Articles Posted in Aviation Accident


Two people were injured following a helicopter crash near the Miami Beach shore on Saturday, according to reports from the Miami Beach police.

The two passengers were taken to Jackson Memorial Hospital where they were listed as in “stable” condition. There was apparently a third passenger in the helicopter who was not harmed.

The helicopter crash happened just after 1 p.m. Saturday afternoon. The helicopter landed in the Atlantic Ocean near 10th street in Miami Beach.

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) did arrive at the crash site and closed off a two-block stretch of roadway between ninth and 11th streets, according to police.

lifeguard-house-gefe80f781_1920-300x200The FAA said the helicopter involved in the crash was a Robinson R44. The cause of the crash remains unknown at this time, but the FAA and the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) will work together to investigate the cause of the crash and provide updates as they are available.

Helicopters are used for a variety of different reasons, like medical transport, tourism, military purposes, search and rescue, construction purposes, agriculture purposes, news and media purposes, police purposes, aerial observation, and more. Regardless of the purposes for using a helicopter, this mode of transportation can be quite dangerous as helicopters are complex aircrafts that have many different components and systems that are manufactured by multiple companies.

There are many factors that can lead to a helicopter crash, such as:

  • Pilot error
  • Bad weather
  • Helicopter that has not been maintained properly
  • Defective helicopter or defective parts on the helicopter

Helicopter accidents involve their own set of complex legal issues, so you need an experienced aviation accident lawyer who understands how to go about investigating these crashes. These investigations often involve helicopter crash experts, aviation engineers, and other expert investigators to uncover the facts about a crash so that your lawyer can assess the legal issues involved. These crashes often involve personal injury claims, wrongful death claims, and product liability claims, or any combination of these. When you consult with our Florida Aviation Injury Lawyers at Whittel & Melton we can launch an immediate investigation into a helicopter crash and piece together a full legal analysis of the accident so that we can prepare the strongest legal arguments to best support your claim. Continue reading


Officials say at least six passengers fell ill on a Frontier Airlines flight from Cleveland to Tampa.

According to reports, the passengers who traveled on Tampa-bound Frontier Airlines Flight 1397 on Tuesday fell ill after leaving Cleveland Hopkins International Airport.

The passengers are being held for observation. The sick passengers on board the flight to Tampa International Airport were not traveling together.

The passengers were said to be vomiting by the time the plane landed, according to reports.

Several water fountains were shut down at Cleveland Hopkins International Airport after the passengers became sick, according to reports. Airport officials could not confirm that was the cause of the sicknesses.

The remaining passengers were kept on the plane for about an hour after it landed.

Not all airplane injuries involve crashes. There are many incidents that can lead to passengers being harmed, including:

  • Airline food poisoning
  • Slip-and-fall accidents and trip-and-fall accidents
  • Overhead bin discharge injuries
  • Service cart collision injuries
  • Coffee spill and hot liquid spill injuries
  • Food allergy injuries
  • Broken seat injuries
  • Turbulence injuries
  • Hard landing injuries
  • Assault and sexual assault
  • Delayed medical treatment

Food poisoning and/or water contamination are types of injuries that are often misunderstood. Many people assume that the only result from such an incident is temporary gastrointestinal illness, such as vomiting or diarrhea. However, that’s not always true. You can get very sick from eating tainted food or drinking contaminated water, and you could end up kidney failure, septic blood poisoning, brain damage, and in some cases even death.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 128,000 people are hospitalized with food poisoning every year, and 3,000 more will actually die of foodborne diseases.

If you or a loved one has suffered from food poisoning or water contamination on an airplane, your first step should be to seek medical attention. Following that, you should speak to a Florida Injury Attorney at Whittel & Melton. We know how to obtain full and fair financial compensation for victims of food poisoning, including medical expenses and lost wages.

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In order to ensure the safety of their passengers, commercial airlines must comply with a comprehensive set of federal safety standards and regulations. Because of these strict standards, travelling by air is one of the safest, most reliable modes of transportation available to the public. However, airlines, just like any person or company, can fail to live up to their duties. When they do not meet federal regulations, they place passengers at risk of being involved in a dangerous accident.

While airplane accidents are relatively uncommon, they do happen. These accidents are usually caused by errors or negligence. When an aircraft has a mishap, airline companies may typically be held liable for the damages suffered by passengers and their families.

Negligence is why a JetBlue passenger is suing the airlines in Orange County.

A woman filed a complaint Aug. 1 in Orange County Circuit Court against JetBlue Airways Corporation, alleging failure to follow applicable safety guidelines and regulations.

According to the complaint, on March 5, 2015 the woman was a passenger on JetBlue flight 158 from Florida to JFK Airport in New York. The suit says the plane landed violently, causing the woman to be thrown about.

