Four people - two from California and two from Colorado - were injured late last month in a private plane crash in western Ohio. The group had rented a small single-engine Piper PA-28 aircraft from the local airport with the intent to take a short sightseeing ride.
Soon after taking off, the pilot lost control of the plane. He said he noticed the plane was having trouble maintaining power.
The pilot had turned the plane around and was attempting to head back to the airport when he clipped a set of power lines, causing the plane to flip over and crash nose-first into a yard.
Local residents rushed to the victims' aid immediately after the crash, even though the crash site was covered in gasoline and was starting to burn. Thankfully, the bystanders were able to act quickly to get all four occupants out of the plane safely.
Causes of Airplane Accidents
The cause of the crash is currently unknown, but the Federal Aviation Administration has the incident under investigation.
Aviation accidents can happen for a number of reasons, many of which are traceable to negligent acts.
Sometimes, crashes are caused by pilot error. Just like drivers, pilots have a duty to operate their airplane in a reasonably safe manner.
In other cases, fault for the crash can be traced to the negligence of the maintenance crew. Sometimes maintenance personnel conduct a routine inspection of the aircraft but fail to notice a serious problem. Other times, they make faulty repairs or allow a recognized problem to go unfixed.
Aviation accidents can also become product liability cases. Even if the pilot and maintenance crew did everything right, a plane can crash simply because it was designed or manufactured in an unsafe fashion.
It remains to be seen whether the Ohio crash was caused by some type of negligence. If so, the crash victims may have legal recourse to recover for their injuries.
Source: WLWT News, "FAA Investigates Warren County Plane Crash," Dec. 29, 2011