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Tyabb, Australia - March 9, 2014: Moony M-20J light aircraft VH-MOP taking off from Tyabb Airport.

Light Plane Crash in Northern California Claims Lives of Four on Board

Humboldt County Plane Crash Fatalities Include Sacramento Man

A light plane crash in Northern California on July 15 resulted in the fatalities of the four people on board near Dinsmore. According to a report by the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office, those who died in the crash were identified as Kenneth John Malinowski, a 62-year-old Sacramento County resident, Henry Punt, a 69-year-old from Los Angeles County, Jacquie Ann Figg, a 56-year-old from San Bernardino County and Steve Sanz, a 63-year-old from Orange County. The accident is under investigation by the Federal Aviation Administration, National Transportation Safety Board, and Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office to determine the cause.

Details of the Plane Crash

The Mooney M20J plane, which has a single-engine, crashed near Dinsmore Airport around noon and caught fire. Humboldt County firemen, witnesses, and other community members joined together to try to assist those in the plane and extinguish the fire before it could spread.

Causes of Crashes Involving Light Planes

Almost four light plane crashes occur daily in the United States. Many of them result in fatalities or serious injuries. Some of the reasons for a light plane to crash include:

  • Pilot error can cause a light plane crash as well as a sudden medical event.
  • The pilot may have inadequate training or education.
  • The pilot can lose control of the aircraft, which generally means that the light plane goes into a stall because the engine has stopped.
  • Adverse weather conditions, including rain, sleet, or wind, can cause a light plane crash.
  • Planes constructed by amateurs are more likely to crash.
  • System component failure can occur in any of the parts or instruments of a light plane. In some, it may mean that a part or instrument was defective, and the manufacturer may be liable for fatalities or injuries.
  • Inadequate or improper maintenance on the plane can lead to a crash.

Investigation of a Light Plane Crash

Many accidents involving light airplanes are preventable, and by conducting an investigation, it can be determined what caused the crash. Our law office and investigative teams work with authorities to discover how and why a light plane crash occurred. By doing this, the grieving family may be able to file a wrongful death claim to recover damages. Finding the cause of an airplane fatality accident includes:

  • Maintenance and repair records for the airplane are checked to ensure it was safe to fly.
  • The inspectors examine the crash plane’s study to determine the cause of the crash and if a defect in the aircraft contributed to it.
  • The log kept by air traffic control of the flight’s takeoff and crash is checked to see if an error contributed to the accident.
  • The flight log of the plane is examined, which can provide useful information.
  • The pilot’s background, the number of flight hours and certifications are examined.
  • Recorded data on the plane and cell phones are checked by the investigators, which can shed light on the cause of the plane crash.

Once the investigators compile the evidence, it is given over to our injury attorneys, who use it in constructing a strong case to support the client’s claim for compensation or the family’s wrongful death case.

Related Articles by Sacramento Airplane Accident Lawyer Ed Smith:

Sacramento Airplane Accident Lawyer

I’m Ed Smith, a Sacramento airplane accident lawyer. If your loved one died due to the negligence of another, I would be honored to offer your family my free and friendly advice. I can be reached at (916) 921-6400 or (800) 404-5400. An online contact form is available in addition. 

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Since 1982, we’ve helped numerous Northern Californians and Sacramentans in obtaining fair compensation for all varieties of traffic accidents, wrongful deaths, and other types of cases.

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