Investigation Into Turbulence On United Airlines Flight 967

Author: Alisa Brodkowitz  |  Category: Other Events, Turbulence

 

 

The United States National Transportation Safety Board is investigating the turbulence event that injured so many passengers on July 21, 2010. They have released a press advisory that states as follows:

NTSB INVESTIGATING TURBULENCE EVENT OVER MISSOURI


The National Transportation Safety Board is investigating yesterday’s turbulence event experienced by United Airlines Flight #967 (N773UA).The airplane, a Boeing 777-200, en route from Washington, D.C. (Dulles) to Los Angeles, Calif.(LAX), encountered severe turbulence at approximately 6:14 p.m. (MDT) about 60 miles southeast of Kansas City, Missouri and about 40 miles north of Springfield, Missouri, at approximately 34,000 feet. The aircraft diverted and landed in Denver, Colorado.

The airplane had 255 passengers and 10 crew members onboard. Seventeen passengers and four flight attendants reported minor injuries. Initial reports indicate minor damage to the interior of the cabin.

Information from the flight data recorder was downloaded in Denver and was received at NTSB headquarters today where it will be studied by investigators.

Senior Air Safety Investigator, Bill English, is the Investigator-in-Charge. Mr. English and the NTSB technical experts assisting him will conduct the investigation from the NTSB headquarters in Washington, D.C. and will not travel to the scene.

Crew member, passenger, and weather information will be gathered over the coming days.

Although the NTSB has stated that reported injuries are minor, this is preliminary information. As more information becomes known to the NTSB this may change. Certainly it is in everyone’s interest for any and all injured passengers to make the NTSB aware of the full extent of their injuries. Knowing how serious this event was may well help prevent future incidents, and future injuries. You can use this link for information on how to contact the NTSB.

United Flight 967 Passengers Treated At Hospital

Author: Alisa Brodkowitz  |  Category: Turbulence

 

Many passengers were injured yesterday on UAL Flight 967. The aircraft involved, a Boeing 777 registration number N773UA, was manufactured in 1995. Information available through an FAA database reveals that the aircraft had been involved in a prior lightening strike.

It is not always possible or reasonable to expect to wear your seatbelt at every moment during a flight. Certainly with variations in security rules, passengers may feel they need to take advantage of opportunities to use the rest rooms, as they may be restricted from leaving their seats later in the flight. Families traveling with young children know how challenging it can be to stay seated for the duration of the flight. Criticism should not be directed at passengers for failing to secure their seatbelts.

To learn more about how our firm works to recover damages for those injured in turbulence, including flight attendants, click here.

United Airlines Flight 967 Hits Turbulence, Passengers Injured

Author: Alisa Brodkowitz  |  Category: Turbulence

 

 

 

 

A Boeing 777 encountered severe turbulence today, injuring at least 25 passengers. The flight departed Washington Dulles Airport and was bound for Los Angeles International Airport. The turbulence encounter took place over Kansas, according to a Reuters report. Also according to Reuters a United Spokeswoman stated that there “were storms in the area.”

It appears that there were multiple international travelers among the 225 passengers on the wide body aircraft. The flight was a codeshare with Air China International 8728, Lufthansa 9360, Air New Zealand 9127, Austrian 7867, SAS Scandinavian Airlines and Thai Airways International. Travelers who were flying internationally (regardless of connections) and were injured in the turbulence may be able to recover under an international treaty known as the Montreal Convention. The Montreal Convention allows international travelers wide leeway in deciding where to bring a lawsuit. It may be that international travelers injured on United Airlines Flight 967 can bring a lawsuit in the United States.

According to the National Weather Service, Kansas has been experiencing severe weather.As an investigation into the turbulence event proceeds, investigators will examine what data United Airlines had accumulated, regarding the weather. This includes forecasts, SIGMETS (warnings of severe weather from the National Weather Service), and PIREPS (warnings from other pilots in the area). Given the severe storms in Kansas it will be important to discern weather the airline should have and could have avoided flying through the area.

