Deadly crash comes months after FAA rejected NTSB safety recommendations

Author: admin  |  Category: Other Events

.

.

From mystatesman.com. By Jeremy Schwartz.

In April 2014, the National Transportation and Safety Board warned of the potential for a “high number of fatalities in a single air tour balloon accident” if federal officials did not adopt stricter regulations of hot air balloon tour operators.

The recommendations, which the safety board said would bring balloon operators in line with the kind of oversight received by airplane and helicopter tour operators, were quickly dismissed as “unnecessary and burdensome” by the trade group Balloon Federation of America.

And in November, the Federal Aviation Administration formally rejected the safety recommendations, writing that “Since the amount of ballooning is so low, the FAA believes the risk posed to all pilots and participants is also low.”

Just three months ago, the NTSB blasted the FAA’s inaction as unacceptable. “We are concerned that, if no action is taken to address this safety issue, we will continue to see such accidents in the future,” the agency wrote in March. “Since these recommendations were issued in April 2014, an additional 25 balloon accidents have occurred, resulting in four fatalities and 25 serious injuries.”

A spokesman for the FAA said the agency was unable to immediately provide information on any accidents, incidents or enforcement actions related to Heart of Texas Balloon Rides, which operated the balloon that crashed Saturday.

In its 2014 letter to the FAA, the safety board found that a series of recent accidents revealed “operational deficiencies” in commercial air tour balloon operations such as operating in unfavorable wind conditions and the failure to follow flight manual procedures. The safety board said it was concerned the accidents were the “result of the current lack of oversight relative to similar airplane and helicopter air tour operations.”

In rejecting the NTSB’s safety recommendations, the Balloon Federation of America wrote that they would “add another layer of unnecessary federal oversight to an already challenged FAA. Such a regulation would prove burdensome to the tour flight business owners and their pilots in both time and money to comply with the regulation.”

Instead, the trade group, which did not respond to a request for comment Saturday, touted industry-led safety seminars and industry-developed safe operating guidelines.

A 2013 study found that between 2000 and 2011, balloon crashes resulted in 91 serious injuries and five deaths. The study found the deaths all came after balloons hit fixed objects such as power lines and trees. The study also found that the proportion of balloon crashes attributed to paid rides appears to have increased over time.

For more information, click here.

For more information about Friedman | Rubin’s aviation practice and our work representing flight attendants, commercial airline passengers, pilots, plane and helicopter crash victims, visit our website.

Friedman | Rubin serves clients nationally and internationally. We have the aviation law experience and resources to help you win your case. Call toll free 1-888-359-5298 for a free no obligation review of your case. You may also fill out an Online Consultation Form.

‘No survivors’ as hot air balloon bursts into flames with 16 people on board

Author: admin  |  Category: Other Events

.

From irishmirror.com. By Christopher Bucktin.

A hot air balloon caught fire and crashed in central Texas killing all 16 on board.

The tragedy happened at 7.40am (1.40pm GMT) yesterday (SAT) in a field near Lockhart, 30 miles south of the city Austin, after a blaze broke out in the basket mid-flight.

The balloon had been 26 minutes into an hour-long flight when it crashed close to power lines.

Police are investigating whether the wicker-made basket touched the electricity leading to it catching fire.

Witnesses say when emergency services arrived they believed it to be a car crash only to be greeted by a scene of devastation with the bodies of the passengers and crew strewn across the ground.

Police had received a 911 call at 7.44am reporting a possible car crash on Jolly Road.

Sheriff Daniel Law of Caldwell County police said: “When the emergency responders and the sheriff’s office arrived on the scene it was apparent the reported fire was the basket portion of a hot air balloon.

“Investigators are determining the number and the identities of victims at this time.”

The Federal Aviation Administration said the National Transportation Safety Board will be in charge of the investigation.

Typically balloons operating in Texas fly above tree level up to 3,000ft.

Companies in Austin offer flights which can carry up to 24 passengers costing $399 (£300) each.

For more information, click here.

For more information regarding the FAA’a regulations and policies regarding manned balloons, click here.

For more information about Friedman | Rubin’s aviation practice and our work representing flight attendants, commercial airline passengers, pilots, plane and helicopter crash victims, visit our website.

