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Plane Crashes: Pilot Allegedly "Grossly Negligent"

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New York, NYThe plane crash in the Hudson River has many people once again believing in miracles and praising the quick actions of the plane's pilot in averting disaster. It is true that the airplane crash could have been a disaster, and the people on board US Airways Flight 1549 must be counting their blessings that they survived such an ordeal. Unfortunately, not many plane crashes have a happy ending. Many result in lost lives, permanent injury and emotional trauma. That is why airplane lawsuits are filed after such crashes—to compensate victims and their families for the trauma they endured.

Plane Crash PilotOne family, luckily, survived their plane crash last summer—and now they've filed a lawsuit against the pilot and owner of the plane they were in. The family was on vacation from Ireland and had taken a day trip to Key West. However, according to the family's lawsuit, the pilot did not refuel the plane before leaving Key West and did not brief the family on emergency procedures prior to take off. The family also alleges that the plane did not have enough life preservers for each of its passengers.

"All we know is the plane ran out of gas on a very short flight, and that is inexcusable and grossly negligent," said the family's lawyer, Larry Farese, as quoted in the Naples News. "You don't take a family of five on a short plane ride with no gas in it."

It was supposed to have been a relaxing vacation day for the family, which included 2 parents and 3 children. The family left Marco Island by plane and arrived approximately 35 minutes later at Key West. They then made arrangements to be picked up at 5 that even to return to Marco Island. It was on their return trip to Marco Island that things went horribly wrong.

During the flight, the right propeller stopped functioning. The plane crashed into the Gulf of Mexico—where the victims clung to life preservers and waited for help to arrive. Except for one family member, the father, who did not have a life preserver and had to cling to his daughters to stay afloat. Fortunately, the family survived, but they suffered injuries in the crash and have sought counseling to help overcome the trauma they endured.

Meanwhile, the family of 1 person killed in a plane crash has filed a lawsuit against the estates of the pilots involved in the crash. The crash involved 2 planes that collided while flying over Corona. Four people on the planes and a fifth person on the ground were killed in the crash. The wrongful death lawsuit also names a flight instructor and the owner of one of the planes as defendants. The National Transportation Safety Board has not yet determined who was at fault in the collision. According to witnesses, neither of the pilots appeared to attempt to take measures to avoid the crash.

The crash of US Airways Flight 1549 into the Hudson River, and the survival of all passengers and crewmembers, is a reminder that plane crashes can have happy endings. However, it is important to remember that there is still an investigation into the cause of the crash. There are still questions that must be answered. Could the pilots have avoided the unusually large flock of birds? Could the Port Authority have done more to prevent birds from flying in the area? Was it just a collision with the birds that caused the crash, or was there a mechanical failure in the plane (there have been reports of a compressor stall on that plane in the days before the crash)?

In any plane crash there are vital questions that must be answered before blame can be assigned. Even in situations like US Airways Flight 1549 or the crash near Key West, where everyone survived, it is important to fully understand what caused the crash so that future crashes—and potential tragedies—can be avoided.

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