Commercial airplanes are the product of state-of-the-art design and engineering; and commercial pilots must undergo rigorous and intensive training in order to be licensed to fly… But those are just the first steps to ensuring the safety of the passengers and people on the ground below. And those safety standards don’t just apply to commercial jetliners.
Pilots of all planes and helicopters must pass rigorous safety credentialing because of the inherent dangers involved with flight.
And aviation safety standards apply to all aircraft, including helicopters, charter planes, private planes, medevac carriers, and air ambulances, to name a few.
Click here to read more about helicopter and private plane accidents
Sometimes accidents happen. When they do, it is tragic. But when the pain and loss you have suffered was the result of a flight company or pilot’s careless disregard for mandatory safety standards, that is an unspeakable tragedy.
We want all aircraft operators adhere to the highest safety standards to ensure that our community is safe in the air and on the ground. We strive to promote flight safety standards and hold all pilots and aircraft companies accountable when they disregard these types of safety rules, putting you and your family in danger:
It is illegal for any pilot to operate any aircraft without a valid FAA license and proof of certification that the aircraft has passed safety inspection.
Who counts as a pilot? Missouri statutes define “pilot” as:
RSMo§305.120(7): any person licensed to operate aircraft…
What counts as an aircraft? “Aircraft” is defined as:
RSMo§305.120(2): any device now known or hereafter
invented, used or designed for navigation of or flight through the air…
That means that all pilots – even those operating helicopters or personal, private planes - must be FAA licensed:
RSMo§ 305.130. Unlawful to operate without an airman certificate and certificate of airworthiness: It shall be unlawful for any person to operate any aircraft within this state in carrying a passenger or passengers, or any property, or in the prosecution of a business or commercial enterprise, or for instruction in the art of flying, without an* airman certificate for such purposes issued by the Federal Aviation Administration…
In fact, it is a misdemeanor even to fail to carry this license while flying. See RSMo§305.160.
Qualifications for FAA licensure include:
- Pilots must be 17 years old
- Pilots must be able to read, speak, and comprehend English
- Pilots must be in good health
- Pilots must have a certain amount of training and practice flight time
- Pilots must pass a written examination testing knowledge of aviation concepts and safety rules
- Pilots must pass a practical flight examination led by an FAA instructor
- And depending on the type of certification the pilot seeks, more requirements may apply.
To read more about what is required to be a pilot, check out the FAA website
In addition to licensure and safety certification, pilots also have to adhere to safety rules, like any driver of any truck or car.
For example, pilots and flight crews are not only prohibited from operating an aircraft while intoxicated, but also it is illegal for any pilot or flight crew member even to have one alcoholic beverage within eight hours prior to flying:
See RSMo§577.203 http://www.moga.mo.gov/statutes/C500-599/5770000203.HTM
These safety rules exist because one missed warning light or poor judgment call can have devastating consequences not just for the passengers, but also for all those who are in proximity on the ground below.
In addition to pilot safety, there are also strict safety rules for maintaining aircraft. This is because no matter how careful a pilot may be, if a plane or helicopter has unsafe parts or has not been kept in good working order, simply, it poses a great danger to all passengers and nearby persons.
All airplanes and aircrafts must be thoroughly inspected and regularly maintained to ensure they are always safely functioning.
It is illegal for any pilot to operate any aircraft without certification that the aircraft has passed safety inspection:
RSMo§ 305.130. Unlawful to operate without an airman certificate and certificate of airworthiness: It shall be unlawful for any person to operate any aircraft within this state in carrying a passenger or passengers, or any property, or in the prosecution of a business or commercial enterprise, or for instruction in the art of flying, . . . without a valid certificate of airworthiness for such aircraft issued by the Federal Aviation Administration.
Click here for Missouri statutes that govern aircraft and airport safety
However, as our economy continues to struggle and all businesses seek areas to save costs, maintenance of aircraft may become less frequent and thorough. Or airlines or flight companies may contract with lower-bidding mechanics for repairs and upkeep, but those lower bids may be on account of employing less experienced mechanics.
Check out this study by NPR on major airlines outsourcing maintenance on jetliners – and the consequences of this cost cutting
Cutting corners with helicopter and plane maintenance is simply too risky. Malfunction or failure of even the most minor part can result in a crash that puts hundreds or thousands of lives in jeopardy.
Click here to read more about the causes of aviation accidents
The pain and suffering caused by a helicopter or plane crash is not something any lawyer can fix. At NB&W, we cannot heal your wounds or rewind time. But we can make sure that you are compensated for your losses and that the responsible parties are held accountable.
You need an experienced aviation accident attorney on your side to investigate all possible causes and gather all necessary evidence to build a case. You also need an attorney who understands that damages victims of plane and helicopter crashes face are more than just broken bones or harm to your property.
At NB&W, we want our airways – like our roads, waterways, jobs, schools, and neighborhoods – to be safe. We want to make sure those who operate vehicles, machinery, cars, boats, and planes to do so with the highest degree of care. And we want to hold accountable any party that negligently failed to adhere to safety standards.
We advocate for victims of devastating accidents. Call us today and tell us what happened. We are here to listen, answer your questions, and help you start to recover. There is no charge or obligation.
Help us help you; help us help make our community safer for your family and ours.