Recent Developments

Speiser Krause in the News and Recent Developments

Wednesday, November 21, 2018

Update on the Crash of Lion Air Flight 610

Although no official findings have yet to be released, Indonesian aviation authorities are focusing on the aircraft’s automatic system designed to prevent the 737 Max 8 aircraft from entering an aerodynamic stall.  The system, not found on predecessor 737 models, is known as the Maneuvering Characteristics Augmentation System or M.C.A.S.  The system works in conjunction with Angle of Attack sensors located in the fuselage of the aircraft.  These sensors measure the angle of the aircraft in relation to the air that comes across it.  If these sensors indicate that the angle of attack or AOA is too high, they will transmit this information to the M.C.A.S. which will cause the forward edge stabilizers located on the aircraft’s tail to push up thereby forcing the nose of the aircraft downward.  If the M.C.A.S. did in fact engage as a result of faulty information transmitted by the aircraft’s AOA sensors, the pilots would have been confronted with a situation for which they were not trained and would have required them to rapidly engage in a series of steps to take control of the aircraft away from the M.C.A.S.  If they attempted to simply raise the nose of the aircraft by pulling back on the control yoke – which likely would have been the flight crew’s natural reaction – this would have had little effect as the forces exerted by the M.C.A.S. are much greater than the pilot could muster through pulling back on the control yoke.  Instead, the pilots would have had to quickly respond with a number of actions for which they had received no training in order to regain control of the aircraft and disable the M.C.A.S.


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Thursday, November 15, 2018

Crash of Lion Air Flight 610

On October 29, 2018, Lion Air Flight 610 crashed shortly after take-off killing all 189 passengers and crew.  Flight 610 was a scheduled domestic flight from Soekarno-Hatta International Airport in Jakarta to Depati Amir Airport in Pangkal Pinang that should have taken a little over an hour.  The aircraft, a relatively new Boeing 737 Max 8 aircraft, Registration Number PK-LQP, crashed approximately 11 minutes after take-off due to a steep uncontrolled descent into the Java Sea off the coast of Java. 


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Monday, June 4, 2018

Crash of Piper Navajo Chieftan

On Saturday, June 2, 2018 at approximately 2:35 p.m. a twin engine Piper PA-31-350 Navajo Chieftan aircraft, bearing FAA registration number N41173, crashed approximately two miles off the shore of Indian Wells Beach near Amagansett, New York.  Tragically, three passengers and the pilot were killed in the crash.  One of the passengers was identified as the registered owner of the aircraft.


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Friday, May 4, 2018

NTSB Update on Southwest Airlines Flight 1380 Mid-Air Engine Failure

On Thursday, May 3, 2018 the National Transportation Safety Board issued an update in connection with its ongoing investigation concerning the fatal mid-air Southwest Airlines Flight 1380 engine failure.  The Investigative update can be found here.


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Thursday, April 26, 2018

Update on Southwest Airlines Flight 1380 Mid-Air Engine Failure

On April 20, 2018, the Federal Aviation Administration issued Emergency Airworthiness Directive (“AD”) 2018-09-51 that incorporated, in part, a Service Bulletin (“SB”) 56-7B 72-1033 issued by CFM International, S.A., the manufacturer of the engine that failed in-flight on April 17, 2018, that killed a passenger.  An AD is a rule published by the FAA that requires certain actions be completed for an aircraft to be considered airworthy. 


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Friday, April 20, 2018

Southwest Airlines Flight 1380 Mid-Air Engine Failure

On Tuesday, April 17, 2018 at 10:27 a.m. Southwest Airlines Flight 1380 departed New York’s LaGuardia Airport bound for Dallas, Texas.  As the aircraft was climbing to cruising altitude west of Philadelphia, passengers described what sounded like an explosion from the left side of the aircraft.  As alerts and alarms blared in the cockpit, the aircraft experienced a rapid decompression and oxygen masks dropped from the cabin ceiling.


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Tuesday, March 27, 2018

NTSB Releases Preliminary Report on the Crash of Liberty Helicopters AS350B2, N350LH

On March 26, 2018, the National Transportation Safety Board released its Preliminary Report in connection with its investigation into the helicopter crash.  The Preliminary Report, a copy of which can be found here, sets forth a brief synopsis of the facts relating to crash based upon preliminary examination of the aircraft wreckage and an interview with the surviving pilot.  The Report contained a discussion of the pilot’s prior flights on the day of the accident, as well as his supposed safety briefings that he gave the passengers prior to the accident flight, including apparently the manner in which the passengers were to extricate themselves in the event of an emergency landing.


