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Aircraft accidents are almost always catastrophic and cost the lives of the pilot, passengers and, sometimes, unsuspecting victims on the ground. There have been recent accidents killing pilots, as well as attendees at air shows, prompting some to question whether air shows are safe under any circumstances. And today, in Sanford, Florida, the husband of a NASCAR official was killed when a Cessna 310 crashed while attempting an emergency landing. The plane struck one house and engulfed two others in flames according to reports. In addition to the two occupants of the plane, three people in their own homes were killed in the Sanford airplane crash, including a toddler and a 6 month old baby.
Such accidents cause tragic losses for all involved and often lead to litigation. Aviation accident litigation is extremely complicated, involving state and federal laws and regulations, as well as intricate industry standards in aviation and engineering. There is potential liability among a variety of individuals and entities responsible for the safety of the flight, including the manufacturer or aircraft maintenance companies, fixed base operators, as well as the owners and operators of the aircraft.
The most common causes of aircraft accidents are pilot error, defective or faulty equipment, structural or design defects, negligence of maintenance personnel or flight service station employees, and many other potentially negligent acts or violations of Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) regulations.
The FAA establishes safety standards for pilots, flight operators, and manufacturers. Every civilian aircraft accident investigation is the responsibility of the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB). The NTSB investigates the causes of accidents in an effort to recommend safety procedures that decrease the incidence of accidents.
Any person involved in an aircraft accident should seek legal counsel to assure their legal rights and obligations are protected. Aircraft accident attorneys must be experienced and knowledgeable of the industry standards and federal laws and regulations setting safety standards for flight operations and pilot conduct.