${site.data.firmName}${SEMFirmNameAlt}Veron, Bice, Palermo
& Wilson, LLC Land & Soil Contamination : Vehicle Collisions : Personal Injury

Drugs found in system of pilot in fatal air crash

A National Transportation and Safety Board investigation into a 2013 Louisiana airplane accident revealed that a student pilot on the plane, a 28-year-old-man from Indiana, had marijuana and a pharmaceutical drug in his system at the time of the crash. The man's instructor, 78-year-old instructor, was also on the plane when the incident occurred, and evidence suggests that that man had ingested drugs that are commonly used to treat conditions that were not revealed to the FAA.

At the time of the crash, the pair had been practicing crop spraying passes and turns. A NTSB representative related that they had made 9 aerial spray passes and turns prior to the crash. The NTSB report also revealed that the instructor was not authorized to teach the techniques that were being practiced that day. One news outlet suggests that the instructor had flown with a senior instructor the day before the crash and did not fly well. The small airplane was also found to be a minimum of 32 pounds overweight.

While the NTSB report suggests a number of factors contributed to the crash, there was no mention of fault. However, further investigation may reveal that one of the pilot's may have been negligent and liable for damages caused by the accident. If this is the case, the other pilot's survivors may be able to pursue compensation through a wrongful death lawsuit.

When filing such an action, the plaintiffs might benefit from working with an attorney. A personal injury attorney may be able to review the NTSB report and other sources of information regarding the crash and might be able to find evidence of negligence. Using those reports as a foundation for a lawsuit, the attorney might be able to negotiate a settlement that reimburses the plaintiffs for costs stemming from the pilot's death.

Source: TheNewsStar.com, "NTSB: Pilot in fatal 2013 Oak Ridge crash had drugs in system", Julie Landry, June 22, 2014

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