Airlaws Legal Experience
Members have 31 undergraduate degrees – 20 are engineering or science degrees.
Five (5) members attended Military Academies [(4) USAFA, and (1) USNA ]
Members have 11 Master degrees – 9 are in engineering or science.
Thirty-one members are attorneys and have Juris Doctorate degrees or greater.
Airlaw’s members have been involved as attorneys at law for over 785 total years.
At least 4 members are or have been adjunct or full law professors.
One has served a judgeship,
One has served as Safety Chair for Delta MEC, ALPA and IFALPA.
Members have authored a total of 9 reference texts.
AirLaws Legal Experience
Individual State Bar Organizations and committees,
ALPA, SWAPA, TALPA, ABA, IATL, ATLA, TTLA, HTLA, ACIA, ATA, LPBA, NTSB Bar Association, Navy Tail Hook, Million Dollar Advocates Forum, ISASI, USAFA Alumni Association, Alethian Society, SSS, A
Seventeen members of Airlaws have a total of more than four hundred (400) years as active union members, many in elected and appointed leadership positions involving airline safety, union grievances and RLA contract actions as well as FAA violation defense work. One was so active he became Board certified in Employment law.
Members have been licensed to practice in the following states : Florida, North Carolina, Texas, Louisiana, New Mexico, California, Utah, Michigan, New York, Oklahoma, Georgia, Arkansas and several foreign countries
AirLaws Legal Experience
Note: No member is board specialized in Aviation Law. Aviation Law is not a recognized board specialty in most states. Individual board specializations are noted on each member’s resume page. Not all members of The Airlaws Group will work on every case. The team of attorneys assigned to each case will be determined on a case by case basis.
Airlaw’s members have been involved with aviation for over 1,100. total years
Twenty six (26) members are pilots.
Twenty one (21) members were military pilots, (8) Navy pilots, (10) Air Force, (1) Marine, (3) Army.
Five (5) members were civilian pilots.
Eight(8) were carrier qualified pilots.
Four (4) were Top Gun or Aggressor pilots.
Six (6) had R&D.systems test or experimental flight test backgrounds.
Most have taught flying or gave check rides during their careers.
Twenty one (21) of our jet pilots have flown for major airlines.
Sixteen (16) have flown jumbo jets on international routes.
Our pilot / members collectively have have vast Aviation experiences
Our pilot/attorney members have accumulated in excess of three hundred seventy five thousand flight hours. [ 375,000 ] At jet speeds that is about 187 million miles. Based on 40 hour work weeks, that is 9,375 weeks airborne. [ 300 weeks for each pilot]
Airlaw’s members have evaluated, investigated, helped litigate, or litigated about two thousand aviation accidents. (2,000)
A PARTIAL LISTING
NAVY: F-8 Crusader, F-4 Phantom, A-4 Skyhawk, A-6 Intruder, S2 Tracker, F-14 Tom Cat, F-18, S3 Viking, F-16N
AIRFORCE: T-38 Talon, F-5, F-100 Super Sabre, F102 Delta dart, F-4 Phantom, F-15 Eagle, C-141, B-52, C-123,
ARMY: Huey, Apache, Blackhawk, Kiowa
AIRLINE TYPE RATINGS:
CV-880, Boeing 737, Boeing 727, Boeing 757, Boeing767, Boeing 747, Boeing 777, Airbus 300, Airbus 320, DC-8, MD80 series, MD-11, Lockheed L1011, Lockheed L-15. A330, DC-3, DC-4, DC-9, DC-10, G111, G64, Lear series,
Piper: Colt, Tri pacer, Apache, Cherokee, Cheyenne, Seneca II.
Cessna:150, 152, 172, 182, 310, 337, Citation
Beech: V tail, A-36, Baron, Travel Aire, Queenaire, Kingair 200,
North American: Turbo Commander, Diamond 3, Westwind, Citation, MU2,
Various: home builts, ultra lights and experimental aircraft.
