Alaska de Havilland Beaver Airplane Crash
- A sightseeing flight crashed near Misty Fjords National Monument in Ketchikan, Alaska, killing five people.
- The cruise line
from which the passengers originated maybe
held liable for damages.
A De Havilland Beaver single-engine float-plane crashed near Misty Fjords National Monument in Ketchikan, Alaska. Five people were killed, including the pilot and two couples who had been traveling on the Sun Princess, a Princess Cruise Lines ship.
Anthony Tarricone, a partner in Kreindler’s Boston office, has prosecuted a number of
sightseeing accident cases as have other partners in the firm’s New
York and California offices. These cases include Vetrano v.
Teledyne Industries, Inc., et al., U.S. District Court, No. A98-0352,
which settled before trial. The Vetrano
accident arose from a sightseeing airplane accident in Alaska, and the litigation
involved many of the same issues that the victims’ families of the July 25 accident will face,
including liability and insurance questions. Sightseeing airplane accident
rates have been historically higher than most other general aviation accident rates.
The rates have been caused by a combination of human factors (mission planning and piloting) and mechanical problems
(very often improper maintenance). The sightseeing industry is insufficiently
regulated, and many companies do not carry sufficient insurance. It is
important in these cases to identify all parties that may be responsible so
that the victims’ families will receive adequate and just compensation.
This particular accident raises interesting and
complex issues regarding the liability of the cruise line itself for the crash. In this instance, the sightseeing
flight was an excursion
sponsored by the cruise company. This sponsorship may render it accountable.
to Paul Edelman, senior counsel to Kreindler and Kreindler, who is recognized
as one of the preeminent maritime law experts in the United States, the specific facts regarding
arranging the sightseeing flight will dictate the cruise line’s fault. If the cruise line promoted the
operator, Taquan Air, sold the tickets, provided literature or sign up forms, or
shared the profits for the flight, it may be held liable for damages.