This rough landing caused the woman to suffer serious injuries resulting in pain and suffering, disability, disfigurement, mental anguish, loss of enjoyment of life, and/or aggravation of a previous existing condition.

The suit alleges JetBlue Airways failed to warn customers of the hazardous condition, and allowed the pilot to negligently operate the airplane.

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All five passengers of a helicopter that crashed into a New York City river are confirmed dead on Monday morning.

After 7 p.m. on Sunday, several people watched as the chopper went down in the East River.

According to New York Police Department, the pilot was able to escape.

The New York Fire Department said firefighters and divers had to remove the five passengers from the helicopter.

While two passengers were found dead on arrival, the other three were taken to the hospital in critical condition. They were later pronounced dead.

The National Transportation Safety Board says it is investigating the crash.

If you or someone you care about has been injured in a helicopter crash, or if you have lost someone close to you, you need experienced legal counsel to help you understand how to protect your best interests. Our team of Florida Injury & Wrongful Death Lawyers at Whittel & Melton are composed of trial lawyers serious about helping injury victims. We help determine which laws apply to your case, as well as walk you through the process, step-by-step.

Due to the volatile nature of helicopter crashes, there are many different situations that can lead to a crash or an accident. The most common causes of an accident are:

  1. Operational Error: Helicopter accidents caused by some form of human error, which is usually due to pilot negligence.
  2. Mechanical Malfunction: Accidents that are caused by the failure of some component of the aircraft, such as design flaws or manufacturing problems.
  3. Electrical Malfunction: This refers to accidents caused by some malfunction in the electrical components of the aircraft, such as an electrical short, inadequate design, testing, or improper quality control.

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A Frontier Airlines flight from Chicago to Florida was diverted to Indianapolis after an issue was reported with its fuel system.

No injuries have been reported.

A Frontier spokesman said flight 1334 left Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport on Sunday for Palm Beach with 205 passengers and seven crew members aboard and landed late Sunday in Indianapolis out of “an abundance of caution.”

The pilot for the Denver-based airline made the decision to divert the plane, according to reports.

Passengers were put on another plane to get to their destination. According to reports, they arrived in Palm Beach on Monday morning.

The Transportation Security Administration screens over 1.8 million passengers every single day, and each traveler knows that flying has built-in risks and trusts that they will get to their final destination safe and sound. The reality is that planes are machines, and machines can malfunction. Although airlines take as many precautions as possible, when dealing with such high speeds and altitudes, flight mistakes can have serious ramifications.

Airplane accidents can be caused by many different things. The following are some of the common causes of airplane accidents:

  • Instrument failure
  • Pilot error
  • Fuel mismanagement
  • Mechanical failure
  • Tire failure
  • Defective landing gear
  • Inadequate training
  • Inclement weather
  • Metallurgical failures
  • Improper maintenance
  • Mid-air collisions
  • Improper inspections
  • Poor fuel
  • Design defects
  • Inadequate security
  • Improper flight training

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A lawsuit has been filed by 18 passengers who were aboard an American Airlines aircraft that caught fire last month on the tarmac of Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport after an engine failed.

The lawsuit was filed Monday in Cook County Circuit Court and targets American aircraft manufacturer Boeing Inc. and engine manufacturer General Electric Aviation.

The lawsuit claims GE sold a faulty engine that Chicago-based Boeing used to assemble an unsafe aircraft. The passengers also claim American Airlines employees should have done a better job inspecting the plane. They allege employees failed to provide “assistance, supervision and instruction” during evacuation.

On Oct. 28, pilots aborted the takeoff of American Airlines Flight 383 to Miami. All 161 passengers and nine crew were safely evacuated, with 20 people suffering minor injuries.

Engine failure is one of the most potentially catastrophic aircraft defects that can happen. Once an engine stall after a flight has taken off, the results are usually tragic. Engine failure can arise from many things, including:

  • Congestion from loose air induction systems
  • Flaws in the design
  • Broken engine components
  • Excessive rubbing of engine blades

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A woman was seriously injured Tuesday afternoon after a hang glider crashed into a tree in Sumter County.

At about 4:45 p.m., Sumter Fire and EMS and an ambulance responded to a reported hang glider crash in Center Hill, near County Road 569.

Once units arrived, they found that a hang glider had hit a tree and crashed, according to Sumter Fire and EMS.

A female, who was seriously injured, was declared a trauma alert and flown to Orlando Regional Medical Center.

Her condition is unknown at this time.

When a hang gliding accident does take place, the results are often tragic. While these are not accidents we read about regularly in the news, these types of accidents often result in catastrophic personal injuries and even wrongful death. Crashes can be caused by numerous different factors, but generally aviation and hang gliding incidents involve the following elements – manufacturing design defects, poorly maintained aircrafts and safety standards violations.