Friedman | Rubin serves clients nationally and internationally. We have the aviation law experience and resources to help you win your case. Call toll free 1-888-359-5298 for a free no obligation review of your case. You may also fill out an Online Consultation Form.

4 Dead After Plane Crashes At Columbia Airport In Tuolumne County

Author: admin  |  Category: Other Events

.

From sacramento.cbslocal.com.

COLUMBIA (CBS13) – A plane has crashed and caught fire at an airport in Tuolumne County, killing all four people onboard.

At 4:45 p.m., the Cessna 310 went down on the Columbia Airport’s north-south runway and became completely engulfed in flames, according to an FAA spokesperson. The fire then spread to nearby vegetation and caught a car on fire.

Cal Fire says the fire has been contained.

The cause of the crash has not yet been determined.

For more information, click here.

For more information about Friedman | Rubin’s aviation practice and our work representing flight attendants, commercial airline passengers, pilots, plane and helicopter crash victims, visit our website.

Friedman | Rubin serves clients nationally and internationally. We have the aviation law experience and resources to help you win your case. Call toll free 1-888-359-5298 for a free no obligation review of your case. You may also fill out an Online Consultation Form.

2 in critical condition following plane crash in Fond du Lac Co.

Author: admin  |  Category: Other Events

.

From fox11online.com. By Eric Peterson.

Two men are in critical condition after their plane crashed Thursday morning at The Fond du Lac County Airport.

The plane crashed at an airport that’s especially busy this time of year, because of EAA AirVenture up the road in Oshkosh.

Investigators say the plane had taken off, but had to turn back because of mechanical issues.

Investigators combed through the field at the northwest corner of the Fond du Lac County Airport, looking for clues as to why a small white plane crashed early Thursday morning.

“The witnesses said they saw it coming down. And said it made an abrupt turn. They thought it was going to be turning to get to the runway, and then it hit the ground,” said Rick Olig, Fond du Lac County Sheriff’s Office Captain.

Two people were on board. They’ve been identified as 78-year-old David Spencer and 71-year-old Rafael Chaves. Both men are from Santa Fe, New Mexico.

“When our medical people got to the scene, we began to treat those people, and they were both injured severely,” said Peter O’Leary, Fond du Lac Fire Chief.

Flight for Life and ThedaStar helicopters transported the two men to ThedaCare Regional Medical Center-Neenah.

According to The Federal Aviation Administration, the light sport aircraft took off from the Fond du Lac airport, but the pilot soon asked to return. The plane had clearance to land, but crashed about a half-mile short of the runway.

“We do have quite a few witnesses that actually saw it prior to, and actually saw the crash. The preliminary indications are that the engine was functioning at the time of the crash. They didn’t hear anything that appeared to be out of the ordinary,” said Olig.

Investigators say The Fond du Lac County Airport is very busy this time of year, handling numerous flights to and from EAA AirVenture in Oshkosh.

“The number of planes that come in and out of here everyday, during EAA is significant. And significant enough the FAA wants to have a staffed tower here,” said O’Leary.

For more information, click here.

For more information about Friedman | Rubin’s aviation practice and our work representing flight attendants, commercial airline passengers, pilots, plane and helicopter crash victims, visit our website.

Friedman | Rubin serves clients nationally and internationally. We have the aviation law experience and resources to help you win your case. Call toll free 1-888-359-5298 for a free no obligation review of your case. You may also fill out an Online Consultation Form.

Air Force service member, civilian killed in Saunders County plane crash

Author: admin  |  Category: Other Events

.

From wowt.com. By Don Granese and John Chapman.

Offutt Air Force Base said Monday one of the victims of Sunday afternoon’s small plane crash near Leshara was an active duty Air Force service member and the other was a civilian. Their names have not been released, but officials said the pilot was 27, and the instructor was a 61-year-old.

The Beech 55 aircraft was from the LeMay Flight Club, which is based out of Offutt.

The Saunders County Sheriff’s Department says the plane went down in a soybean field near Ida Street and Ginger Cove Road, about 20 miles from Omaha, around 3 p.m. A witness described seeing the aircraft come sputtering from the sky nose first.

