General Aviation Accidents

Have you or someone close to you been injured during the course of a general aviation flight? Contact our aviation accident lawyers today at (212) 406-4232, or fill out our easy-to-use contact form here.

General Aviation - Airplane Accident Attorney

In broad terms, aviation flights are broken down into commercial and general aviation. General aviation refers to flights other than those operated by airlines or the military. Aircraft that falls under the general category include both fractional owned and leased executive jets, pilot owned and operated single and twin engine propeller aircraft, helicopters, gliders balloons and other experimental aircraft. Air Ambulances, can be helicopters or fixed wing aircraft and are included under the umbrella of general aviation. People sometimes refer to them as “small planes.” Frequently, flights operated in general aviation originate from and terminate in small airports and do not require the filing of a flight plan. Often times, these small airplanes are operated by flight schools with student pilots and instructors or air taxi or charter services. In remote portions of the United States such as Alaska and Hawaii, these air taxis serve entire regions and communities where access by automobile is restricted or difficult.

General aviation is controlled and regulated by the Federal Aviation Administration, or FAA, which, together with the National Transportation Safety Board, also tracks the safety record of general aviation throughout the United States.

Unfortunately, the statistics on general aviation accidents and crashes are alarming. There is a fatal general aviation crash or airplane accident in the United States nearly every day. In 2016, 413 people died in 219 general aviation accidents, and inflight loss of control – mainly stalls – account for the largest number of fatal general aviation accidents.  An aging aircraft and pilot population account for many of these airplane crashes and  accidents and the  federal government is instituting different programs to try and make general aviation safer.  

Lawsuits arising from general aviation accidents requires extensive investigation and knowledge of a variety of laws and theories ranging from statutes of repose that protect the manufacturers of older aircraft from product liability claims; a careful study of weather and environmental factors; the experience, qualifications, judgments and actions of the pilot in command, directions of air traffic controllers, (ATC) aircraft maintenance and the functionality of the aircraft’s systems and instruments. Our aviation accident lawyers will carefully study the aircraft’s maintenance records, and those of the fixed base operators, (FBO’s) the pilot’s log and medical certificate, and obtain and all on air transmissions with ATC to determine whether the aircraft’s final communications give clues to the cause of the accident.

Tragically, many general aviation accidents result in the wrongful death of the aircraft’s pilots and/or passengers, and thus we cannot obtain relevant information from the occupants to assist in our investigation.

Therefore, given our firm’s experience in representing individuals injured and killed during the course of general aviation accidents, we understand that from the moment we are retained, we must swiftly gather all relevant evidence and data and commence an investigation into the cause of the accident. We closely monitor all government investigations and retain and work with our own team of experts to develop often overlooked theories of recovery. Often, governmental bodies are quick to attribute the loss of small, general aviation aircraft to pilot error, but our lawyers and aviation experts will not hesitate to conduct our own investigation into the facts and circumstances of an aviation accident if we believe that there are other theories to explain why the aircraft crashed.  

Our aviation accident lawyers are highly experienced in wrongful death aviation litigation and are extremely sensitive to the huge personal loss suffered by the families who have lost loved ones in an aviation accident. We will work tirelessly to make sure that all of the matters of the estate are handled, and will assert all claims on behalf of all the family members. We retain and work with economic and medical experts to maximize the recovery and also make sure that the lawsuit is brought in a place where the families of those lost stand the best chance of seeking and recovering full and fair justice against the wrongdoers who caused the crash.

Call us today if you or a loved one has been the victim of a general aviation accident, or fill out our easy-to-use contact form

Some of our general aviation cases:

Representation of a pilot who survived the crash of a single engine aircraft

Representation of the pilot killed while attempting to connect his aircraft to an aerial advertising banner

Representation of a passenger of an executive jet who was seriously injured when the aircraft skidded off of runway into adjacent structures

Representation of the estate of a pilot whose aircraft was lost in a crash in the Caribbean