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A 64-year-old Victoria, Canada man claims that being stuck on an airline plane in cramped quarters has taken him from a once active man to one that is short of breath and has trouble moving around.

He says that doctors told him he nearly lost his life after a recent airplane trip.

In January, the man travelled to Argentina on a hiking trip. The trip home included a 10-hour flight from Chile to Toronto on an Air Canada 777 airplane.

The man says for most of the flight, passengers were discouraged from getting out of their seats because of turbulence. At over 6 feet tall, that was a problem for the man.

A day and a half after he returned home, he says he felt a sudden sharp pain in his lower back. When it was still there the next morning he went to a hospital.

Two CT scans later, doctors told the man he had deep vein thrombosis (DVT), which was likely the result of having to sit for most of the 10-hour flight, and that blood clots had migrated up his leg, through his heart and into his lungs.

DVT is a condition where a blood clot develops within a deep vein, usually in the thigh or leg. It can break off and make its way to the lungs, where it can cause breathing problems.

According to the World Health Organization, passengers traveling in cramped areas for more than four hours are at risk.

The man raised the DVT issue with Air Canada and got this response:

“Medical evidence has shown that deep vein thrombosis (DVT) is the result of a pre-existing personal medical condition, related to an individual rather than a transportation system. International courts have confirmed that based on the aforementioned evidence there is no liability to air carriers for DVT that occurs during a flight.”

When it comes to the safety of passengers, in general, airlines have a total responsibility to make sure no passengers are harmed while onboard their plane. In the case of DVT, precautions must be made. Seating on airplanes, particularly in economy class, has shrunk over the years, although airline companies will argue that legroom has not been lost, just as this case shows.

DVT can occur in travelling passengers from the following issues:

  • Airline offering cramped seating where there is no room to move freely
  • Not being able to move around the aircraft cabin
  • Not having sufficient legroom

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The family of a woman who was struck by lightning after exiting a US Airways plane in South Carolina last summer is suing for damages.

The 52-year-old died from the injuries sustained on the tarmac at Columbia Metropolitan Airport.

Last week, her family filed a lawsuit against  American Airlines, which US Airways has merged with, and the airport for negligence, according to reports.

The plane was supposed to land at Charlotte International Airport in North Carolina, but diverted to Columbia due to weather.

The lawsuit states that although the flight landed at Columbia Metropolitan Airport at 5:07 p.m., deplaning did not begin until 5:52 p.m. Ten minutes before deplaning, the National Weather Service issued a severe thunderstorm warning for the area.

The woman was struck by lightning after stepping out onto the tarmac with her husband, son and daughter.

The lawsuit also alleges that the woman did not receive prompt medical care for her condition.

The Columbia Metropolitan Airport released the following statement:

As airport operators we provide all of our carriers with passenger boarding bridges so that they can safely move passengers between the terminal and their aircraft. However, the airport is not involved in determining when or how they choose to deplane passengers. When the incident occurred, our public safety officers followed their procedures and responded within seconds. At this time, the airport and its legal team has not yet received notification that the Columbia Metropolitan Airport has been named in a lawsuit. Therefore, we are unable to provide any other specifics about the incident.

Airline negligence cases are not something we read regularly about in the news, but the most common reasons these unfortunate events occur is due to:

  1. Negligent Hiring
  2. Lack of Training

If your loved one’s injury or death was caused by careless airline employees, you may be able to pursue a wrongful death case. Our Florida Wrongful Death Lawyers at Whittel & Melton may be able to help you obtain justice.

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Three passengers and two flight attendants have been hospitalized after suffering from head injuries after an Allegiant Airlines flight en route to Pittsburgh experienced severe turbulence.

According to the FAA, Allegiant 7001, an Airbus A319 aircraft, diverted to Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport in Florida after several injuries were reported on board due to the severe turbulence.

The flight originated in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic, and was headed to Pittsburgh International Airport.

According to Allegiant, there were 137 passengers and six crew members on board the flight.

The five people taken to the hospital sustained head injuries. It is not immediately clear their condition.

Allegiant Air issued the following statement: “The airline is currently working to accommodate all passengers and develop a plan for getting all passengers safely to their destination. Passengers are currently being cleared through customs.”

Turbulence is a common occurrence during any high altitude flight, but sadly it can also result in the injury of passengers, as this case shows. If proper protocols are not followed or if passengers are not in their seats when experiencing sudden shifts and jolts, then serious injuries can arise.

Airline workers negligence can be a factor in turbulence-related injuries on aircrafts. When flight attendants, pilots or crew members fail to abide by proper safety procedures or do not take the necessary actions to prevent injuries, then the airline and its employees can be held responsible for any costs associated with injuries that result from that negligence.

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