Carol Lukowski’s granddaughter witnessed the crash. Lukowski called 911, but there wasn’t much more she could do. “Immediately knew that something, well we figured it had to be an airplane.”

Lukowski said they’re used to seeing crop dusters fly by, but deputies said this was a passenger plane. She was cutting her son’s hair in their home when her granddaughter watched the crash out the window. “I had the clippers going and she heard it and she looked out the window and said ‘NaNa’ there’s a fire outside.”

Lukowski said they started looking for fire extinguishers. “That’s the only thing you think is how can you help. That is, that’s the only thing ’cause…you know, you probably you can’t do much. The smoke was black.”

Sheriff’s deputies told WOWT 6 News the crash created an instant ball of fire, one that no one would walk away from. “I think we knew that it was too dangerous,” said Lukowski. “I don’t think it was even a question of getting out there and being able to save anybody. I really don’t.”

Lukowski said her family is praying for the victims and their families. “One of the first things we did is come back here and say some prayers…for the families who are going to get that phone call, absolutely.”

For more information, click here.

For more information about Friedman | Rubin’s aviation practice and our work representing flight attendants, commercial airline passengers, pilots, plane and helicopter crash victims, visit our website.

Friedman | Rubin serves clients nationally and internationally. We have the aviation law experience and resources to help you win your case. Call toll free 1-888-359-5298 for a free no obligation review of your case. You may also fill out an Online Consultation Form.

10 Year-old Among 4 Injured in Cape Cod Plane Crash

Author: admin  |  Category: Other Events

.

From boston.com. By Laurel J. Sweet.

Four people — including a 10-year-old child — walked away from a crash at Barnstable Municipal Airport in Hyannis yesterday that left their single-engine plane in pieces.

For reasons still under investigation, the Cirrus SR22 veered off the runway it was landing on shortly before 1:30 p.m., plowed through a chain-link fence and struck 10 vehicles in a rental-car parking lot, Hyannis fire Capt. Mark Storie said.

This private plane veered off the runway at Barnstable Municipal Airport Sunday afternoon, crashed through a fence and damaged at least four rental cars, said Katie Servis, the airport's assistant manager.

“We really don’t know the story of what happened,” said Storie, who said the four on board included three adults and a 10-year-old. All were taken to Cape Cod Hospital.

“Their injuries were thought to be non-life-threatening,” he said.

Photos from the scene showed the impact sheared off the aircraft’s left wing and propeller. In addition, Storie said, “We have some aviation fuel on the ground that we’ve foamed.”

Airport manager R.W. “Bud” Breault Jr. could not immediately be reached for comment.

Federal Aviation Administration records show the 12-year-old fixed-wing plane is registered to a Centerville oncologist with a pilot’s license. Authorities did not immediately release the victims’ identities.

Storie and state police spokesman David Procopio said the FAA, the National Transportation Safety Board and the state Aeronautics Commission will be investigating the cause of the crash.

For more information, click here.

For more information about Friedman | Rubin’s aviation practice and our work representing flight attendants, commercial airline passengers, pilots, plane and helicopter crash victims, visit our website.

Friedman | Rubin serves clients nationally and internationally. We have the aviation law experience and resources to help you win your case. Call toll free 1-888-359-5298 for a free no obligation review of your case. You may also fill out an Online Consultation Form.

Pilot killed, Joliet home set ablaze when Wisconsin-bound plane crashes

Author: admin  |  Category: Other Events

.

From chicagotribune.com. By Suzanne Baker, Matthew Walberg, and Susan LaMar Lafferty.

A small plane crashed on a residential block in Joliet on Thursday morning, killing the pilot and setting a two-story house on fire, officials said.

Plainfield plane crash

First reports indicated the plane struck the house in the 1800 block of Hampton Court on the city’s far west side, but a Joliet fire official said Thursday afternoon that authorities were not discounting that the plane may have struck the ground first, and flames from it ignited the house.

Ed Malinowski of the National Transportation Safety Board said the plane was a Piper PA-30.

The crash occurred at 11:14 a.m. Authorities don’t think anyone else was on the plane based on a discussion with an employee of the pilot, Malinowski said. The pilot has not been identified.

There were no reports of injuries on the ground, according to Tony Molinaro, spokesman for the Federal Aviation Administration.

