Private Plane Crashes
We work to determine who’s responsible for each tragedy.
At Kreindler & Kreindler, we are experienced in the intricacies of representing victims and their families in private and small airplane and general aviation accidents. With general aviation accident litigation experience dating back to the early 1950s, Kreindler’s private library, case files, and technical databases represent a litigation resource that can’t be matched by any other law firm in the world. The key to success in a current case might well be found in our own litigation records and experience. We have successfully won or settled lawsuits against parties that include flight schools, local airports, aircraft maintenance companies, aftermarket component suppliers, and others whose negligence may have played a role in a private or small plane accident.
Who knows more about aviation law than attorneys who are also licensed, commercial pilots?
Kreindler Partners and Former Military Pilots (L-R):
Justin Green (USMC)
Brian Alexander (U.S. Army)
Dan Rose (U.S. Navy)
We Know, We Fly
Our staff of attorneys includes pilots, engineers, and a former aviation maintenance specialist. In each case, we assemble a team of litigators, investigators, outside experts, and staff to meticulously examine and prepare all aspects of our claim’s liability and damages to determine the cause of the accident, identify responsible entities, present the strongest case and obtain the highest possible compensatory award for the plaintiffs we represent.
Bombardier Canadair Challenger Crash in Montrose, CO
We understand that some of the most challenging litigation problems come up in cases involving private plane crashes. A successful private plane case we filed in Florida, in which three on board were killed, involved the crash of a Bombardier Challenger 600. Our investigation of the case confirmed a dangerous and deadly flaw in the design of the airplane’s wings, which made it susceptible to icing. We revealed that Bombardier did not provide proper instructions and warnings to flight crews operating the Challenger in winter conditions and that the Challenger 600 airfoil was dangerously too sensitive to ice contamination.
Our practical and technical experience helps immeasurably with our ability to investigate crash sites, aircraft maintenance records, and “black box” pilot and aircraft performance data.
In addition to our experience with determining technical flaws, we are adept at identifying that issues such as limited insurance coverage can be a big problem in private and small plane crash cases. There have been numerous cases we’ve litigated where the pilot carried more liability insurance on his car than he did on his plane. In fact, general aviation pilots might not carry any liability insurance at all, and some of the aircraft mechanics have carried little or no insurance as well.
Federal legislation such as the General Aviation Revitalization Act (GARA) can also be an obstacle in litigating private plane cases in that GARA immunizes aircraft manufacturers from product liability claims related to planes that are more than 18 years old — and unfortunately, most planes currently in service are older than that.
Kreindler’s goal in accidents involving small planes and private aircraft is to recover the maximum amount possible from any defendant who can be held to account in a given case. Many accidents have multiple causes, and our practical ability to place legal responsibility among at-fault defendants can significantly improve our client’s chances of full financial compensation in our general aviation cases.
- UNSURPASSED RECORD OF SUCCESS of any law firm for aviation accident law
- LEADING COUNSEL in nearly every major airline disaster case worldwide
- OBTAINED THE LARGEST RECOVERY for a single disaster in the history of aviation
Kreindler in the Media
Kreindler partners are often featured in TV news segments as well as in print and online news articles relating to aviation accidents, including charter and private plane crashes.
Socata Crash in the Caribbean Sea
In 2014, the Glazers took off in their Socata TBM 900 from the Greater Rochester International Airport and were heading to their vacation home in Naples, Florida when the plane’s cabin lost pressure, depriving the couple of oxygen. Though Larry Glazer, an experienced pilot, had radioed in for help at the first sign of trouble, the Glazers lost consciousness, and the plane eventually ran out of fuel and crashed into the Caribbean Sea. The wrongful death lawsuit complaint “alleges that the plane’s cabin pressurization system was faulty and that some of the companies knew it could malfunction but had neglected to warn the Glazers of the risk or provide protection for them.”
While flying from New York to Florida in Larry and Jane Glazer's brand new Daher-Socata TBM 900, a defect in the plane's pressurization system caused an insidious cabin depressurization that rendered the couple unconscious causing the plane to crash.
More Kreindler General Aviation Accident Cases
The combination of partner knowledge and commitment to our clients is demonstrated in a multitude of significant victories including our work on the midair crash that killed Senator John Heinz and the Ebersol Bombardier Challenger 600 crash.
Our private plane exemplar accident case list includes:
- Altitude Aviation, Inc., Beechcraft A36 Bonanza Crash, San Diego, CA
- Socata TBM700N (TBM900) Crash, Caribbean Sea
- Cool Stream Media, LLC, Socata TBM-700 Crash, Morristown, NJ
- Piper PA-32RT-300 Crash, Paradise, NV
- Liberty Helicopter Sightseeing Tours, Eurocopter AS350 & Piper PA-32R Mid-air Collision, Hudson River VFR Corridor
- Eagle Cap Leasing, Pilatus PC-12 Crash, Butte, Montana
- Cirrus SR20 Crash, Stewart State Forest, NY
- Cessna 172 & 182 Mid-air Crash, El Cajon, CA
- Bombardier Canadair Challenger 600-2A12 Crash, Montrose, CO
- Accelerated Flight Crew Training, Inc., Piper PA23-160, Rio Rico, AZ
- Ruma Advisory Co., Inc., Beechcraft E90 King Air Crash, Woolwich, ME
- Oakenell v. Mattituck, Atlantic City, NJ
- Cessna 152 & Piper Comanche Mid-air Collision, Farmingdale, NY
- Piper Aerostar and Bell 412 Mid-air Collision, Lower Merion Township, PA
Light and Private Airplane Accident Cases Demand Experience
Private plane crash cases can be challenging to successfully litigate because of many legal obstacles including:
- overcoming potential conflict of interest issues with the NTSB’s investigation into probable cause
- getting a motion to dismiss under the doctrine of Forum Non Conveniens
- determining if the General Aviation Revitalization Act (GARA) defense can be used
It is important to understand the legal issues which may affect your rights and recovery in a general aviation case, including the limitations created by the 1994 General Aviation Revitalization Act (GARA), which may be applicable in charter and corporate airplane crash cases involving aircraft that are more than 18 years old. GARA is not an insurmountable defense, and it is in public interest to hold manufacturers responsible for dangerous products. It is particularly in the public’s interest to bring to light any misrepresentations that a manufacturer made to the FAA.
We wrote the book
Kreindler has literally written the book on aviation accident law. Our partners have authored numerous highly acclaimed books, articles and treatises, including the leading treatise in the aviation litigation field, Aviation Accident Law.
Call on Our Experience
Kreindler is one of the largest and most distinguished aviation accident law firms in the world. Since 1950, our attorneys have served as leading counsel in nearly every major commercial aviation disaster litigation. Our staff of attorneys includes pilots, engineers, and a former aviation maintenance specialist. The firm has successfully handled countless private, charter, military, general aviation, and accident cases. Our partners have authored numerous highly acclaimed books, articles, and treatises on aviation litigation.