New York City 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

If you, a family member or a friend have suffered an injury as a result of an airplane or aviation accident, contact Finz & Finz, P.C., 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.