Recent Developments

Speiser Krause in the News and Recent Developments

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.

Read more . . .

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.

Read more . . .

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.

Read more . . .

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. 

Read more . . .

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.

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Jeanne O'Grady to speak at the 10th Annual European Air Law Seminar in Munich, Germany on September 14, 2015

Partner Jeanne O'Grady to address the prestigious European Air Law Association on the availability of moral damages in global litigation arising from an aviation disaster.

Learn More Here

Monday, August 10, 2015

Douglas Latto to address the AVICON Aviation Insurance Conference on September 10-11, 2015

Partner Douglas Latto will be a featured speaker at the AVICON Aviation Insurance Conference discussing the plaintiff's perspective on aviation accident litigation.

Monday, July 27, 2015

Lawsuits Filed Against Wind Turbine Operator

The firm recently filed lawsuits on behalf of three families arising from the April 27, 2014 crash of a Piper PA 32R-300 aircraft that impacted an unlit wind turbine in Highmore, South Dakota.  The victims of the crash, young men in their 20's and 30's, were traveling as passengers and were returning home to their families from a trip to Texas.  At approximately 9:15 p.m. the aircraft impacted the unlit wind turbine, causing it to crash and killing all aboard.  Pursuant to various Federal Aviation Regulations and guidelines, the owner and operator of the wind turbine, NextEra Energy, was required to ensure that the wind turbine was lit.  If, however, the lighting system was not functioning, NextEra Energy was obligated to notify the local Flight Standards District Office of the outage so that a warning could be issued to pilots flying in the vicinity of the wind turbine that the light was not working.  Unfortunately, NextEra Energy failed in both of these obligations causing the aircraft to impact the unlit wind turbine.  The lawsuits, filed by each of the passenger’s widows in the Circuit Court of the 11th Judicial Circuit in and for Miami-Dade County, Florida, seek all available wrongful death and survival damages as a result of this tragedy. 

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Mid-Air Collision between U.S. Air Force F-16 and Cessna 150

On July 7, 2015, at approximately 11:00 a.m., a US Air Force F-16 collided in mid-air with a Cessna 150 approximately 25 miles north of Charleston, South Carolina.  The pilot and passenger of the Cessna were tragically killed while the pilot of the fighter jet ejected after the collision and is expected to make a full recovery.  The F-16 military aircraft was on a training mission between the Air Force base located in Sumter, South Carolina, and the Joint Base in Charleston which serves as a military and civilian airport.  The Cessna 150 had just taken off from the Berkeley County Airport which is located between the Sumter and Charleston bases. 

Read more . . .

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Crash of Sightseeing Float Plane in Misty Fjord National Monument Wilderness near Ketchikan, Alaska

A holiday cruise turned tragic for eight passengers on board a sightseeing float plane which impacted a rock face in the Misty Fjord National Monument Wilderness.  On June 25, 2015 the vacationers from Maryland, California, Nevada and Oregon boarded a Promech Air de Havilland DHC-3CT Otter turboprop aircraft for a sightseeing excursion as part of their cruise on the MS Westerdam operated by Holland America Line.  The trip was part of a tour called CruiseFly which consisted of two groups of passengers from the MS Westerdam; one group that boarded the sightseeing aircraft and another that boarded a marine vessel.  The two groups then met at a floating dock in Rudyard Bay and switched modes of transportation to meet back at the cruise ship in Ketchikan, Alaska.  The crash occurred on the aircraft’s return leg to the cruise ship.

Read more . . .

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