November 11, 2023, MCKINNEY, Texas: Hello, I am McKinney, Texas, personal injury lawyer; I am a Texas and California airplane and car transportation accident lawyer with over a decade of experience dealing with transportation accidents in America. As an aircraft accident lawyer, I have litigated cases in many Texas cities in North Texas and throughout the state, including San Antonio and Houston. I am an expert in Texas state law, FAA regulations, admiralty maritime law, and everything else starting when Texas joined the Union.
When taking off to the skies, pilots — professional and novice alike — are under strict regulations to ensure their safety and those on the ground. Aero Country Airport and the Texas economy depend to a large degree on car driving and safe air transport. Livestock has to be fed, and agriculture needs to be supplied, sprayed from aircraft (crop-dusters), and managed. Any plane crash, especially when it strikes a car, is a real cause for concern in farms, ranches, cities, and counties throughout the USA community.
Aero Country Airport Havoc In North Texas
The shocking incident over the weekend in McKinney, in the State of Texas, where a small plane overshot the runway and slammed into a car, raises crucial questions about the safety measures in place.
In this article, we delve deeper into the accident, looking at the frequency of similar incidents, current laws, legal implications, and potential consequences of such accidents.
“I saw the airplane coming down the runway quickly, and I knew that he wasn’t gonna have time to stop,” said Eye-witness Jack Schneider. “It was going too fast, and the tires were smoking.”
In what authorities are describing as a shocking incident, a small plane collided with a car following an oversight of the runway in the Dallas suburb of McKinney this past weekend.
See the Video
The recorded footage shows the plane, propeller-first, crashing through a fence during what was supposed to be an emergency landing on Saturday. Momentarily airborne, the plane skewed onto a nearby roadway, lost a wheel, and eventually impacted the silver sedan, striking it laterally.
Jack Schneider, who was on the scene and captured the disturbing image on his phone, voiced concerns regarding the plane’s rapid descent rate.
Mckinney Fire Department Leads the Way
Emergency medical responders were quickly on the spot, with the McKinney Fire Department paramedics evaluating both plane occupants. Meanwhile, the car’s driver, entwined in the collision, was immediately rushed to the hospital, suffering minor injuries. This was later confirmed by a press release emanating from the McKinney Fire Department.
Plane Was Attempting Emergency Landing
Details pouring in indicate that the flight originated from the oil-rich city of Midland, located about 330 miles or 531 kilometers west of Dallas. The plane was attempting an emergency landing at Aero Country Airport during the accident. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has stepped in, initiating a comprehensive probe to unearth the crash’s underlying cause.
Indeed, this bone-chilling episode underscores the significance of adhering to runway safety protocols and robust emergency response mechanisms within the aviation industry. Runway overshooting potentially spells severe consequences for the pilots and any innocent bystanders in the vicinity. The current investigation by the FAA is set to shed light on how we can enhance aviation safety and effectively curb any similar future accidents.
Statistics for Airplanes Striking Cars and Buses
The Numbers Speak Volumes
While the sight of a plane colliding with a silver sedan is shocking, data from the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) reveals such accidents are not as uncommon as you might think. Although rare, from 1983 to 2013, NTSB records show 200 private planes crashing into cars on roads during takeoff or landing. These incidents have resulted in 136 deaths and many more severe injuries. Although these numbers may seem relatively small compared to overall traffic accident statistics, each incident represents an avoidable tragedy.
Federal and Texas Laws on Airplane-Road Proximity
According to federal and Texas state laws, some specific rules and regulations govern the operation of a plane near roads and cars. This is known as controlled airspace, and it extends to the ground in an area 5 statute miles in radius from the geographical center of any airport designated as part of an urban area. On the other hand, Texas regulations prohibit a person from navigating an aircraft in a manner that endangers persons or property on the ground. Breach of these laws can invite severe penalties, including fines and imprisonment. And federal laws tend to be uniform, from New Mexico, Missouri, Oklahoma, California, and Texas cities.