 

  (CA) Air China International 8728
  (CO) Continental Airlines 6085
  (LH) Lufthansa 9360
  (NZ) Air New Zealand 9127
  (OS) Austrian 7867
  (SK) SAS - Scandinavian Airlines 8751
  (TG) Thai Airways International 5515
  (US) US Airways 6831

Wheelchairs and Airlines, Disabled Passengers Deserve Better

Author: Alisa Brodkowitz  |  Category: Disabled Passenger, Discrimination

 

I love my work as an attorney because I get to go up against large corporations on behalf of wonderful and deserving clients.  It has been said that attorneys are the watch dogs of industry. Certainly as an attorney I do notice trends in injuries and the lawsuits that follow.  Lawsuits can effect great change. Lately I have noticed a disturbing trend, disabled or elderly passengers injured on commercial flights during transfers or when they are deprived of appropriate mobility assistance.

According to a USA Today Story published in 2008, in three years more than 34,000 disabled fliers complained about their treatment and 54% of the incidents involved wheelchair assistance. The same article raises a concern that the airlines are outsourcing wheelchair service, and that the outside companies do not provide adequately trained personnel.

“According to a survey last year by a workers’ advocacy group of 275 Los Angeles International passenger-service workers, the average pay is less than $19,000 a year. Some 60% said they had not been formally trained in how to lift an immobile passenger.”

As we age we are more likely to ourselves become disabled, and large segments of our populations are aging. We need to ensure that travel is safe for everyone and we need to hold airlines responsible for injuring disabled or elderly passengers.  What can you do if you are injured during travel? The first thing you should do, if possible, is to file a complaint with the US Department of Transportation. If you are at the airport, complain directly to the Complaint Resolution Official who is required to be stationed at the airport by the airline or available via telephone or TTY at all times that the airline is operating.  This is mandated by the Air Carrier Access Act. The Complaint Resolution Official must be able to resolve, on the spot and in accordance with the Act, issues that any disabled passenger is encountering.

The Air Carrier Access Act was recently amended and became effective on May 13, 2009. Foreign carriers are now included in the Act. There are training requirements for US Carriers, their crew and front line staff.  The current civil penalty per violation of the air carrier access act is $27,500. The Department of Transportation must investigate each complaint sent directly to them.

A disabled or injured passenger who has been injured by an airline or contractor while traveling has a right to recover for these injuries.  This may be obvious. Disabled passengers who have been discriminated against by an airline also have a right to recovery. It is very important to know your rights before you travel.

Some people do not like to fly because they experience a lack of control. Now imagine that you are confined to a wheel chair or require assistance walking or hearing or seeing and that you have to rely upon the airline or their contractor to transport you to your seat or to your connecting flight. It is not acceptable for the airline or contractor to lack training in assisting disabled passengers. Disabled and elderly passengers deserve better.

Plane crash kills 4, injures 1 in Michigan

Author: Alisa Brodkowitz  |  Category: Crashes

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ST. IGNACE, Mich. - Authorities say a small plane crash on an interstate in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula has killed the pilot and three others.

 Mackinac County Sheriff officials say a 13-year-old boy who was “ejected” from the plane remains hospitalized and that he was the only survivor of the crash that happened about 5 p.m. Tuesday.
Police say the twin engine Beachcraft Model 58 that is registered out of state was airborne less than 1,000 feet before encountering trouble after taking off from Mackinac County Airport. The plane flipped after striking a median barrier on I-75.

Police have not identified the victims pending notification of family.
No other injuries were reported.

 

The Federal Aviation Administration and the National Transportation Safety Board will investigate.

Mid-air collision between two planes averted

Author: Alisa Brodkowitz  |  Category: Other Events

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A last minute alert from the anti-collision device mounted on aircrafts helped avert a mid-air collision after a Jet Airways flight from Chennai came close to an Air India aircraft over Mumbai on July 10. The Jet aircraft, with 142 passengers on board, was asked to descend to 11,000 feet by the Air Traffic Control. It came close to e Air India flight that had 70 passengers on-board and was also on its way to Mumbai from Chennai. The Traffic Collision Avoidance System (TCAS), a hi-tech system designed to reduce the incidence of mid-air collisions between flights, on both the flights alerted the pilots of the intrusion in their path.

 

As a rule, two aircraft are required to maintain a vertical separation of 1,000 feet and a lateral separation of five-miles.
If any aircraft breaches these limits, the TCAS sends out an alert. In the present case, the two aircrafts were less than five miles apart laterally. The Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) is investigating the matter.

