Aviation Law Monitor

Insight and Commentary on aviation accidents and the law

Latest from Aviation Law Monitor

Monica Kelly’s lawyer writes to say that a entry contained false and defamatory matter about his client.  He encloses a 2016 report of the Review Board of the Illinois Attorney Registration and Disciplinary Commission recommending that, contrary to the Hearing Board’s conclusion that Kelly filed a frivolous pleading and recommending that she be suspended for 60 days, Kelly’s pleading in fact did not violate ethical rules and that she should not be suspended as a…
Aerobatic hall of fame pilot Eddie Andreini was flying a routine at the Travis Air Force Base. He was attempting a stunt known as an inverted ribbon cut. Something went wrong. Eddie’s Stearman slid upside down along the runway, coming to a stop at show center. His Stearman caught fire. Eddie couldn’t get out. The crowd watched, prayed, and waited for fire trucks to arrive. Some bystanders wanted to rush to the plane to help,…
ICON Aircraft hired away from Ford Motor Company a superstar PhD to lead its engineering department.  When Cagri Sever showed up at ICON’s facility in Vacaville, the first thing ICON did was send him off on a “demonstration” flight with the company’s chief pilot, Jon Karkow. Karkow flew to Lake Berryessa, a virtual stone’s throw from the ICON factory.  Once there, Karkow couldn’t resist the urge to engage is some low level maneuvering over the water. …
The NTSB hasn’t yet issued its report on the fatal Skylife air ambulance crash in December 2015. But a Fresno judge has ruled that regardless of the cause, the family of one of the paramedics on board will not be allowed to sue either the operator of the helicopter (Rogers Helicopter) or the helicopter’s owner,   (American Airborne), regardless of whether they were negligent in the helicopter’s operation or maintenance. As it turns out,…
 Aviation journalist Christine Negroni reports in Forbes that Monica Ribbeck Kelly, the lawyer who instituted “frivolous” legal proceedings after Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 went missing, has herself disappeared.  Not only was the Illinois Ethics Committee after Kelly, but she was being sued by victims of an airline disaster in China for promising to file suit on behalf of victims but failing to do so before the statute of limitations expired, leaving the victim’s without…
If the United States Government is responsible for an accident, it can be sued just like any other wrongdoer under the Federal Tort Claims Act.  But there’s an important exception — the federal government cannot be sued for bad decisions that the government left to the federal employee’s best judgment.  The “Discretionary Function Exception” is perhaps the most important limitation on a victim’s right to sue the government when it causes injury or death.…
Robinson helicopters are popular in New Zealand.  But while they make up only 35% of New Zealand’s helicopter fleet, they account for 64% of all of New Zealand’s fatal accidents.   Why? Some say the helicopter is especially prone to “mast bumping,” a phenomenon where the rotor head tilts to such a degree that the rotor hub damages the mast on which on which it is attached.  In Robinson helicopters, a mast bump almost always…
The Cessna T310Q crashed shortly after takeoff.  For clues into the cause of the crash, the press has focused on the fact that the pilot, Nouri Hijazi, had difficulty getting the engines started.  But what one witness had to say suggests that the plane was improperly loaded – specifically, it had too much weight in the back. According to the San Jose Mercury News, the witness watched the plane head off to the runway…