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& Wilson, LLC Land & Soil Contamination : Vehicle Collisions : Personal Injury

Settlement reached in fatal helicopter-airplane crash

A settlement has been reached in a fatal 2010 aviation accident that involved an AirCare 5 helicopter and a Cessna Long airplane. The two aircraft collided in midair. A 32-year-old man and a 19-year-old man were killed in the crash that occurred on New Year's Eve near the Shenandoah Valley Regional Airport in Weyers Cave, Virginia. The two fatalities were in the airplane.

A lawsuit was filed by the parents of the decedents against PHI Air Medical Inc., which is a transportation company in Louisiana, and the pilot of the helicopter. That lawsuit has now been settled for a reported $60 million. It was scheduled to begin before a jury this week in the circuit court in Augusta County, Virginia.

According to court records, the final report from the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) was issued in Nov. 2012. It states the cause of the crash was the "inherent limitations of the see-and-avoid concept," maintaining that it was difficult for the pilot of the helicopter to see the Cessna before the midair collision occurred.

A spokesman for the NTSB explained the see-and-avoid concept as one that ensures the separation of air traffic. Another contributing factor in the accident was the way the airplane pilot entered into the traffic pattern at the airport. The report said the airplane pilot's actions were "contrary" to what the Federal Aviation Administration guidelines are.

Aviation accidents present unique problems to investigate and to determine who was at fault or what caused the accident. If you or a loved one has been injured in an airplane crash, you should contact an experienced aviation accident attorney as soon as possible. These cases require a great deal of skill and knowledge, but the families of those injured or worse deserve compensation when someone else's actions are negligent or reckless. In some cases, the accident may be caused due to a faulty part or component on the plane. Your attorney will be able to determine the best course of action in the case.

Source:  nvdaily.com, "Fatal plane crash lawsuit settled, investigation ends" Joe Beck, May. 17, 2013

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