 

“Our commander was alerted by the aircraft’s technological system well in time about the presence of another flight in its vicinity while approaching Mumbai,” said an Air India spokesperson.
Jet Airways said that the incident took place while holding over Mumbai under Air Traffic Control instructions.

Continental Flight Left Runway, Six People Seriously Injured

Author: Alisa Brodkowitz  |  Category: Other Events, Turbulence

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NTSB Determines Probable Cause In 2008 Denver Accident

 The National Transportation Safety Board on Tuesday determined that the probable cause of the 2008 Continental Airlines flight 1404 runway excursion accident was the captain’s cessation of rudder input, which was needed to maintain directional control of the airplane, about 4 seconds before the aircraft departed the runway, when the airplane encountered a strong and gusty crosswind that exceeded the captain’s training and experience. 

 

Contributing to the accident was the air traffic control system that did not require or facilitate the dissemination of key available wind information to air traffic controllers and pilots, and inadequate cross wind training in the airline industry due to deficient simulator wind gust modeling.

 

On December 20, 2008, Continental Airlines flight 1404 veered off the left side of runway 34R during a takeoff from Denver International Airport.  as a result, the captain initiated a rejected takeoff and the airplane came to rest between runways 34R and 34L.  There was a post-crash fire.  All 110 passengers and 5 crewmembers evacuated the airplane immediately after it came to rest.  The captain and five passengers were seriously injured. �
At the time of the accident, mountain wave and downsloping wind conditions existed in the Denver area and the strong localized winds associated with these conditions resulted in pulses of strong wind gusts at the surface that posed a threat to operations at Denver International Airport.     

 

“This aircraft happened to be in the direct path of a perfect storm of circumstances that resulted in an unexpected excursion in an airport with one of the most sophisticated wind sensing systems in the country,” said NTSB Chairman Deborah A.P. Hersman.  “It is critical that pilots receive training to operate aircraft when high wind conditions and significant gusts are present, and that sufficient airport-specific wind information be provided to ATC controllers and pilots as well.”

 

As a result of this accident the NTSB issued 14 recommendations to the Federal Aviation Administration regarding mountain waves, wind dissemination to flightcrews, runway selection,   pilot training for crosswind takeoffs, and crashworthiness.      

 

FMI: www.ntsb.gov

LACK OF RULES REQUIRING DISSEMINATION OF WIND CONDITION DATA

Author: Alisa Brodkowitz  |  Category: Other Events

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************************************************************

                      NTSB PRESS RELEASE

************************************************************

 

National Transportation Safety Board

Washington, DC 20594

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: July 13, 2010

 

SB-10-27

 

************************************************************

 

LACK OF RULES REQUIRING DISSEMINATION OF WIND CONDITION DATA

AND PILOT’S INSUFFICIENT RUDDER CONTROL CITED AS PROBABLE

CAUSE OF 2008 DENVER RUNWAY ACCIDENT

 

************************************************************

 

Washington, DC - The National Transportation Safety Board

today determined that the probable cause of the 2008

Continental Airlines flight 1404 runway excursion accident

was the captain’s cessation of rudder input, which was

needed to maintain directional control of the airplane,

about 4 seconds before the aircraft departed the runway,

when the airplane encountered a strong and gusty crosswind

that exceeded the captain’s training and experience. 

 

Contributing to the accident was the air traffic control

system that did not require or facilitate the dissemination

of key available wind information to air traffic controllers

and pilots, and inadequate cross wind training in the

airline industry due to deficient simulator wind gust

modeling.

 

On December 20, 2008, Continental Airlines flight 1404

veered off the left side of runway 34R during a takeoff from

Denver International Airport.  As a result, the captain

initiated a rejected takeoff and the airplane came to rest

between runways 34R and 34L.  There was a post-crash fire. 

All 110 passengers and 5 crewmembers evacuated the airplane

immediately after it came to rest.  The captain and five

passengers were seriously injured.  

 

At the time of the accident, mountain wave and downsloping

wind conditions existed in the Denver area and the strong

localized winds associated with these conditions resulted in

pulses of strong wind gusts at the surface that posed a

threat to operations at Denver International Airport.     

