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Are airplane-kit companies liable for crashes?

On Behalf of | Oct 4, 2019 | Product Liability

There are few hobbies available to California residents as rewarding and safe as aviation. The feeling of freedom, the exhilaration of take-off and landing and even the commitment to training and self-improvement attractive. To top it all off, most of the airborne activities available are relatively low in risk, despite what the adrenaline rush would suggest.

This makes it all the more distressing you were someone you love is injured or worse while flying. It is important that get to the bottom of any aviation accident so that you can recover from any losses and move on with your life.

Unfortunately, one of the factors in some aviation accident cases is a defective product. Even in situations where the evidence might suggest otherwise — such as when the victim was operating the aircraft in bad weather or had built the aircraft from a kit, for example — there is still a chance that a defective component held at least a partial responsibility for the injury.

Product liability cases in large commercial crashes tend to receive a large amount of publicity. These tragedies definitely deserve our attention, but amateur aviation incidents are also a critical issue. According to the FAA, amateur-built and experimental aircraft were only 5 percent of all flight hours from 2013 to 2018, yet they were involved in 25 percent of all fatal collisions. While this is a sobering statistic, it in no way frees aviation-parts manufacturers from their responsibilities to provide quality products.

Aviation started with experimentation and amateur activity. If your loved one was injured carrying on that tradition, it is important to figure out exactly what happened. In the absence of a full investigation, other enterprising individuals could fall victim to the continued production and proliferation of faulty aviation components by unscrupulous manufacturers and distributors. 

Aviation cases are extremely complex. Please do not use this as specific advice. It is only meant as background information.