Faulty Wiring Caused Fatal July Plane Crash

800px-Piper_PA-28_Cherokee_Landing_03

Faulty Wiring Caused Fatal July Plane Crash

I’m Ed Smith, a Sacramento airplane accident attorney. I want to inform you of new safety warnings regarding common small planes. On 9 January, the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) issued an urgent safety recommendation about the Piper PA-31T aircraft to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). The NTSB issued the recommendation after discovering faulty wiring, in a Piper PA-31T, may have caused a fatal crash in northern California.

Details of the Crash

On 29 July 2016, a pilot, flight nurse, and transport medic were transporting a patient from Crescent City to Oakland. In transit, the pilot reported smoke in the cockpit and declared an emergency to the air traffic controllers. The plane then disappeared.

First responders then discovered the wreckage of the plane in Humboldt County, approximately 280 miles north of San Francisco. All four persons onboard the Piper PA-31T medical transport flight were killed.

Cause of the Crash

Investigators believe the plane crashed after an in-flight fire caused the aircraft to break apart while still in the air. The newly released accident report indicates that the fire was caused by friction between electrical lines and hydraulic lines in the underside of the aircraft.

NTSB investigators reached these conclusions after discovering hydraulic lines and electrical lines touching in six other Piper PA-31T aircraft. When these two types of lines touch, they can chafe, creating a spark which then ignites the many flammable fluids necessary to an aircraft’s operation.

Details of the Safety Recommendations

The NTSB safety recommendation issued to the FAA calls for aircraft operators and maintenance crews to inspect the floor area of an aircraft where the hydraulic lines and electrical wires were found to be touching.

Typical maintenance inspection procedures do not include enough guidance on inspecting the floor area of an aircraft where the problem is found to exist. Consequently, maintenance inspections may not discover the problem before declaring a plane to be airworthy. The urgent recommendation provides both guidance on how to inspect the area and a timeline by which to complete the inspections.

The recommendation extends to Piper PA-31T, PA-31T1, PA-31T2, PA-31T3, and PA-31P-350 aircraft.

How significant is the recommendation?

This safety recommendation and warning is fairly significant as the NTSB only issues such directives “when the Board believes an imminent threat to life and safety exists.” As such, if the issues with the Piper aircrafts listed above persist, more crashes may occur.

How does this affect you?

The Piper PA-31 series of aircraft are twin-engined aircraft that typically carry small amounts of cargo or a few passengers traveling a short distance. As such, they are also often used for medical transport flights.

Most people will not be passengers aboard these types of planes because of their standard uses. Those most at risk from the safety problem, therefore, are those who spend time at small airports or fly with private pilots. The Piper PA-31 series of aircraft are routinely seen in California, though, so all person using a small aircraft should ensure they are not traveling on a Piper PA-31 series that has not been inspected.

Dangers of Air Ambulances

This safety recommendation also serves to underscore the ongoing safety problems with planes known as air ambulances as the Piper PA-31 series aircraft are also commonly used as medical transport planes. The FAA recognizes ongoing safety issues with these kinds of aircraft, where poor safety procedures may further risk the lives of already endangered people.

Related Article by Ed Smith:

Northern California Airplane Accident Attorney

I’m Ed Smith, a Sacramento airplane accident lawyer.  If you or a member of your family has been injured or killed in a plane crash, please call me today at (916) 921-6400 for free, friendly advice. You can also call me toll-free at (800) 404-5400.

I’ve helped countless families recover compensation for their personal injuries and wrongful death claims for more than 34 years.

We are California members of Million Dollar Advocates Forum, a community of trial lawyers that have won several million dollar verdicts and settlements.

Look at my successful lawsuits on my Past Verdicts and Settlements Page.

See my client reviews on Yelp, Avvo, and Google Plus.

Image Attribution: Wikimedia Commons

:KW rtc

Posted In:
Updated:

Client Reviews

  • Me and my wife; had a car accident. We were amazed how easy, professional, friendly attorney Ed Smith is along with his staff. Everybody is amazing. Thank you so much, we are very impressed!
    Sincerely,
    ★★★★★
  • Ed Smith and his office team took on a difficult personal injury case on my behalf and for the passenger in my car. Ed is a top- notch attorney. His staff couldn't have been more helpful and kind. No need to look elsewhere. I give Ed Smith my highest recommendation.
    ★★★★★
  • Ed and Robert have been taking great care of my husband and I for the past 5+ years. They are always there when you have a problem and a quick resolution! Even when the issues have nothing to do with them. They are willing to help ease the pain off your shoulders. They are as good as it gets! Thank you again for everything.
    ★★★★★
  • Very professional. Great team, staff and service all around. Mr Smith was very honest, straight forward with his advice. He gives the word "attorney" an honest reputation. I will seek his council anytime, and would recommend him at the drop of a dime.
    ★★★★★
  • I would highly recommend Ed Smith to any friends or family in need of a personal injury attorney. Ed, and his staff, are very caring on top of being very experienced in this field. The staff always keeps you informed of the status of your case and they are always easy to reach by phone.
    ★★★★★
  • Edward Smith law offices provide competent, thorough, and personable help for victims of personal injury. When you first meet the staff you know you contacted the right office. This law office treats clients like people. I recommend this office to anyone seeking representation regarding personal injury.
    ★★★★★