Air Show Accidents

Every year, millions of Americans enjoy taking their families to air shows. The sight of daredevil pilots performing barrel rolls and fancy maneuvers in the sky is highly entertaining for children and adults alike. What air show spectators may not know, however, is that these air shows can sometimes place their audiences in danger.

Every year, multiple air show accidents occur. Fortunately, many of these accidents are minor and do not involve loss of life. Occasionally, however, audience members can be severely injured or even killed due to the malfunction of the aircraft or pilot errors and. Two of the most stunning examples of this include the Ramstein airshow disaster of 1988 in Germany, where debris from a midair collision pelted the audience and killed 67, and the Sknyliv airshow disaster of 2002 in the Ukraine, where an aircraft struck the ground and cartwheeled into the audience, killing 77.

More recently, on September 16, 2011, at the Reno Air Races in Nevada, a pilot flying a highly modified plane lost control and crashed directly into the spectators, killing 10 and wounding 69 spectators. Apparently, the aircraft was modified in such a way that its stability was reduced, leading to stress on the aircraft as a whole and eventually broken components and a complete loss of control of the aircraft.

Due to the fact that the aircraft that crashed was obviously not airworthy and subjected the spectators to danger which ended with 10 deaths, the organizers of the Reno Air Races established a $77 million fund for payouts to the victims of the incident, in hopes that the victims would opt for a quick insurance payout rather than to sue the organizers in court. The payouts were cited as being $15,000.00 for bruises and cuts, $45,000.00 for broken bones and torn tendons, and $75,000.00 for injuries involving surgeries or third degree burns. Nonetheless, at least one party filed a $25,000,000.00 wrongful death lawsuit against the organizers of the show, citing the show’s complete disregard of safety. Wrongful death cases routinely command settlements and verdicts in the millions of dollars, depending partially on how egregious the conduct of the defendant was.

While air show accidents are horrible occurrences that are fortunately very rare, there is fortunately compensation available for victims of air show accidents when they do occur. The Reno Air Races insurance program shows that even minor air show injuries may be worth thousands of dollars for the victim under the right circumstances. When people are killed, compensation can be in the millions. If you or a loved one has been affected by an air show accident, you may wish to contact an experienced aviation attorney. Depending on the facts of the case, an experienced aviation attorney may be able to help you get some compensation for your injuries from whoever was responsible.

If you or a loved one have been injured, Call Carabin Shaw at 1.800.862.1260. We Can Help.

Visits with the Attorney are by appointment only. Main office San Antonio, Texas.

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