Plane Crashes Into House or Building

Plane Crashes into House or Building

Every airplane accident can spell tragedy, but there is an extra element when people on the ground are involved in these disasters. Those who go about their business in the seeming safety of their homes never expect a plane to crash into their living room. Planes crash into houses more often than most people realize and certainly more often than the lenient regulations in these accidents would imply. In our experience, after a plane crashes into a house or building, the emotional, physical and financial consequences are potentially as far reaching for those on the ground as those aboard the aircraft.

The legal options for the airplane passengers as well as those harmed on the ground can be difficult to navigate, and discovering all the parties responsible for these incidents can be more daunting than meets the eye. Whether the victim is the pilot, passenger or a person on the ground that is killed or injured in such an event, you will need a lawyer who is familiar with the complexities of the investigation and litigation processes that are necessary after planes crash into houses.

How Often Do Planes Crash Into Houses?

As with all air travel, accidents are not common, but they do happen to hundreds of planes each year. However, there are certain factors that tend to play a part in a large majority of cases where planes crash into houses.

Most planes crash into houses near airports. In the event a pilot cannot make it to the nearest airport, most pilots will try to land their plane in an empty stretch of land, such as a large grassy field or a clear roadway. Whenever a plane is experiencing difficulties midair, an air traffic controller (if one is available) will usually try to direct the struggling aircraft to the nearest airstrip. This exposes the houses surrounding airports to the possibility that a plane with mechanical difficulties can fall short of the desired landing area and accidentally crash into a house.

It is important to note that houses around large, international airports are mostly unaffected by these instances. This is because most of the time when a plane crashes into a house, a small plane, or general aviation aircraft, is involved. In fact, while the number of large commercial airline crashes has decreased, the number of small or general aviation plane crashes has remained largely unchanged over the years.

It is becoming harder for private planes to take off and land at large airports that are servicing commercial airlines, so these planes are generally directed to small airports, often in the middle of residential areas. Not all airports have control towers. Not all airports with control towers are manned by air traffic controllers around the clock. Smaller airports are not always certified to handle planes carrying 30 or more passengers. This lack of certification also means that these airports are not required to have a tower with staff to visually monitor, and separate, planes taking off or landing, even when the pilots are required to fly by visual flight rules.

Smaller personal planes and helicopters are not required to carry insurance, and neither are the maintenance facilities that service these small planes. Private pilots are allowed to have fewer hours of in flight training under their belt and the airplanes and helicopters they fly are often left without many of the safety protocols and technology that are standard for large passenger planes.

Take for example the homes surrounding the Santa Monica Municipal Airport. This small airport has had 42 planes crash land within five miles of the airport since the 1980s. Many people in the community have been petitioning to close the airport for decades out of fear of further accidents damaging their homes. And, Santa Monica Airport does have a control tower, but it is not staffed around the clock.

Who is to Blame When Planes Crash Into Houses?

A plane usually crashes due to a number of factors. Our law firm has decades of experience in ferreting out the true causes of these tragedies whether it be related to aircraft maintenance, faulty plane design or aircraft malfunction, pilot error or even air traffic controller negligence.

It is often hard to determine the party or parties at fault when planes crash because so many of these issues can mask one another. Even NTSB reports sometimes incorrectly determine the cause of an air crash. A USA Today investigation found that many planes crashes which the NTSB originally claimed were caused by pilot error, were determined in court to have been caused by defective parts or poor design. This is why it is so important to have a proper investigation done by an experienced aviation attorney. It is often the case that the NTSB report is just the starting place for a thorough investigation when it comes to small airplane or helicopter crashes.

In one of our most recent cases, a Beechcraft Bonanza crashed into a home in Palm Coast, Florida, killing all three people on board. The potential causes of the crash were not apparent until our firm took a closer look at the incident. In this case, when the pilot reported a vibration in his engine to air traffic control, the FAA air-traffic controller directed him to an airport, which they said was only five miles away.

Our lawsuit, on behalf of the family of one of the deceased passengers, argues that the airport the controller suggested was not the closest airport since there was another airport available that was two miles closer. We also contend that there were additional errors made by the controllers who directed the pilot to fly farther away from the airport and perform numerous turns, which caused the aircraft to lose precious altitude while having insufficient engine power. Tragically, these events culminated in the airplane crashing into a home less than a mile from the airport.

Hidden Issues After Planes Crash into Houses

Unlike larger airplanes, pilots of small planes that hold only a few passengers are often not as thoroughly trained. They are not required to train as long as pilots who fly for airlines before they are certified and they have little to no oversight when it comes to plane maintenance or maintaining their skills.

Additionally, flying a plane is not treated like driving a car in the eyes of federal regulators. This means that for small planes that are privately operated, the pilot is not required to have insurance. When one of these pilots makes an error that sends an aircraft into a nearby residence, the homeowners can find themselves in a terrible situation.

With no, or minimum, insurance on the plane to cover the destruction of the home, the homeowner might be left to cover the loss. Many homeowners’ insurance does not necessarily cover a loss caused by a plane crash. Often times there are no clearly identifiable responsible parties to shoulder the financial burden of the destruction of property, not to mention any death or injury to persons in or near the home, resulting from such an event.

It is for these reasons, at least, that experienced aviation attorneys should be consulted in an effort to determine if there actually is a responsible party who should be held accountable for the losses.

Call (855) 948-5098 or contact us online to speak with our legal team.

