800 Bering Drive, Suite 220
Houston, TX 77057

Aviation Law

Airplane and Helicopter crashes may be caused by a variety of reasons, such as:

• Pilot error
• Weather conditions
• Sabotage
• Mechanical failure
• Defective design

Proper, thorough investigation, coupled with legal analysis, will find those who are at fault, factually and legally, for a particular accident. Each analysis will depend on the facts of a particular helicopter accident. Generally speaking, experience shows that the following entities are potential defendants:

• Operator—Company or individual pilot
• Designer—Aircraft or component
• Manufacturer—Aircraft or component
• Seller—Aircraft or component
• Flight School/Flight Instructor
• Owner
• Lease holder
• Maintenance
• Air Traffic Control
• Control Tower Operator
• Airport Owner and Operator
• Obstruction (cell phone tower, vegetation, building) owner, maintenance personnel or operator)
• Person issuing NOTAMS – Notices to Airmen
• Weather information provider

The rules and regulations which apply to commercial planes and private planes are quite different and should be handled by an aviation accident attorney who is qualified to handle such cases.

Our experience includes virtually every type of accident involving virtually every type of cause: Notice to Airmen failures, mechanical failure, design flaws, material failures, pilot errors, and maintenance failures. In addition to the legal concepts of negligence, products liability, failure of the duty to warn, and breach of express and implied warranty, we are also experienced in the challenging and complex areas of the Warsaw Convention, the Federal Tort Claims Act, the Foreign Sovereign Immunity Act, the Government Contractor Defense, and numerous state-specific hurdles such as statutes of repose and contributory negligence.

Regardless of the cause of an accident, they do not occur unless something goes terribly wrong, and this inevitably means that someone did something they should not have done or they failed to do something they should have done.

The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) is the primary government agency responsible for investigating aviation accidents. Although the NTSB does a commendable job, often they tend to find pilot error instead of delving deeper into the mechanics of crashes. There is an inherent conflict that many investigators have, because while good persons, they often seek work with private-sector manufacturers after their time with the NTSB is complete. Those investigators who find too often that mechanical errors occur, likely do not find jobs with those same manufacturers.

Often the truth about what really happened, the full and complete picture, does not come out until skilled, experienced and dedicated attorneys, technically knowledgeable in their own right and aided by trained, educated and experienced technical experts, through the litigation process, obtain documents, information and testimony that the NTSB simply did not have the time or the will to gather.

In our Aviation cases, we put together a team of experts on sequencing, avionics, mechanics, piloting and other areas so make certain that we find the real cause of an aircraft crash to get real justice for our clients.

The lawyers with and associated with Peckham Martin, PLLC have been involved in the Valujet Flight 592 litigation, American Airlines Flight 587, incidents involving Continental Airlines, Continental Express, and crashes involving various general aviation aircraft including the Piper Cherokee, Piper Apache, Cessna 210L and T210 and Robinson Helicopter R22 among others. Suits have included avionics manufacturers, mechanics, engine manufactures such as Teledyne Continental, Lycoming and many others.

Do not let evidence disappear. Call us so we can get experts on scene immediately to preserve evidence and protect your rights and those of your loved ones.