Legal Repercussions and Some Statistics
These alarming incidents make it clear that safety on the runway is as critical as safety in the skies, prompting urgent discussions on regulatory oversight and legal implications.
To put things in perspective, according to the Federal Aviation Administration, incidents where an aircraft strikes a car or bus are exceedingly rare. The FAAs National Wildlife Strike Database, spanning from 1990 to 2019, only recorded approximately 227 incidents of an aircraft striking land vehicles, which includes cars and buses.
However, it’s essential to consider that such statistics only account for reported incidents. Several minor accidents or those without fatalities might not make the list, painting a potentially misleading picture of the actual level of risk.
Regarding aviation regulations, Federal law stipulates that airports must protect the safety of both airport users and the general public. While there is no explicit federal rule prohibiting planes flying over cars or roads, it’s expected they maintain a safe distance. In most states, airports are advised to keep a safety zone between the airport property, including runways and public roads. This distance can range from 300 to 1000 feet, depending on the state’s law or airport guidelines.
When Airplanes and Cars Collide
Considering the potential implications, collisions between planes and on-road vehicles generally result in severe injury or even wrongful death. These types of injuries can range from burns due to jet fuel to critical head trauma, spinal cord injuries, or traumatic brain injuries. The gravity of such incidents cannot be overstated.
When it comes to pursuing legal action, injuries and deaths resulting from such collisions fall under the purview of personal injury or wrongful death laws.
In conclusion, while air-to-car collisions are relatively rare, the consequences can be severe, necessitating competent legal advice to pursue claims effectively. Incidents like this underscore the relevance of stringent safety measures, the enforcement of distance rules, and prompt emergency response plans in circumventing a disaster of this magnitude.
What are Some Examples in the News of Past Airplane vs. Auto Crashes?
In a world where airplanes increasingly share the skies with various other forms of transportation, accidents between airplanes and road vehicles are sporadic but not unheard of. Let’s take a look at some notable instances that have cropped up in recent years:
- January 2020, South Dakota: In a chilling incident, a plane making an emergency landing on a snow-covered highway in South Dakota clipped a passing car. The pilot of a Piper aircraft was trying to land on Highway 10 due to fuel shortage when the wing hit a car on the road. It was fortunate that no injuries were reported in this case.
- June 2017, California: In a bizarre series of events, a twin-engine Cessna 310 crash-landed on the 405 Freeway in Orange County, California, during heavy rush hour traffic. The plane struck a vehicle, causing significant damage, and burst into flames upon landing. The pilot and passenger sustained non-life-threatening injuries, and no injuries were reported among motorists.
- May 2014, British Columbia: An audacious crash occurred in Canada when a small plane crashed into a car on the highway while trying to make an emergency landing. When it struck a car, the aircraft was out of fuel while attempting to land on the Lougheed Highway in Agassiz. No fatalities were recorded, but the incident drew sharp attention to the dangers of aircraft near roadways.
Our seasoned Texas airplane and car accident attorneys bring extensive expertise to the table, ensuring victims of such collisions receive the justice they deserve.
Types of Injuries Sustained in Airplane-Car Collisions
When air and land vehicles collide, the resulting injuries can be especially severe due to the significant difference in size and speed between the two. These can span from minor injuries, such as cuts and bruises, to serious ones, including broken bones, traumatic brain injuries, burns, and even fatal bodily damage. More commonly, witnesses to such traumatic incidents may also experience extreme emotional distress.
Physical injuries in such cases are a cause of significant concern. These can include but are not limited to:
- Broken bones are often severe as they can affect multiple locations, including the pelvic region, arms, and legs
- Neck and spinal injuries, which can result in paralysis or chronic pain
- Head injuries, including concussions and traumatic brain injuries, could lead to long-term cognitive impairment
- Burns, which can be extremely severe given the explosive nature of aircraft fuel
- Fatal injuries that can tragically result in death.