The plane took off from Florida, landed in Tennessee and was en route to Wisconsin. Malinowski said he didn’t know why the pilot was going to Wisconsin.

Witnesses said they saw the plane “in distress.” The impact of the collision shook houses blocks away and created a fireball, they said.

Mark Daniel, the son of the couple who lives in the house, said his mother, Patricia Daniel, was home alone with her dog at the time of the crash.

She was seated in the living room when she heard engine sounds, looked out the window and saw the plane approaching, her son said. She ran out of the house and saw flames as the plane crashed. She and the dog were not injured.

Pat Crotty, who lives about a block away from the site, said she saw a plane coming from the southwest in a nosedive toward the ground, spiraling out of control.

She said it crashed in the street, sparking a three- to four-story streak of flames. Debris from the plane hit the house, starting it on fire, Crotty said.

The plane left a trail of debris for about a mile, Joliet Fire Department Battalion Chief John Stachelski said, including a fuel tank recovered behind a Wal-Mart store about a half-mile southeast of the site.

Stachelski said the Joliet Fire Department received several calls from witnesses who said they saw the plane going down and then heard the crash and saw flames.

When they arrived, they found the home engulfed in flames, with debris from the plane scattered all around.

The FAA has sent a team to the crash site to begin an investigation. The FAA will gather information and pass it to the National Transportation Safety Board, which will lead the investigation and determine the probable cause of the accident.

Violeta Stankus, who lives a few blocks from the crash scene and was walking in the neighborhood at the time of the incident, said the plane looked like it was “falling out of the sky.”

Some said it looked as if the plane was already on fire before the crash, and with debris scattered over several residential yards at the scene, there was essentially nothing left of the plane other than that debris.

Neighbors attempted to control the fire by spraying the house with garden hoses until the Fire Department arrived.

Lisa Guardiola, who lives behind the house, said her “whole house shook” and she thought something hit the roof of her house. She said she felt lucky and grateful because on a normal summer day, her kids would have been outside playing at the time the plane crashed. But she kept them inside because of the heat. She went outside and saw her neighbor’s house in flames.

Harriet Nagajew said she saw the engine fall off the plane, then saw it glide before spiraling downward. She said she heard the crash and instantly saw black smoke. She had been outside cleaning her pool and ran inside and had her son call 911.

“I was devastated,” she said. “This is such a shock to the neighborhood.”

For more information, click here.

For more information about Friedman | Rubin’s aviation practice and our work representing flight attendants, commercial airline passengers, pilots, plane and helicopter crash victims, visit our website.

Friedman | Rubin serves clients nationally and internationally. We have the aviation law experience and resources to help you win your case. Call toll free 1-888-359-5298 for a free no obligation review of your case. You may also fill out an Online Consultation Form.

PHILADELPHIA BOUND FLIGHT EVACUATED, 17 INJURED AFTER “FLUID LEAK” IN CABIN

Author: admin  |  Category: Other Events

.

.

From 6abc.com.

Fourteen passengers and three flight attendants suffered minor injuries after a Philadelphia bound flight had to be evacuated.

In a statement to Action News, American Airlines says flight 1822 was taxiing to the runway when it experienced a maintenance issue Thursday afternoon.

The FAA said fluid was leaking from the aircraft.

“Our passengers and crew deplaned on the tarmac using the slides,” the American Airlines statement read.

The airline says 14 passengers and three flight attendants sustained injuries and were transported to local hospitals.

For more information, click here.

For more information about Friedman | Rubin’s aviation practice and our work representing flight attendants, commercial airline passengers, pilots, plane and helicopter crash victims, visit our website.

Friedman | Rubin serves clients nationally and internationally. We have the aviation law experience and resources to help you win your case. Call toll free 1-888-359-5298 for a free no obligation review of your case. You may also fill out an Online Consultation Form.

Passenger Injured After United Airlines Failed To Provide Wheelchair Assistance

Author: admin  |  Category: Other Events

.

.

From consumerist.com. By Mary Beth Quirk.

Image result for United airlines

A United Airlines passenger has filed a lawsuit against the company, claiming that she fell down an escalator and was injured after the carrier failed to provide her with wheelchair assistance as promised.

