Aviation Law In The United States

by William Angelley on October 28, 2011

Winning an aviation crash case is not easy. Such cases are legally complex and often involve the application of highly specific federal regulations, statutes and treaties. Additionally, the applicable law will vary depending on the type of aircraft involved and the location of the crash. For example, the laws governing the crash of a commercial airliner in the United States will be significantly different in many respects from the laws governing a commercial airliner crash over the ocean or on an international flight. A couple of examples of the latter are the Death on the High Seas Act and the Montreal Convention . In contrast, the crash of a small general aviation airplane or helicopter will generally be controlled by the laws of one or more States, but those laws may be limited by a federal statute such as the General Aviation Revitalization Act . Nonetheless, an aviation attorney must have an extensive knowledge of all potentially applicable laws and must be able to analyze them and apply them effectively in your case.

Successfully handling an aviation crash case, however, requires more than just knowledge of the relevant law. Extensive experience with a variety of complex practical issues is also required. Such issues include:

  • Piloting airplanes and helicopters under VFR and IFR conditions;
  • Maintenance of airplanes and helicopters;
  • Flight characteristics and aerodynamics of airplanes and helicopters;
  • Weather and Air Traffic Control;
  • Design and construction of airplanes and helicopters;
  • Design and construction of the various types of aircraft engines; and,
  • Analysis of aircraft crash wreckage.

The attorneys at Hightower Angelley LLP have the legal knowledge and practical experience required to successfully handle any aviation crash case. William Angelley is a former Navy pilot who has flown more than 1,100 hours in various makes of military airplanes and helicopters. He and Jeff Hightower have many years experience handling aviation cases, from the largest commercial airliner crashes to crashes involving small general aviation planes and helicopters. Additionally, both Wil and Jeff have previously worked as defense counsel for several aviation manufacturers, maintenance facilities and their insurers, giving them valuable insight into the mindset of their opponents. Contact us to learn more.

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