 

“This aircraft happened to be in the direct path of a

perfect storm of circumstances that resulted in an

unexpected excursion in an airport with one of the most

sophisticated wind sensing systems in the country,” said

NTSB Chairman Deborah A.P. Hersman.  “It is critical that

pilots receive training to operate aircraft when high wind

conditions and significant gusts are present, and that

sufficient airport-specific wind information be provided to

ATC controllers and pilots as well.”

 

As a result of this accident the NTSB issued 14

recommendations to the Federal Aviation Administration

regarding mountain waves, wind dissemination to flightcrews,

runway selection,   pilot training for crosswind takeoffs,

and crashworthiness.      

 

A synopsis of the Board’s report, including the probable

cause, conclusions, and recommendations, is available on the

NTSB’s website, at

http://ntsb.gov/Publictn/2010/AAR1004.htm.

 

The Board’s full report will be available on the website in

several weeks.

 

###

 

NTSB Media Contact: Terry N. Williams

 

(202) 314-6100

williat@ntsb.gov

NTSB TO MEET ON 2008 CONTINENTAL AIRLINES FLIGHT 1404

Author: Alisa Brodkowitz  |  Category: Crashes, Other Events

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************************************************************

                       NTSB ADVISORY

************************************************************

 

National Transportation Safety Board

Washington, DC 20594

 

July 8, 2010

 

************************************************************

 

NTSB TO MEET ON 2008 CONTINENTAL AIRLINES FLIGHT 1404

ACCIDENT AT DENVER AIRPORT

 

************************************************************

 

The National Transportation Safety Board will hold a Board meeting on

Tuesday, July 13, 2010, at 9:30 a.m. in its Board Room and Conference

Center, 429 L’Enfant Plaza, S.W., Washington, D.C. There is one item on

the agenda.

 

On December 20, 2008, Continental Airlines flight 1404 departed the left

side of runway 34R at Denver International Airport during takeoff.  There

was a post-crash fire.  The captain and five of the 110 passengers were

seriously injured.

 

A live and archived webcast of the proceedings will be available on the

Board’s website at http://www.ntsb.gov/events/Boardmeeting.htm.

Technical support details are available under “Board Meetings” on the

NTSB website. To report any problems, please call 703-993- 3100 and ask

for Webcast Technical Support.

 

A summary of the Board’s final report, which will include findings,

probable cause, and safety recommendations, will appear on the website

shortly after the conclusion of the meeting. The entire report will appear on the website several weeks later.

 

 

 

 

 

# # #  

NTSB Media Contact: 

Terry N. Williams

(202) 314-6100

williat@ntsb.gov

3 killed in helicopter crash off Wash. coast

Author: Alisa Brodkowitz  |  Category: Crashes

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by KING 5 News and Associated Press

LA PUSH, Wash. – Coast Guard investigators will begin looking into what caused one of its helicopters to crash off the Washington coast Wednedsay morning, killing three of its crew members.

A fourth member was rescued from the waters and is recovering at Harborview Medical Center in Seattle with non-life threatening injuries.

Witnesses said that the helicopter was flying at a low altitude when it approached La Push, Wash., a small outpost on the Quileute Nation reservation. It is about 100 miles west of Seattle, on Washington’s Olympic Peninsula.

Rear Adm. Gary T. Blore was visibly shaken as he announced the deaths.

“I want to send our deepest sympathies to District 13, to the family and friends of this helicopter crew,” said Blore.

Blore said it’s not unusual for Coast Guard helicopters to fly low. He said the power lines had been about 250 feet above the water level and that those lines are marked in navigational charts.

Petty officer Nathan Bradshaw says the MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter crashed in the waters off James Island, near La Push. He said the helicopter was carrying a crew of four and lost contact with the Coast Guard around 9:30 a.m.

The Clallam County Public Utilities District says the helicopter hit a power line between La Push and James Island. Blore said power lines were found down in the area when rescuers arrived, but says it’s not clear yet if they had something to do with the crash.

Blore says the power lines were about 250 feet above the water and that they would have been posted on aeronautical charts which the crew would have had with them. Blore also says it’s not unusual for a helicopter to fly that low to the water and that the crew may have been conducting normal Coast Guard operations. That will be determined during the investigation.