Going to air shows is a fun way for families to enjoy spending time together. Older planes and interesting maneuvers usually make for a day of excitement. While many air shows are completed without any problems, there are some instances in which mishaps or crashes can occur. One North Carolina air show in 2011 was the site of a fatal plane crash.
A pilot’s 1958 plane crashed while he was performing with the Trojan Horsemen Flying Team at the Thunder Over the Blue Ridge Open House and Air Show on September 17, 2011. According to the autopsy report, the pilot died of multiple blunt force injuries due to a plane crash. There was also mention of evidence of a fresh heart attack.
A report issued on Dec. 5, 2013 by the National Transportation Safety Board blamed the Federal Aviation Administration for the fatal accident. The FAA, however, says that it is up to the pilot to provide accurate medical information. The NTSB report says that the FAA allowed the 54-year-old pilot to fly with severe coronary artery disease while doing stunts at a low altitude involving high risk.
The pilot had a heart attack and bypass surgery in 2003, but was given a special issuance of his medical certificate by FAA-designated Aviation Medical Examiners. The FAA says that the man never indicated that he was going to do aviation acrobatics.
Ensuring the safety of pilots, those flying and spectators is a primary responsibility of the FAA. In this case, clearance was given to a man to fly and that ultimately led to his death.
Anyone who has lost a loved one in a fatal accident might opt to seek compensation from the responsible party. Knowing how to do so can make the already stressful time a little less stressful.
Source: Herald Mail-Media, “NTSB says FAA contributed to air show crash at Eastern West Virginia Regional Airport” Matthew Umstead, Jul. 12, 2014