Few law firms have the specialized legal knowledge and experience required to get justice for victims of aviation accidents and crashes. Among these select few, Napoli Shkolnik takes a new approach. To the maximum extent possible, one of our pilot aviation lawyers flies an actual or simulated flight under circumstances similar to the accident flight. When confronted with difficult situations in flight, it is the pilot in command who must make decisions. Our approach allows us to enter the minds of pilots at these critical decision points—to see what they saw and feel what they felt. Often times, pilot error is not the root cause—much less the sole cause—of a crash or an in-flight injury. A defective design or product, negligent maintenance, air traffic control errors, or a host of other issues could be to blame. Led by Hunter Shkolnik, a thirty year trial lawyer and aviation attorney with a history of success, and armed with an aviation lawyer who is also a Lieutenant Colonel (select) & highly combat decorated Marine naval aviator, F. Phillip Peche, Napoli Shkolnik is the law firm to serve you when you have been injured or have lost a loved one in an aviation accident.
Our attorneys have experience handling a variety of different aviation accident types. Common aviation accident claims involve:
On August 6, 2015 crash 15 miles northeast of Montecito California resulting in the death of 2 occupants of the plane. The aircraft was reported to have suffered a catastrophic engine failure.
+In Re Cessna T-210 Crash
On April 12, 2015 Loon Creek drainage above the Diamond-D Ranch, located in Custer County, Idaho resulting in the death of the 4 occupants of the plane. Hunter is coordinating the defense of the estate of the owner operator which is exposed to significant potentially uninsured liability, while also prosecuting claims to obtain compensation for the estate of the owner pilot
+In Re Crash Quicksilver MXL-II Sport Ultra-light Aircraft
on June 28, 2013 at approximately 7:30 p.m. near Potrero Road and Rancho Sierra Vista in Newbury Park, California. Hunter is representing the survivor of the crash for significant injuries.
+In Re UH-1 Helicopter Crash - Oregon
on October 28, 2013 into the South Umpqua River in Roseburg, Oregon. Hunter represented the passenger of the helicopter who survived the crash. Incident involved a power wire strike and loss of rotor.
+In Re UH-1 Helicopter Crash - Phoenix, Arizona
On September 21, 2013 a 1974 UH-1 "Huey" helicopter that crashed 60 miles north of Phoenix, Arizona. Both the pilot and his passenger were tragically killed in the accident. The helicopter was returning from an airshow at Flagstaff, Arizona when the main rotor system separated from the helicopter causing it to crash. Our law firm has been retained by the passenger’s family to investigate the cause of the accident.
+In Re Mid Air Collision at Johnson Creek, Oregon
On June 28, 2013 two aircrafts struck each other in mid-air while attempting to land near Johnson Creek, Oregon; one child died. Our firms have been retained to represent different passengers of a Ford Tri-Pacer who were seriously injured when a Piper Arrow hit the aircraft midair, during landing, causing both aircrafts to crash and be destroyed. A young child in the Piper was killed and all other occupants were seriously injured.
+In Re Southwest Airlines Crash LaGuardia Airport
On July 22, 2013 Southwest Airlines Flight 325 which was landing at LaGuardia Airport crash landed due to a failed nose gear. The crew was distracted during landing and the nose gear failed after a hard touchdown. Fortunately, no one was killed but there were some significant injuries. The pilot of the aircraft was recently fired by Southwest Airlines for violating company policies and procedures. Our firm was retained to represent injured passengers onboard the flight.
This commercial airline disaster involved a Pan American transatlantic flight from Heathrow Airport in London, England, to John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York City, United States, which experienced a bombing, also commonly referred to as the Lockerbie bombing, on December 21, 1988. A Boeing 747–121, named Clipper Maiden of the Seas, was destroyed by an explosive device killing all 243 passengers and 16 crew members. Large sections of the plane crashed into Lockerbie, Scotland, killing an additional 11 people on the ground.
+In Re UH-1 Helicopter Crash - Valle, Arizona
On November 15, 2013 a UH-1 "Huey" helicopter crashed near Valle, Arizona shortly after takeoff. The helicopter pilot observed a partial loss of transmission oil pressure and began to land. Suddenly, the main rotors froze in flight causing the helicopter to crash. The pilot was trapped in the wreckage for 45 minutes before he was rescued by the responding paramedics. A post-accident inspection of the helicopter revealed that there was a catastrophic failure of the main transmission gearbox causing complete disintegration in the gears and seizure of the components. Inspection of the maintenance records revealed that the transmission was overhauled and mid-way through its expected life. As a result of the accident, the pilot sustained paraplegia injuries due to severe fractures in his back. This action is pending in Phoenix, Arizona against the overhaul facility and others responsible for the accident.