Recognizing that serious accidents are not only about physical injuries is essential. The mental and emotional toll can be very overwhelming. Victims may experience:
- Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) potentially causes nightmares, flashbacks, and intense anxiety for years after the incident
- Depression and anxiety disorders, which can diminish quality of life and hinder the return to normalcy
Please note: If you or someone you know has been involved in an airplane-car collision, seeking immediate medical treatment is imperative. Not all injuries are readily detectable after an accident; some, like traumatic brain injuries, can develop or worsen over time if left untreated.
Pursuing Legal Justice in Case of Air-to-Car Collision
If you or a loved one has become a victim of a similar shocking incident, it’s essential to know the legal recourse available. In Texas, victims may be eligible for compensation for medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering. These cases generally fall under state jurisdiction but could be handled in federal court if a question of federal law, such as regulations instated by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), is involved.
Claims may involve various parties, from the pilots, the airport’s management, aircraft maintenance personnel, and even vehicle manufacturers. In the tragic event of a fatal Texas car accident, family members could potentially file a wrongful death claim. A qualified Texas plane and car accident attorney can guide you through the legal complexities, fighting for your rights every step of the way.
Typically, lawsuits about aviation and auto accidents are filed in state court. However, the claim might need to be presented in federal court if the accident involves multiple states or parties from across state lines. An experienced attorney can guide you through the legal complexity and assist in determining the most appropriate jurisdiction for your case.
Experience Matters: Texas Airplane and Car Accident Attorneys
In situations like these, experience truly counts. Seasoned Texas plane and car accident attorneys invest in-depth research into every case, constructing compelling arguments based on established law and precedent. Their expertise can be pivotal in securing a favorable outcome in complex aircraft and vehicle cases.
Remember, understanding your legal rights and options following such a traumatic event is crucial. Don’t face the aftermath alone; choose a skilled, experienced lawyer dedicated to seeking justice for victims of aviation and auto accidents.
Getting in Touch with Experienced Texas Attorneys
In Texas, aircraft and automobile accidents carry serious consequences. Our seasoned attorneys, boasting extensive experience handling complex cases, are here to help. Depending on the specific circumstances of the collision, you may be entitled to compensation for medical costs, emotional trauma, pain and suffering, lost wages, and other damages.
Who Can Be Sued?
In Texas, like other states, certain parties can be held accountable. In some cases, the Federal Aviation Administration, which controls air traffic, might be implicated.
Potential Defendants in Aviation and Auto Accidents
Depending on the case, several parties can be held accountable for the injuries or wrongful deaths caused by plane-car collisions. Generally, these include:
- Aircraft manufacturer or maintenance company: If a mechanical failure contributed to the incident.
- Airport: The airlines and airport can be held responsible if found negligent in maintaining safety measures or acting appropriately during an emergency.
- Pilot: If there is evidence of negligence or violation of aviation regulations.
- Local municipalities or private companies: Anyone responsible for the runway design or surrounding infrastructure if poor design or maintenance were contributing factors.
Determining Liability for Wrongful Death and Serious Injuries
Determining liability can often be complex in an airplane-car collision case such as this one. It largely depends on the specifics of the incident and can involve various factors. These can range from the airport’s runway design and safety measures to the pilot’s abilities or the aircraft’s maintenance history.
Pilot’s Responsibilities and Faults
If the pilot’s negligent actions led to the incident, they could be held accountable. For instance, if they were under-trained, made critical mistakes during landing, or ignored safety procedures, they might be considered liable. Nevertheless, liability does not always rest with the pilot.
Airport’s Design and Management Factors
Airport authorities are responsible for implementing appropriate safety measures. An airport could be partly responsible for an accident if, for example, its runway design is flawed or lacks sufficient boundaries between the runway and neighboring roads. If the airport did not have enforcing safety regulations or the management failed to supervise the operation properly, they might also share in the liability.
Aviation is not inherently dangerous, but to an even greater degree than the sea, it is terribly unforgiving of any carelessness, incapacity or neglect.
