircraft
  • Improper fuel management
  • Misjudgement of distance or speed
  • Unsuitable terrain selection
  • Incorrect control operation
  • Take-off in poor weather

What is the NTSB?

The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) is an independent Federal agency that is required to investigate every civil aviation accident in the United States and significant accidents in the other modes of transportation including railroad, highway, marine and pipeline. The NTSB is charged with issuing safety recommendations aimed at preventing future accidents.

The Safety Board determines the probable cause of:

  • All U.S. civil aviation accidents and certain public use aircraft accidents
  • Selected highway accidents
  • Railroad accidents involving passenger trains or any train accident that results in at least one fatality or major property damage
  • Major marine accidents and any marine accident involving a public or nonpublic vessel
  • Pipeline accidents involving a fatality or substantial property damage
  • Releases of hazardous materials in all forms of transportation
  • Selected transportation accidents that involve problems of a recurring nature

The National Transportation Safety Board is required by law to investigate all civil aircraft accidents in the United States. They are commissioned to determine and to publicly report the facts, conditions, circumstances and probable cause of such aircraft accidents. Generally, a preliminary report is available online within a few days of an accident. Factual information is added when available. When the investigation is completed, the preliminary report is replaced with a final description of the accident and its probable cause. Anyone can obtain a NTSB report by contacting the National Transportation Safety Board at or calling the NTSB office in Washington D.C. at (202) 3146000.

The purpose of NTSB investigations and reports is to prevent or reduce the likelihood of future accidents. It does not place blame or determine negligence. For that it is important to hire an airplane and aircraft accident litigation attorney who knows the steps required to prove negligence in an aviation or aircraft accident.

Complex Legal Issues of Airplane Accidents

The assistance of an airplane accident lawyer is essential when an airplane crash or aviation accident occurs. The legal issues associated with these types of crashes and accidents can be very complex when determining if negligence is involved.

Whether an aviation lawsuit involves an airplane accident, helicopter accident or any other type of crash where a winged aircraft is involved and injury or death occurs, a full investigation is warranted to understand the true facts of the case. The NTSB may provide a factual account of the accident in terms of safety and to prevent further accidents, but it is important to investigate the circumstances of the crash or wreck to determine if negligence was involved.

The following documents and information may be integral during the investigation and filing of a aviation lawsuit against the negligent parties involved:

  • Medical Reports and hospital records from the victim's medical providers
  • Autopsy Reports / Injury Report of the victims involved
  • Maintenance, accident and operational history of the airplane, helicopter or other aircraft involved
  • Photographic evidence from local news sources that was captured at the scene of the airplane or helicopter crash
  • Certified National Weather Service Data
  • Wreckage Scene Photos
  • Wreckage Pattern Videotapes
  • Airport Data
  • Navigational Charts
  • Instrument Approach Plates
  • Reports of similar accidents involving similar aircraft or components
  • NTSB and ICAO Safety Summaries and Recommendations
  • Tape Recordings of "all" communications relevant to the accident flight
  • Flight Plans and Ship Logs of the aircrafts involved in the aviation accident
  • Any Investigative Reports of Federal, State, County and Municipal Law Enforcement, Emergency, Fire and Rescue Agencies associated with either the negligent parties or the aircrafts involved
  • Patent Applications of any part or system that may have failed
  • Hazard Reports
  • Service Difficulty Reports
  • Malfunction Defect Reports
  • Annual or Periodic Inspection Records
  • Pilot, Airplane, Engine and Propeller Logbooks
  • FAA Facility Logs
  • FAA Aircraft Certification Files
  • FAA Airman License and Medical Files
  • FAA Airman Training Records
  • FAA Aircraft Title and Registration Records

Legal Help for Airplane, Aircraft and Aviation Accident Victims

If you, a family member or a friend have suffered an injury as a result of an airplane or aviation accident, contact the Finz firm now toll free at (855) TOP-FIRM to speak with an experienced Airplane Accident Lawyer or simply fill out the Free Airplane Aviation Case Evaluation form.

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Terror at 30,000 Feet

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For those afraid of flying, it is easy to conjure a nearly infinite amount of scenarios wherein something goes terribly wrong with a plane.  Among the most alarming that any passenger could imagine is a window blowing free, decompressing the cabin and pulling people into thin air.  This is precisely what threatened to happen when a wing engine exploded on a Southwest Airlines flight on April 17th, 2018.

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Certain Aircraft Have Crash Implications

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Emergency Transportation Expensive for Accident Victims

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Mike Pence Thankful No One Injured After Plane Skids Off Runway at LaGuardia Airport

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With the election less than two weeks away, vice presidential candidate Mike Pence had quite the scare when his campaign plane skidded off the runway at LaGuardia Airport during landing. Fortunately, a major accident was avoided and no one was injured thanks to safety equipment on the runway which halted the airplane less than a quarter of a mile from the Grand Central Parkway.

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The Landing is the Hardest Part

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Fear of flying is one of the rare fears that isn’t known by some fancy other name.  Though it can be called Aviophobia, most people just refer to it as fear of flying.  It is also an extremely common fear, affecting millions of people across the world.

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Airplane Accidents: Good News, Bad Timing

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Few things are as terrifying as the thought of an airplane accident.  Whether your imagination conjures images of a breached hull at 30,000 feet or a devastating crash that strews wreckage for miles, just the idea of being in an airplane accident is enough to keep thousands of people on the highways.  Fear of flying is a very common fear.

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Airplane Accidents: When Information is Unavailable

February 27, 2015 | Finz & Finz, P.C.

When a US Airways jetliner crashed in Philadelphia on March 13th, 2013, the early reports indicated that a blown tire and gusting winds had caused the jet to skid off the runway.  There was no reason for the nearly 150 passengers to ask any more questions.  They thought they knew what had caused the accident that could have cost them their lives.

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Airplane Accidents: Danger at 10,000 Feet

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Aircraft Emergencies: When Something Goes Wrong

June 03, 2013 | Finz & Finz, P.C.

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May 30, 2013 | Finz & Finz, P.C.

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Aircraft Emergencies: What Happens When You’re Stuck in the Air

April 08, 2013 | Finz & Finz, P.C.

In most parts of the country, emergency aid is just a phone call away.  We know that EMTs and fire departments will be dispatched to a scene quickly and efficiently.  But what happens when we are on an aircraft and an emergency outside of the norm occurs?  In-flight emergencies can range from someone requiring a sudden appendectomy or emergency surgery, to luggage falling on someone’s head, to a hot beverage being spilled on a child’s arm, to a heart attack or seizure.  If you are the victim of any type of in-flight emergency, being in a closed cabin doesn’t provide much relief when all you want is for the plane to land so you can be back in the comfort of your own home.  When landing the plane is not immediately possible, how are these situations handled and what type of aid is accessible?

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