Articles Posted in Aviation Accidents

In mid-November, the Chicagoland area saw a preview of winter, with temperatures in the teens and single digits, along with snow on the ground. Cold and slick conditions can cause havoc for drivers, but they can be especially perilous for air travelers. As if to remind everyone of that, ABC 7 had the story (and video) of an American Eagle flight arriving at O’Hare Airport that slid off its runway upon landing, after having already aborted one landing attempt due to poor weather conditions.

Sometimes, weather-related accidents are outside everyone’s control but, many times, these crashes have an element of human error to them. If you were hurt as a result of a bad-weather plane crash, you need an experienced Chicago aviation accident attorney on your side to help you get to the bottom of your accident and, if human or mechanical errors played a part, hold accountable those who were responsible for the harm you suffered.

Thankfully, no passengers, crew members or people on the ground were hurt in this recent incident. Not all weather-influenced flight accidents here had such fortunate outcomes. Back in December 2005, a Southwest Airlines flight slid off a runway at Midway Airport while the pilot attempted to land in a snowstorm. The plane eventually careened through a wall and into a roadway intersection. A 6-year-old boy died in the accident. At the conclusion of the NTSB’s investigation, that agency concluded that the accident was the result of pilot error. Specifically, the pilots failed “to use available reverse thrust in a timely manner to safely slow or stop the airplane after landing, which resulted in a runway overrun.” That failure came as the result of the pilots’ having been distracted by the plane’s autobrake system, according to the NTSB.

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New information regarding commercial airplane crashes and fatalities points to some good news. A report has indicated that the number of deaths in commercial jet crashes dropped substantially between 2016 and 2017. While the report indicated far fewer fatalities, the information also served as a reminder of how dangerous being an airplane crew member can be, since nearly 45% of the deaths last year were crew members. If you’ve lost a loved one in a fatal air crash, it is important to take prompt action, including retaining a skilled Illinois aviation accident attorney.

The Aviation Safety Network’s recently released report regarding commercial airline crashes and deaths, as reported by the Los Angeles Times, showed that 2017 was, overall, a good year for airplane safety worldwide. In 2017, there were 44 deaths arising from 10 crashes. The year before, there were 16 fatal crashes, but those crashes led to many, many more deaths (303).

According to the network, the rate of fatal airline crashes has been dropping steadily and continues to do so. On “average, for every 7 million flights worldwide, there is one fatality,” the Times reported. None of those fatalities took place in the United States. 2017 was the fourth consecutive year in which there were no deaths in commercial jet crashes in this country. The last time a commercial jet crash caused fatalities was in 2013, when an Asiana Airlines flight crashed on its final approach in San Francisco. The crash killed three passengers, all of whom were Chinese teenagers.

Recently, USA Today reported on a major airline that received a great deal of criticism for a tweet it published, which discussed the safest place on a plane when it comes to surviving a crash. The social media post stated that passengers in seats near the back have the lowest risk of dying in a crash. While much of the criticism of the airline’s tweet related to the breezy and seemingly insensitive tone of the post, one might still wonder… was it factually correct? Some data appears to indicate that it was.

While commercial airline crashes are thankfully rare, they do sometimes happen still. If you are injured – or a loved one is fatally hurt – in a commercial air flight crash, you may be entitled to damages if the evidence shows that airline negligence contributed to accident. Be sure to reach out without delay to an experienced Chicago aviation accident attorney to learn more about your options.

The tweet that caused the furor was actually the second of a connected pair. The first one cheerfully queried “Do you know which are the safest seats on an #aircraft? Comment the correct answer below and stand a chance to win exciting … goodies!” The second stated that, “According to data studies by Time, the fatality rate for the seats in the middle of the plane is the highest. However, the fatality rate for the seats in the front is marginally lesser and is least for seats at the rear third of a plane.”

Head injuries suffered aboard commercial air flights can be serious matters. Whether it is a turbulence-related accident or an impact with a piece of luggage that falls from an overhead compartment, the effects can be significant and long-lasting. If you’ve suffered a head injury aboard a flight, it’s possible that accident was the result of the airline’s negligence and you may be entitled to financial compensation. Be sure to contact an experienced Chicago aviation accident attorney to discuss your situation and your legal options.

An international flight experienced an unplanned detour recently due a passenger who possibly suffered a head injury during the flight. Shortly after 5:00 a.m., a passenger aboard the American Airlines Philadelphia-to-Prague flight fell and experienced at least one seizure. After she visited the plane’s restroom, the passenger, a woman in her 50s, fell again, Irish Examiner reported.

After the second incident, the plane’s flight crew chose to divert and landed at Shannon Airport. The passenger was transported to a hospital in Limerick, as the plane’s crew had become concerned that the woman had suffered a head injury during the first incident and the effects of that head injury were the cause of her second incident, according to the report.

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If you were hurt while aboard a commercial aircraft, would you know what to do? Would you know what your legal options were and what next steps you should take? For most people, even people who are very smart, educated, business-savvy or sophisticated, the answer reasonably would be “no.” An experienced Chicago injury attorney can help you navigate the ups and downs of the legal system and avoid the potential pitfalls that possibly could ground your case before ever making it to trial.

Injuries aboard airplanes can come in many varieties. Some of those include incidents that involve a food/beverage cart. That is what allegedly happened during one recent international flight on United Airlines, as reported by Pacific Daily News. According to the injured passenger, D.J., he was injured when a flight attendant moved the food/beverage cart very suddenly. The movement allegedly sent the previously-stopped cart careening at a “fast rate of speed” sideways into D.J. The complaint also asserted that D.J. suffered injuries in the ramming incident and required aid from a registered nurse who was also a passenger on the flight. The passenger allegedly received additional care from a medical clinic in the Manila airport.

