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Federal Investigation Finds Pilot Error Responsible for Fort Lauderdale Plane Crash on I-95

An investigation found that human error was primarily responsible for a 2007 plane crash in Fort Lauderdale, the South Florida Sun-Sentinel reported Aug. 17. The National Transportation Safety Board made that conclusion after looking into the causes of the September 2007 crash, in which a twin-engine cargo plane crashed into the shoulder of the interstate, breaking apart. Pilot Robert Robertson survived the crash with injuries to his head, lungs, arms and legs, skidding to a halt on the pavement still strapped into his intact seat. However, the plane was destroyed.

According to the article, the NTSB concluded that the primary contributor to the accident was Robertson’s failure to position a switch properly. His twin-engine Beech H-18 had a switch allowing him to connect the right engine of the plane to either a main fuel tank or an auxiliary tank. The switch was left in between those two settings, which apparently cut the engine off from any fuel at all. As a result, the right engine lost power about 150 feet above the ground, forcing Robertson, an experienced pilot, to make an emergency landing on the highway. The investigation also found that the plane was substantially overloaded, with a cargo bin authorized to hold 75 pound stuffed with 265 pounds of shoes and clothes scheduled for deliver in Nassau.

As a Hollywood aviation accident lawyer, I know that this kind of conclusion isn’t unusual at all. Statistics from the NTSB show that the majority of “general aviation” airplane and helicopter accidents are caused by some kind of human error, including mistakes by pilots, air traffic controllers or decision-makers who authorize flying in poor weather or with faulty equipment. When these bad decisions lead to a serious crash, victims and their loved ones have the right to hold them legally responsible for the results — including wrongful deaths and catastrophic injuries such as brain damage. Our Aventura airplane crash attorneys help victims of these serious accidents hold wrongdoers responsible for their actions and recover the money they need to pay the costs the accident caused.

At Cohn, Smith & Cohn, we have more than two decades of experience handling the complicated legal and evidence-related issues involved in any aviation accident claim. Airplane crashes are complex because the investigation typically takes more than a year; injuries are often very serious; and are always governed by federal aviation law as well as the laws of one or more states. Our Opa-Locka plane crash lawyers know how to sort out these jurisdictional issues, mount a separate and thorough investigation into the causes of the crash and handle the multiple insurance companies that may be responsible for covering the accident. We believe it’s part our job to shield accident victims from these complex and often stressful demands, allowing them to focus on recovery while we focus on getting them the best possible financial settlement or verdict.

If you or someone you love was involved in a serious aviation accident in South Florida and you’re considering legal action, you should contact Cohn, Smith & Cohn right away. To set up a free evaluation of your case by an experienced attorney, please contact us online or call our main office in Pembroke Pines at (954) 431-8100.

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