How Often Do Small Planes and Helicopters Crash?

July 11, 2014

According to USA Today, there were 1,199 general-aviation crashes in 2013. General-aviation refers to small privately owned airplanes and helicopters. Unfortunately, for the past 15 years, the general-aviation crash rate is 40 times higher than the commercial airline industry.

Of the 1,199 general-aviation accidents:

  • 347 people were killed
  • 571 people were injured
  • 121 aircraft were destroyed
  • There are more than three crashes every day

Interestingly, no countries compare with the U.S. Our country has more than two times the number of general-aviation accidents than any other country.

Over the past five decades, the U.S. has had nearly 45,000 deaths in private planes and helicopters. Compare that to over 5,100 deaths in the commercial airline industry.

Can I Sue an Aviation Manufacturer for a Defective Part Causing Me Injury?

If you have been injured in an aviation accident that was caused by a defective part, then you can file a lawsuit against the company for negligence.

However, a powerful lobbying group for the aviation manufacturers convinced Congress to limit their liability for injury and death from defective aircraft parts. The law went into effect in 1994, and it bars any lawsuits against manufacturers for any faulty parts on aircraft that are 18 years old or older.

This is very unfortunate, because USA Today says that of the 220,000 general-aviation aircraft, nearly 75 percent are over 18 years old.

If you have been involved in a plane accident, it is crucial that you hire an experienced attorney that deals in aviation law.

Did You Know? The National Transportation Safety Board consists of five members; each is nominated by the president and confirmed by the Senate for five-year terms.


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