The plaintiff is an 89-year-old Texas woman who filed a lawsuit [PDF] July 14 in the Houston Division of the Southern District of Texas. She’s alleging that in sending an electric cart to fetch her instead of an attendant with a wheelchair, the airline was negligent, and failed to comply with applicable federal and state statutes.

According to the complaint, the passenger checker her suitcase at the United baggage counter at LAX, and spoke to an attendant who gave her a wheelchair voucher and told her a wheelchair would be waiting upon her arrival at Houston’s George Bush Intercontinental Airport. From there, she’d be transported to baggage claim, and then on to ground transportation. She requires assistance due to her age and “difficulty in ambulating long distances,” the complaint says.

When she landed in Houston, she says she disembarked and asked a United representative about the wheelchair, and was instructed to sit in the gate waiting area for the chair and an attendant. After waiting alone for about 10 minutes, a man operating an electric cart stopped near the gate waiting area and approached the woman, and told her to get on the electric cart, grabbing her arm to escort her, according to the lawsuit.

She says the cart took her to the “general vicinity” of the “down” escalator within the airport, which leads to the baggage area and ground transportation. That’s when the operator told her to get off the cart, “and left her standing alone,” the complaint says.

“With no other assistance by United, or any explanation as to whether she would be provided any further assistance to the baggage claim area on the lower level, Plaintiff attempted to access the escalator to go down to the baggage claim area,” the lawsuit reads. “As Plaintiff grabbed the handrail to step onto the escalator, suddenly and unexpectedly, she fell to the bottom of the escalator and was knocked unconscious.”

As a result of the fall, the woman says she sustained serious injuries, “including four fractured ribs, a fractured pelvis, and injuries to her left shoulder, left arm, back and legs.”

She spent a week in the hospital before transferring to a medical center closer to her home for continued treatment, and says she now has to use a cane to walk and “can no longer participate in many activities she was able to enjoy prior to the incident.”

The woman alleges United Airlines failed to provide wheelchair assistance, “which constitutes negligence and falls below the standard of reasonable care for a common carrier airline.”

By failing to provide wheelchair assistance, she says the airline failed to comply with “applicable federal and state statutes, regulations, ordinances, rules, and/or codes pertaining to the safety and assistance of disabled invitees.” That includes Department of Transportation rules which require air carries to “ensure that individuals with a disability are to be provided with assistance in enplaning, deplaning, and in making flight connections and transportation between gates.”

She’s seeking a trial by jury, damages in an amount to be determined, pre-judgment and post-judgment interest, all legal costs and such other relief as the court deems just and appropriate.

For more information, click here.

For more information about Friedman | Rubin’s aviation practice and our work representing flight attendants, commercial airline passengers, pilots, plane and helicopter crash victims, visit our website.

Friedman | Rubin serves clients nationally and internationally. We have the aviation law experience and resources to help you win your case. Call toll free 1-888-359-5298 for a free no obligation review of your case. You may also fill out an Online Consultation Form.

3 men injured when plane crashes in East Parker County, Texas

Author: admin  |  Category: Other Events

.

From weatherforddemocrat.com. By Christin Coyne.

Three men were transported to the hospital Tuesday morning following a plane crash south of the Parker County Airport.

Plane

The Texas Department of Public Safety responded to the report of a downed plane around 9 a.m.

The three plane occupants, ages 51, 49 and 25, were transported to John Peter Smith Hospital in Fort Wort with undisclosed injuries, according to DPS.

Their names were not released.

The plane, a fixed-wing, single-engine 1966 Cessna 182J, appeared to have come to rest in the middle of Tackett Lane underneath several trees, with a bent wing and other obvious damage.

The Federal Aviation Administration investigator was en route to the scene, according to DPS.

David Byrom, of Aubrey, along with Lynn Singletary, were listed as the owners of the plane.

For more information, click here.

For information about Friedman | Rubin’s aviation practice and our work representing flight attendants, commercial airline passengers, pilots, plane and helicopter crash victims, visit our website.

Friedman | Rubin serves clients nationally and internationally. We have the aviation law experience and resources to help you win your case. Call toll free 1-888-359-5298 for a free no obligation review of your case. You may also fill out an Online Consultation Form.