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Helicopter & Airplane Crash Attorneys

Airplane Crash Lawyers Serving Clients in Texas and Nationwide

The fundamental truth about flying vehicles is that they should not crash. Any airplane or helicopter crash is the result of something gone wrong and someone is responsible. Though less frequent occurrences than other types of vehicle accidents, people die or are seriously injured in airplane crashes every year, and small plane crashes have a higher incidence and risk of fatality than large commercial plane crashes. Helicopters are the most at risk for crashes and fatalities. The helicopter and airplane crash attorneys at Bush Lewis, P.L.L.C. have the knowledge required to represent clients in helicopter and airplane crash cases, which are often quite technical, complex, and challenging to handle.

Airplane Crash Statistics — Most Dangerous Flight Moments

The most critical time frame for an airplane crash (any type of plane) is during ascent and descent. According to, relatively little time is spent during ascent, approximately two percent of a one and a half hour flight. Similarly, only four percent of that same flight is spent in descent.

The following statistics indicate the fatality percentages during airplane ascent and descent:
  • 20 percent of fatal accidents occur during takeoff and the initial climb
  • 30 percent of onboard fatalities occur during takeoff and the initial climb
  • 36 percent of fatal accidents occur during final approach and landing
  • 25 percent of onboard fatalities occur during final approach and landing

The Safest Planes

The safest types of plane to fly on in order of decreasing safety according to the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) Accident and Accident Rates for 1998-2007 are:
  • Airline—4.03 fatalities (per million flight hours)
  • Commuter airline—10.74 fatalities (per million flight hours)
  • Commuter plane—12.24 fatalities (per million flight hours)
  • General Aviation (small planes and crafts)—22.43 (per million flight hours)
Your odds of being in a fatal accident are:
  • On top airlines—one in 5.4 million
  • On bottom 25 world airlines with worst accident rates—one in 159,119
Your odds of being killed in a single airline flight are:
  • Top airlines—one in 9.2 million
  • Worst airlines—one in 843,744

Choice of airline and type of airline matters!

General Aviation Crash Statistics and Causes

General Aviation (GA) refers to small planes and other crafts, and these types of planes are at the highest risk for accidents.

The following statistics are provided for General Aviation (GA) accidents in the 2007 Nall Report:

GA fixed wing accidents
  • Number of accidents—1385
  • Number of fatalities—449
  • Flight hours (millions)—21.4
  • Accident rate—6.47
  • Fatal accident rate—1.18
Causes of GA Accidents
  • Pilot related causes for all accidents—71.9 percent
  • Pilot related causes for fatal accidents—75.8 percent
  • Mechanical related causes for all accidents—15.8 percent
  • Mechanical related causes for fatal accidents—7.5 percent
  • Other or unknown reasons for all accidents—12.3 percent
  • Other or unknown reasons for fatal accidents—16.7 percent

As you can see, the most prevalent cause for small airplane accidents are pilot error, is pilot error, accounting for over 70 percent of crashes and over 75 percent of fatalities.

Helicopter Crashes

Flying in a helicopter poses more risk for accidents than flying in some other type of small craft. Helicopters face certain flying challenges not encountered by wing crafts. For one thing, flying at low altitudes requires avoiding power wires, which becomes even more perilous at night when visibility is less.

Along the Texas Gulf and Louisiana coast, helicopters provide much of the commuter transportation for rig workers. Helicopters are also the life-flight transportation of severely injured patients to key medical centers. According to 2009 Helicopter Annual there were 140 helicopter accidents, 29 fatal accidents and 75 helicopter fatalities in 2008 (non military). The helicopter accident rate in 2008 was 3.67 per 100,000 flying hours.

The Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA) reports that the accident rate of non-commercial helicopters are still higher than for comparable fixed wing flights, but the gap is narrowing.

Effective Legal Representation for Helicopter and Airplane Crashes

A helicopter and airplane crash lawyer must have specific knowledge of laws and regulations that govern the aviation industry. Establishing liability for an airplane crash requires investigating and establishing the cause of the accident, such as pilot error or airplane component parts failure and getting the right experts involved quickly. Responsible parties may be held accountable under strict liability or negligence law. In the event that the airplane crash involves a wrongful death, and multiple parties are responsible, the case can become even more complicated. Our airplane crash attorneys at Bush Lewis settle outside of court when a liable party wants to avoid the publicity that a trial creates and presents a fair settlement offer. However, we are also ready to go to trial if necessary to maximize compensation for our clients.

Contact Our Airplane Crash Attorneys to Discuss Your Accident

Bush Lewis lawyers have the commitment, experience and integrity you want in your case. If you have been injured in a helicopter or airplane crash, contact our Beaumont airplane crash attorneys today. We proudly serve the areas of Beaumont, Orange and Port Arthur, Texas. Call Airplane Crash Lawyer, Ken Lewis today at 409-835-3521.

Know This Before An Accident

No one plans to have an accident and no one expects to sustain a serious injury or lose a loved one to death from someone else's actions or mistake. It helps to at least have heard what experienced lawyers say you can do to ease the situation. At Bush Lewis, we think there are some helpful guidelines that we recommend to you. Our lawyers suggest: Learn more.