Contact Us

  • Please make a selection.
  • Please enter the age of the patient.
  • Please enter the age of the patient.
  • Please enter your symptoms.
  • Please describe your experience.
  • Please make a selection.
  • Please make a selection.
  • Please enter your first name.
  • Please enter your last name.
  • Please enter your email address.
    This isn't a valid email address.
  • Please enter your email address.
    This isn't a valid email address.
  • Please enter your primary phone number.
    This isn't a valid phone number.
  • This isn't a valid phone number.
  • Please enter your city.
  • Please make a selection.
  • Please enter your zip code.
    This isn't a valid zip cide.
  • Please make a selection.
  • A Major US Plane Crash $17.5 Million
  • A Major US Plane Crash $14 Million
  • Helicopter Crash $12 Million
  • A Major Foreign Plane Crash $10 Million
  • Best Law Firms 2021
    Best Law Firms 2021

    The U.S. News – Best Lawyers® “Best Law Firms” rankings are based on lawyer evaluations, peer review from leading attorneys in their field, and review of additional information provided by law firms as part of the formal submission process.

  • National Trial Lawyers Top 100
    National Trial Lawyers Top 100

    The National Trial Lawyers Top 100 recognized the law firms of Baum Hedlund Aristei & Goldman, the Miller Firm and Audet & Partners with the 2019 Trial Team of the Year award (in the Mass Torts category) for their work in the groundbreaking case of Dewayne “Lee” Johnson v. Monsanto Company.

  • California Powerhouse
    California Powerhouse

    Law360 recognizes law firms that have a strong regional presence, working on important matters within their home state. “[Baum Hedlund] possesses a David v. Goliath-sized slingshot while seeking justice for everyday citizens it believes were harmed or killed through corporate wrongdoing.”

  • Elite Trial Lawyers
    Elite Trial Lawyers

    NLJ and American Lawyer Media honor law firms and attorneys as Elite Trial Lawyers for their cutting-edge legal work on behalf of plaintiffs in practice areas ranging from mass torts to securities litigation.

  • Listed in Best Lawyers
    Listed in Best Lawyers

    Best Lawyers is the oldest and most respected peer-review publication in the legal profession. A listing in Best Lawyers is widely regarded by both clients and legal professionals as a significant honor, conferred on a lawyer by his or her peers.

  • AV Top Ranked Law Firm
    AV Top Ranked Law Firm

    Less than one-half of one percent of firms across the nation have achieved this ranking. A firm must have a high percentage of lawyers who have achieved the prestigious AV® Preeminent rating by Martindale-Hubbell®.

  • Verdicts Hall of Fame
    Verdicts Hall of Fame

    The National Law Journal inducted Baum Hedlund into the Verdicts Hall of Fame for obtaining the $2 billion landmark verdict in the Roundup cancer case of Pilliod et al. v. Monsanto. The verdict was #1 in California and #2 in the U.S. in 2019 and is #9 in American history.

  • Super Lawyers
    Super Lawyers

    Super Lawyers is a rating service of outstanding lawyers from more than 70 practice areas who have attained a high-degree of peer recognition and professional achievement.

  • AV Preeminent Peer Review Rated
    AV Preeminent Peer Review Rated

    An AV® rating reflects an attorney who has reached the heights of professional excellence. The rating signifies the highest legal ability, and very high adherence to professional standards of conduct, ethics, reliability, and diligence.

  • Board Certified Attorneys
    Board Certified Attorneys

    The National Board of Trial Advocacy is one of the nation’s largest and oldest private board-certification organizations for attorneys. Two of our shareholders are certified in multiple specialties.

  • Top Jury Verdict in <br> CA and USA
    Top Jury Verdict in
    CA and USA

    TopVerdict.com ranks our $2 billion verdict in Pilliod et al. v. Monsanto as the biggest verdict in California and the second largest verdict in the U.S. in 2019. It is the ninth largest verdict in U.S. history.

  • Lawdragon 500 Leading Plaintiff Consumer Lawyers
    Lawdragon 500 Leading Plaintiff Consumer Lawyers

    Published annually, the Lawdragon 500 Leading Plaintiff Consumer Lawyers list recognizes the “best of the best” in this area of the law through nominations, research, and review by a board of their peers.

  • Multi-Million Dollar Advocates Forum
    Multi-Million Dollar Advocates Forum

    Multi-Million Dollar Advocates Forum is one of the most prestigious groups of trial lawyers in the United States.  Membership is limited to attorneys who have won million and multi-million-dollar verdicts and settlements.

  • Product Liability Practice Group of the Year
    Product Liability Practice Group of the Year

    In 2020, Law360 honored the law firms ”behind the litigation wins and major deals that resonated throughout the legal industry.” It recognized our success in several landmark cases.

  • Top Personal Injury Jury Verdict in California
    Top Personal Injury Jury Verdict in California

    In 2018, our $289 million Johnson v. Monsanto verdict was the largest personal injury verdict in California. TopVerdict.com also ranked it #2 among all verdicts in California and #10 in the nation.

  • Bar Register of Preeminent Lawyers
    Bar Register of Preeminent Lawyers

    The Bar Register is the definitive guide to the most distinguished law firms in America. It includes only those select law practices that have earned the highest rating in the Martindale-Hubbell Law Directory and have been designated by their colleagues as preeminent in their field.

/

Legal Representation for Victims of Plane Crashes

If you or a loved one are harmed either in a plane or on the ground after a plane crashes into a house or building, it is important to find representation that can effectively navigate the issues inherent with such a devastating event. Discovering the true cause of these accidents is often an even more complicated process when the damage extends beyond the downed plane and passengers.

If you need legal representation from attorneys experienced in handling aviation accident cases, contact the Baum Hedlund Aristei & Goldman law firm today by phone at (855) 948-5098 or by filling out our contact form.

Read More on the Subject