– Captain A. G. Lamplugh
Aircraft Maintenance and Manufacturing Defects
In some cases, a defect in the aircraft can lead to such incidents. If it’s determined that a plane’s malfunction was due to faulty maintenance or manufacturing defects, accountability may lie with the service or manufacturing company. Remember, an airplane must be inspected, fixed, tested, and maintained regularly, per federal aviation law. Failing to do so or negligent maintenance can considerably increase the risk of accidents.
Certainly, the liability determination process is complicated and often involves a thorough investigation and legal discourse. For this reason, indispensable legal counsel is needed in pursuing justice and rightful compensation.
Evidence Gathering and Expert Witnesses
Gathering evidence is a crucial part of determining liability. Evidence such as flight records, maintenance logs, pilot training records, and CCTV footage from the airport can all provide essential insights into the circumstances of the accident. Also, expert witnesses, like aviation safety experts and accident reconstruction specialists, can aid in understanding the technical aspects of the event and help establish the defendant’s negligence.
With accidents involving a plane and a vehicle, it’s vital to get legal advice from professionals who understand aviation and car accident law. Legal representation by airplane and car accident attorneys will guide victims through the intricate process by uncovering facts, determining fault, pursuing liability, and representing the case in court for compensation claims.
The higher we soar, the smaller we appear to those who cannot fly.
– Friedrich Nietzsche
Types of Damages Plaintiffs Can Recover?
In the aftermath of a traumatic accident, such as a plane colliding with a car, the victims may be eligible for several types of damages. Damages are financial compensation awarded to a plaintiff to cover the harm suffered due to someone else’s negligence or wrongful actions. Going through a severe accident may leave victims with various financial burdens, including medical bills, the cost of ongoing therapy or rehabilitation, property damage, and income loss due to the inability to work. A lawsuit may also account for non-economic damages, such as pain and suffering, emotional distress, and loss of enjoyment of life.
Medical Expenses and Future Medical Care
If you were injured in such an accident, you may be able to recover financial compensation for all related medical expenses. These include emergency room visits, surgeries, hospital stays, prescriptions, and any future medical care needed because of the accident. Think about rehabilitation and therapy expenses or the cost of lifetime care in severe cases. A Texas accident attorney with experience in airplane and car collisions could help you calculate these potential future costs.
Lost Wages and Loss of Earning Capacity
The aftermath of a serious accident usually means time off work. It’s not uncommon for victims to be incapable of returning to their previous line of work. In this case, you might be eligible for compensation for lost wages and potentially even the loss of future earning capacity.
Pain and Suffering
In a court context, ‘pain and suffering’ refers to the physical and emotional distress caused by an injury. It covers not just physical pain but also emotional and psychological trauma, including stress, worry, a decreased enjoyment of life, and missed life opportunities.
If your car or other personal property was damaged in the crash, you could also be entitled to compensation for these losses; whether it’s repair costs or the value of a total loss, you should not be left with these expenses.
Remember, pursuing compensation for damages can be intricately complex. Experienced attorneys specializing in airplane and car accident cases can guide you through the legal process. It’s critically important to understand all potential areas of compensation to ensure you get the total amount you’re entitled to to cover the harm and loss you have suffered.
The propeller is just a big fan in the front of the plane to keep the pilot cool. Want proof? Make it stop; then watch the pilot break out into a sweat.
What are the aviation industry’s proper runway safety measures and emergency procedures?
Proper runway safety measures and emergency procedures in the aviation industry are crucial for ensuring the safety of pilots, passengers, and bystanders. These measures are designed to minimize the risk of accidents and mitigate the potential damage in case of emergencies. Here are some critical aspects of runway safety and emergency procedures:
- Runway Design and Maintenance: Runways should be designed to meet specific safety standards. This includes proper markings, lighting, and signage to guide pilots during takeoff, landing, and taxiing. Regular inspections and maintenance are necessary to address potential hazards or issues that may compromise runway safety.
- Air Traffic Control: Effective communication between pilots and air traffic controllers is essential for maintaining runway safety. Controllers provide instructions and clearances to pilots, ensuring proper spacing between aircraft and coordinating movements on the runway. They also monitor weather conditions and provide timely updates to pilots to help them make informed decisions.
