Aviation Law 101

With a long tradition of military and commercial aviation, San Antonio is a growing hub of aviation activity. Commercial airlines are expanding their offerings to the public as increased tourism and business needs move our city forward.

With the presence of our military bases and two public airports and an anticipated increase of air traffic comes the risk of being injured in an airplane accident in San Antonio. While aviation travel is statistically safer than driving in your car, aviation accidents still take place and can result in serious injury or even death. You may have heard of aviation accidents involving larger carriers such as American Airlines or Southwest Airlines as they typically receive extensive coverage in the news. But accidents involving non-commercial, private aircraft happen far more than you might suspect and many receive little to no coverage in the media, but are nonetheless a danger to the public safety. That’s why we, the knowledgeable attorneys and staff at Carabin & Shaw, want to take a moment to give you a brief overview with what we call Aviation Law 101.

Aviation Law 101 refers to the rules and regulations governing aircraft operation and aircraft facilities. Aviation law is primarily exercised under federal jurisdiction through the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB). The FAA oversees the manufacture, operation, and maintenance of all aircraft to make sure they meet safety standards, while the NTSB investigates accidents and problems in order to improve air travel safety. Aviation accident laws cover both commercial / major carrier accidents and general aviation or private carrier accidents.

The first laws governing aviation safety were enacted in the 1920s. It was under these laws that non-military pilots were first required to receive formal instruction and licensing and a process for aviation accident investigation was first established. Aviation accidents can be classified into two categories.

Major carrier accidents involve aviation accidents of commercial aircraft irrespective of whether it is a domestic or an international carrier, an airplane or helicopter. General aviation accidents involve accidents of all types of non-commercial aircraft such as small private airplanes, private helicopters, charter flights, and business jets. Whether a general or major accident, it is essential to have an expert lawyer on your side that is knowledgeable about aviation law. Carabin & Shaw serves the San Antonio community, surrounding areas and cities across Texas.

It’s not unusual, in aviation accidents, to attribute the cause to “pilot error.” Aviation Safety magazine reports pilot error as the reported factor in aviation accidents in more than 90 percent of incidents. There are two types of pilot error: tactical and operational.

Tactical pilot error is related directly to the choices and actions of the pilot, whether through lack of experience or outright error. Operational error may be the result of faulty instruction or missing information during training.

Some other common causes of aviation accidents are:

  • Faulty equipment and/or aircraft
  • Air traffic controller negligence
  • Negligence of the pilot or flight crew
  • Non-compliance of FAA rules and regulations

When an aviation accident occurs, aviation law 101 and how it applies to your case can be complicated. Attorneys for large, commercial airlines have unlimited resources to protect the interests of commercial carriers. You need a lawyer with the experience and dedication to sift through the legal process on your behalf and fight to recover any compensation you are owed as the result of negligence.

If you or a family member has suffer an injury or death as the result of an airplane accident, you want an experienced San Antonio aviation accident attorney in your corner to help you navigate through what is often an overwhelming and exhausting process.

In San Antonio, the attorneys of Carabin & Shaw are here to help you. There’s no charge for your initial consultation and we don’t collect any fees unless we win your case. You can call us day or night at 1.800.862.1260.

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