+In Re UH-60 Crash Aviano Italy
November 8, 2007 crash of a US Army UH-60A Black Hawk helicopter. Mr. Shkolnik and his team represented the families of multiple servicemen and flight crew who died in the crash resulting from poor maintenance of the airship by a major military contractor.
+American Eagle ATR-42-312
passenger plane, registered N143DD, sustained substantial damage in an accident at San Juan, P.R. airport when the plane collided with a ground power unit. Represented injured passengers who sustained serious injuries while escaping the burning plane.
A charter flight from Madrid-Barajas Airport to New York via Malaga Airport. When the aircraft was rolling for take-off, the pilot felt a strong vibration and aborted the take-off. The flight crew lost control of the aircraft and were unable to stop in the runway available and the aircraft overran the runway, hit an airfield aerial installation, losing an engine, then crossed the Malaga–Torremolinos Highway, hitting a number of vehicles before finally hitting a railway embankment and bursting into flames. An emergency evacuation of the aircraft was carried out but 50 on board died of both burns and other injuries. A further 110 persons were hospitalized. The cause of the accident was the detachment of fragments from a recapped tread on the right wheel of the nose gear.
+Airplane Disaster New York City
Our law firm, specifically Mr. Shkolnik and his team represented the estate of a major league baseball pitcher in an airplane accident that occurred in New York City.
This case is a tragic Blackhawk Helicopter accident that was owned by the United States Navy. The accident occurred in the Austin One Military training area near Fallon Naval Base in the State of Nevada. During a nighttime military training exercise, the helicopter flew between the static wire and transmission wires causing the tail rotor to be severed from the helicopter which resulted in a loss of control. The loss of the tail rotor prevented the crew from controlling the helicopter which crashed a mile away from the impact with the wires. Following the accident, investigators determined that the wires were over 202 feet above ground level. Federal Aviation Regulations, Part 77 governs any obstructions that can pose a hazard to air navigation including utilities that install and maintain transmission lines and towers. Any towers or wires over 200 feet must be marked and lit. In this case, the utility determined post-accident that the wires were 202 feet above ground at the crash site after they were re-strung and re-tensioned. During discovery, Mr. Shkolnik proved that the wires were lowered by the utility personnel after the accident in an effort to cover up the FAA violation. To prove this, a memorandum from 1992 was discovered where the utility had an intern working for the summer (now a senior vice president in the company) evaluate all wires to determine if they were over 200 feet and needed to be marked and lit. The memorandum listed the accident span as 245 feet high. Despite the fact that the memo was circulated in 1992 and put in a file marked "FAA" the company took no action to mark and light the accident towers and spans involved. The case was set for trial in late 2012 in the Clark County District Court in Las Vegas, Nevada. On the eve of trial, the cases settled for amounts that were accepted by the families of those military personnel that died in the accident including widows, children and parents. More importantly, Nevada Power and Sierra Pacific Power Company developed and implemented a marking and lighting policy for the state of Nevada and have evaluated all their transmission facilities for pilot safety marking and lighting. The wires in the wide canyon where the accident occurred have been lowered and more clearly marked on military aviation navigation maps. There has not been another accident in Nevada since this accident and the corrective action the utility took.
+In Re Dassault Falcon 10 N692US
April 27, 2010 arbitration to recover for total loss of Falcon jet resulting from nose gear tire explosion. The law firm was hired to overturn a prior arbitration award obtained by another law firm where the aircraft insurer had won and was able to limit insurance coverage to the limited cost to repair the damaged nose gear. Hunter and the team successfully overturned the prior arbitration award then obtained a new arbitration award where the client received the full policy limits award having established the aircraft was no longer airworthy.
+In Re Sudden Loss of Altitude of Boeing 777 over Buenos Aires, Argentina. November, 2014
Our aviation lawyers have been retained to represent the flight crew of this commercial airline who were very seriously injured when their Boeing 777 lost 16,000 feet of altitude without warning. The claims involve a defective switching mechanism that prevented the pilots form controlling the aircraft.
Victims of aviation accidents can recover damages for all economic and noneconomic losses by filing a civil action against the at-fault party or parties. It is imperative that you file your claim within your state’s statute of limitations. To learn more, contact the aviation attorneys at Napoli Shkolnik, PLLC today.