The injured passenger filed his lawsuit in U.S. federal district court, seeking $113,000 in damages. D.J., however, decided to advance his case without a lawyer.

Workers in many industries face a variety of risks when it comes to workplace accidents and injuries. Airport workers are no exception. Sometimes, those risks of injury are inevitable but, as a recent Baltimore Sun report reminds everyone, some regrettably are not. Too many times, the risks airport workers face are the result of inadequate safety protections provided to them. That’s true whether you’re at BWI Airport in Maryland or O’Hare Airport here in Chicago. If you are hurt while on the job at an airport, you should seek skilled Chicago workers’ compensation legal counsel about your possible options in civil court or workers’ compensation.

According to the Sun report, the Maryland Occupational Safety and Health agency recommended that a logistics entity receive citations and several thousand dollars in fines as a result of several workplace safety issues at the BWI Marshall Airport. One of the most serious violations involved work that was being done at the top of jet bridges. The investigation found that the jet bridge work was as high as 25 feet off the ground, but was done by workers who lacked proper fall protection or adequate training, the Sun reported.

That violation was considered the most serious because of its likelihood to lead to serious injury or death. Injuries from falls are among the top causes, or the #1 top cause, of worker fatalities in many areas of work.

Anyone familiar with aviation accidents knows that one thing that can cause very sudden and very substantial harm to passengers and flight attendants alike is abrupt, unexpected turbulence. This risk of harm is generally highest for those who are in the plane’s cabin unrestrained. However, even if you are in your seat with your seatbelt fastened, you can be at risk. Whatever type of injury you have suffered in an airplane turbulence incident, if you’ve been hurt you should contact an experienced Chicago aviation injury attorney about your legal options.

Recently, a startling piece of turbulence-related video footage was published on people.com. A commercial flight, traveling across Europe, experience profound turbulence. The most obviously harmed person in the video was a flight attendant, who was steering a beverage cart through the plane’s aisle when the turbulence hit. The turbulence flung the flight attendant against the top of the plane, where she struck with her head, neck and shoulders. She wasn’t the only one hurt. Reports indicated that 10 passengers were hospitalized with injuries.

If you’re moving about the cabin (or otherwise unrestrained,) turbulence can seriously injure you. Even if restrained by your seatbelt, severe turbulence can, as a result of the plane’s violent jerking motion, cause harm, such as soft-tissue damage to your head, neck and back areas.

Flight attendants understand that there are some varieties of physical injury risks that come with the job. Injury from unexpected turbulence is one. Injury while assisting passengers during an emergency situation might be another. Flight attendants should not, however, have to factor in facing possible injury while dealing with passengers who have become physically unruly or out of control, but it unfortunately happens.

In fact, it’s happened a lot recently. In late January, Simple Flying reported on an Australian woman, en route from Melbourne to Los Angeles, who became highly intoxicated during the flight. The crew stopped serving the woman alcohol, but that only made her angrier. After she begin stripping and throwing garments at other passengers, the flight crew and two marshals sought to restrain her and, during the melee, one of them got hit in the face and another got kicked in the chest.

In late February, Fox News had the story of a Hawaiian Airlines passenger, en route from Honolulu to South Korea, who lunged at a flight attendant and attempted to land a punch. The allegedly drunk passenger missed his target and was restrained, but imagine how much damage this man, already a convicted felon, could have done to the flight attendant if he hadn’t.

Aisle seats can be “prime real estate” in commercial air travel. Given the small spaces in basic economy class, larger or longer-legged passengers may desperately crave these seats, sometimes paying extra for the privilege. These seats do come with a risk, though, which is injuries involving falling baggage from the plane’s overhead bins. In these days of large checked baggage fees, passengers are more motivated than ever to stuff more and heavier items into their carry-on bags, which further heightens the risk of accidents and injuries. Whether you are a passenger injured by a falling bag or a flight attendant injured while lifting a heavy bag, you may have a claim for injuries. Be sure to contact a knowledgeable Chicago aviation injury about your situation.

A recent news report from the Denver Post served as a reminder of this hazard. Although the events happened in Colorado, the passenger and the injury could have just as easily been at Midway or O’Hare airports. C.G., the passenger, was sitting in his aisle seat on board a Southwest flight bound from Denver to Newark. As he waited for others to board, another passenger attempted to use the overheard baggage compartment above C.G. According to the injured man, the other passenger was “infirm,” which doesn’t necessarily mean he was a person with a disability, but he was simply someone who was not well equipped physically to load the heavy carry-on bag into the overheard bin.

Eventually, the struggling passenger lost control of the bag and it crashed down on C.G.’s head, shoulder and arm, the lawsuit alleged. In his lawsuit, C.G. asserted that the airline was negligent because the flight attendants on board should have noticed that the allegedly infirm passenger was having difficulty with the bag and stepped in to help the man, according to the Post report.

At the end of 2017, United Airlines (now known as “United Continental Holdings, Inc.” after the merger with Continental Airlines) announced that it would be issuing each of its flight attendants a new Tumi brand bag. In March 2018, United Airlines began requiring its flights attendants use the newly issued two-wheel or four- wheel “rollaboard” Tumi brand bags.

Unfortunately, the transition to the new Tumi brand bags has created numerous issues for United Airlines flight attendants. Almost immediately, United Airlines flight attendants began noticing that these bags are awkward, hard to maneuver, and in some circumstances, even dangerous to use.

As flight attendants already often need to be performing physically strenuous tasks, moving quickly, working in tight and awkward spaces, and lifting, pushing, and pulling heaving luggage, the additional requirement to use these awkward and uncomfortable bags is unfortunately causing injuries to flight attendants’ wrists, arms, shoulder, backs, necks, and legs.