Military Trainers: Tweety bird, T-33, T-34, T-38, T-28, T2 Buckeye, TS2a, TA4,
Approximately 19 ½ years of airline classroom training time
Approximately 300 years of airline flying
Approximately 75 type ratings
Approximately 1500 flight simulator periods
Approximately 600 recurrent schools
Approximately 600 line checks
Approximately 2,000 observed flight hours LOA
Our members have collectively flown to every state in the union, over every ocean in the world, to most countries in the European Union, to many countries in the old Warsaw Pact including Russia and to many countries of the Pacific rim.
Aircraft Accident Experience
Aviation is a safe undertaking, but like the sea, aviation is unforgiving of errors. Marvel that, highly technical aircraft products, flown by varying pilot skill levels, into mobile weather conditions, and into changing and sometimes hostile environments, are regularly accomplished safely.
To understand how safe the situation is all one need do is to look to the insurance industry. Airline pilots and flight crews have not had to pay added hazardous duty premiums for their life insurance premiums while plying the aviation trade. This safety record has come about in the United States for a multitude of reasons, including the fact that Corporate and Governmental management and their families all fly regularly. Another reason is that the pilots who sit in front of the aircraft always get to the scene of the accident first. Pilots are personally at risk when they make mistakes.
Unfortunately, tragedies do occur and persons are hurt and sometimes killed. The unfortunate accident demands an investigation conducted for several very different reasons. Let it be said that almost all aviation accidents involve some human error, be it pilot error, controller error, weather errors, supervisory errors, training errors or engineering product design errors or construction errors.
It is a legal precedent in US law that persons or companies are required to pay damages for the negligent harm they cause through needless accidents., and
Investigations are conducted for three basic reasons
The Government conducts investigations for two reasons. The first reason is to determine if a crime of sabotage or terrorism has occurred. This is in essence a criminal investigation. The Government conducts investigations to gather facts, to evaluate cause of the accident, and to make recommendations for safety that would lower the risk that an identical accident would re occur. In short they look for criminal activity and to promote aviation safety in the future.
LEGAL INVESTIGATIONS and EVIDENCE GATHERING
A lawyer is needed to conduct an investigation to legally help the tragedies victims. It is a legal precedent in US law that persons or companies are required to pay damages for the negligent harm they cause through needless accidents. It is also legal precedent in US law that persons or companies are required to pay damages for harm their defective product causes in accidents. The lawyers helps the injured victim or the families of deceased victims find fault and thereby recover money damages for the injury or wrongful death.
LEGAL INVESTIGATIONS START WHERE THE GOVERNMENT STOPS
Legal investigations are always larger and more encompassing than the Governments Aircraft Accident Investigation. That of course does not mean that the attorneys can conduct an investigation to the scale and cost of any government investigation. The point is that the government does a good job of finding and cataloging much of factual evidence and data. The lawyers have access to this and it is from the Governments final report that Lawyers expand the search and conduct much deeper analysis of the true proximate cause of the tragedy.
Lawyers have discovery tools not available and not typically utilized in governmental investigations. Lawyers are looking to the past accidents and to historical negligence and defect history. The government tries to prevent the next accident.
Legal Investigations have many legal tools to aid in their investigation that are almost never used by the government in the conduct of its investigation.
Lawyers regularly utilize:Subpoena powers
Sworn deposition testimony of hostile witnesses
Sworn written questions called interrogatories,
Sworn admissions of fact
Sworn and force production of documents and things
Freedom Of Information Requests.
The trial to a verdict is the only chance an air crash victim has to recover damages. That is why it is vital that the accident investigation be as thorough as possible. A trial Lawyer will, over a lifetime of Legal work, go to trial on hundreds of occasions. The air crash victim’s trial occurs once and the trial firm will generally win or lose for the victim, based on the efficacy and thoroughness of investigation and trial preparation. Because the Aviation endeavor is so technically sophisticated and cutting edge, it makes sense to utilize a trial firm capable of handling this variety of case.
NTSB photo courtesy Al Diehl