- Pilot Training and Procedures: Pilots undergo rigorous training to understand and follow proper runway safety procedures. This includes adhering to speed limits, maintaining appropriate distances from other aircraft, and using correct taxiing routes. Pilots are also trained to handle emergencies, such as aborted takeoffs or landing gear malfunctions, to minimize the risk of accidents.
- Runway Incursion Prevention: Runway incursions, which occur when an aircraft, vehicle, or person enters the protected area of an active runway without authorization, are a significant safety concern. Various measures, such as runway hold lines, runway status lights, and ground surveillance systems, are implemented to prevent runway incursions. Pilots and ground personnel receive training to identify and report potential incursions.
- Emergency Response Planning: Airports have comprehensive emergency response plans to handle various scenarios, including aircraft emergencies. These plans involve coordination between airport authorities, emergency services, and airlines to ensure a swift and effective response. Training exercises and drills are conducted regularly to test the readiness of personnel and identify areas for improvement.
By adhering to these runway safety measures and emergency procedures, the aviation industry aims to minimize the risk of accidents and ensure the safety of everyone involved. Continuous evaluation, training, and improvement are essential to stay updated with the latest safety standards and best practices.
What insights can the investigation by the Federal Aviation Administration provide to improve aviation safety and prevent similar accidents in the future?
The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) investigation can provide several insights to improve aviation safety and prevent similar accidents in the future. One key aspect that the investigation will likely focus on is determining the cause of the crash. The FAA can identify specific areas that need improvement by analyzing factors such as pilot error, mechanical failure, weather conditions, or any other contributing factors. This could involve enhancing pilot training programs, implementing stricter maintenance protocols, or improving weather monitoring systems to ensure safer flights.
Additionally, the investigation can shed light on any deficiencies in runway safety measures and emergency procedures. If the investigation reveals that the runway lacked proper signage, lighting, or other safety features, steps can be taken to rectify these issues. Similarly, if the emergency procedures followed by the pilot were found to be inadequate or ineffective, the FAA can work on developing more comprehensive guidelines and training for emergencies.
Investigating Can Reveal Root Causes
The investigation can provide insights into any systemic issues or patterns that may have contributed to the accident. By analyzing data from previous incidents and comparing it to the current case, the FAA can identify common factors or trends that increase the risk of accidents involving small planes and cars. This information can then be used to develop targeted safety campaigns, regulations, or guidelines to address these specific risks and prevent similar accidents in the future.
Ultimately, the goal of the investigation is to learn from the incident and take proactive measures to enhance aviation safety. By thoroughly examining all aspects of the accident, the FAA can make evidence-based recommendations and implement necessary changes to prevent similar incidents. The findings and recommendations resulting from the investigation can benefit not only the aviation industry but also the general public by ensuring safer skies and reducing the risk of accidents involving small planes and cars.
Seeking Aid from Seasoned Attorneys
Were you injured by an airplane coming at you from the runway quickly? Relying on seasoned aviation and auto accident attorneys can be the key to securing just compensation in such trying times. Considering the complex laws surrounding aircraft accidents and the devastating impact of such incidents, it’s crucial to put your trust in lawyers with impressive track records. Please remember that citizens are not alone in this fight.
Our experienced Texas and Dallas, Fort Worth attorneys are ready to help Texans navigate this complicated and daunting process against the government or any liable parties. Our firm is run by veterans, so we know how to deliver on our promises. We are ready to start investigating as soon as we complete our free legal consultation with you. We are available 24/7 at (833) LETS-SUE to help in all Texas towns and cities. We will hunt down the evidence and focus on getting you the most compensation as soon as we form an attorney-client relationship.
- Associated Press
- Watch: 8th grader captures moment plane crashes in McKinney, runs for safety
- A wild video shows the small plane in Texas barreling off the runway into the road before crashing into a passing car
- Texas Tribune
- A small plane makes an emergency landing and collides with a car in McKinney