Aviation Accident: What to Look For
On the Scene E-Newsletter, Edition 119, July 21, 2010
If you are working on a case which involves an aircraft mishap it’s pretty obvious you may want to utilize experts in the Aviation field. But flight mishaps are not the only time it is useful to engage experts with aviation experience. Aviation law is not just airplanes, but the branch of law that concerns flight, air travel, and associated legal and business concerns. It governs the operation of aircraft and the maintenance of aviation facilities. Likewise, aviation experts are not just pilots and crash investigators, but engineers familiar with hangar bays, runways, tarmacs, lifts, vehicles, and all the facilities and activities that accompany aircraft flight. Aviation cases can involve flight surfaces and engine rotations. However, there are also Construction issues, Premise Liability issues, Vehicular Accidents, OSHA compliance issues and Product Liability cases, all occurring in the aviation environment giving them a unique aviation bent.
CED engineers have been called upon for their expertise when luggage fell on a passengers head and when there was a Slip & Fall on a jet bridge. Our accident reconstructionists have been called in when luggage carriers collided. We’ve had mechanical and bio mechanical engineers apply their knowledge to product cases involving automatic doors and civil and structural engineers have investigated work mishaps on airfields and tornado damaged hangars.
In all investigations, it is important that the Engineering expert possesses the engineering credentials to qualify them to work on a case. However, in Aviation cases, the expert must also be experienced with working in the Aviation environment. The unique hazards and operational challenges that exist in an aviation setting require an expert that has trained and worked in Aviation settings and who is familiar with the subtle and not-so subtle vagaries of this environment. CED was originally formed by a group of United States Naval Academy professors and instructors, and the aviation knowledge and experience of many of engineers goes back decades.
CED engineers have amassed thousands of hours in military and civilian aircraft; have designed and developed avionics and flight systems for fixed and rotary winged aircraft; built aircraft facilities around the globe and performed compression tests on honeycomb seat cushions of military aircraft to assess long-term wear behavior. CED has mechanical engineers, electrical engineers, civil engineers, material scientists and bio-mechanical engineers all familiar with and experienced in the aviation world. CED engineers have the expertise to investigate the mishap caused by the failed rotor but we can also assist our clients when a luggage handler takes out a hangar bay door or a passenger takes a spill at ticket counter.