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Friday, March 23, 2018

Update Number 2 on the Crash of Liberty Helicopters AS350B2, N350LH

On March 22, 2018, the Federal Aviation Administration issued an Emergency Order of Prohibition, No. FAA-2018-0243, prohibiting the use of supplemental passenger restraint systems in “doors open” or “doors off” commercial flights that cannot be released quickly in the event of an emergency.  The Prohibition Order also prohibits such flights unless the passengers are at all times properly secured using FAA-approved restraint systems.


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Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Update on the Crash of Liberty Helicopters AS350B2, N350LH

The Federal Aviation Administration as well as the National Transportation Safety Board has taken certain safety measures in the wake of the crash of the March 11, 2018 Liberty Helicopters “doors open” aerial photography flight. On Friday March 16, 2018, the FAA issued a temporary flight ban of all “open door” helicopter flights until proper safety harnesses are installed in those helicopters that would permit passengers to open the safety harnesses with a “single action” thereby allowing passengers to extricate themselves from the safety harness in the event of an emergency landing.


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Monday, March 12, 2018

Crash of Liberty Helicopters AS350 into New York’s East River

On March 11, 2018, an AS350B2 series model helicopter operated by Liberty Helicopters, Inc., and owned by Meridian Consulting I Corp., Inc., crashed into the East River at approximately 7 p.m.  All five passengers were killed, and the pilot escaped unharmed.  While the cause of the crash is under investigation, the pilot issued a “mayday” call shortly before impact indicating that the helicopter suffered engine failure. 


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Monday, November 16, 2015

Crash of ExecuFlight Charter Jet in Akron, Ohio

On Tuesday, November 10, 2015, a British Aerospace BAe-125-700A jet bearing serial number NA-0252, owned by RAIS Group International NC, LLC, crashed into a residential apartment building during its approach to Runway 25 at the Akron Fulton International Airport located in Akron, Ohio.  Tragically, all seven passengers, all principals and employees of south Florida-based Pebb Enterprises, were killed along with the flight crew.

The aircraft, which was being operated as a charter flight by ExecuFlight, Inc., departed from Fort Lauderdale, Florida the day prior to the crash making stops in Minneapolis, Moline, St. Louis, and ultimately Cincinnati, Ohio, where the passengers and crew spent Monday evening.  The aircraft then departed Cincinnati for Dayton Tuesday morning, and was on its way to Akron, Ohio when the tragedy occurred.  

The National Transportation Safety Board is leading the investigation and the cockpit voice recorder has been recovered and sent to the NTSB’s lab in Washington, D.C. for analysis.  No distress calls were received from the aircraft prior to the crash.  Parties to the investigation include Beechcraft Corporation who is the current type certificate holder for the accident aircraft as well as Honeywell International, the engine manufacturer.

The investigation will undoubtedly focus on the actions of the flight crew, mechanical issues, as well as weather in the vicinity of the airport at the time of the crash.  Weather was reported to consist of fog and mist with visibility of two miles.  The Akron Fulton International Airport is an uncontrolled airport, which means that there is no air traffic control tower located at the airport.  Air traffic control services are provided by Akron-Canton Approach Control for the airport.  The NTSB has interviewed a certified flight instructor who landed immediately prior to the accident aircraft. The flight instructor pilot reported that after landing he radioed the accident aircraft to advise that he "broke out [of the cloud layer] right at minimums." He further reported that the accident aircraft acknowledged this transmission by stating, "Thanks for the update." This was the last known communication from the accident aircraft.

Speiser Krause has represented numerous passengers arising from private jet charter operation crashes as well as involving the make and model of the accident aircraft.  There are a host of legal issues which could impact victims’ rights, including the application of the General Aviation Revitalization Act (“GARA”) which in certain circumstances can limit the ability to file suit against an aircraft or component manufacturer if the failed component is more than 18 years old.  The partners at Speiser Krause are available to answer any questions you have concerning this tragedy.


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