Justice Starts Here

Premier Personal Injury & Wrongful Death Attorneys

Free Consultations | Se Habla Español
Rapoport Law Offices, P.C.
312-445-9160
877-216-4213

NTSB Says Poor Maintenance, Including Extremely Under-Inflated Tires, Caused 2008 Plane Crash That Killed Four And Critically Injured 2 In South Carolina

On April 6, the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) released its findings in the investigation into the fatal, September 19, 2008 plane crash of a chartered, Bombardier Learjet at South Carolina's Columbia Metropolitan Airport. The jet, carrying 6 people on board, was operated by Global Exec Aviation and was destined for Van Nuys, California, when it overran the runway, crashing through a perimeter fence and crossing a roadway before coming to a berm and bursting into flames. The captain, first officer and two passengers died in the crash; the two survivors, Blink-182 drummer Travis Barker and celebrity DJ Adam "DJ AM" Goldstein escaped the fiery crash but were critically wounded.

The NTSB investigation revealed that Global Exec Aviation failed to perform adequate maintenance on the Learjet, and that prior to and including the date of the accident, the airplane was operated while the main landing gear tires were severely underinflated. All four of the airplane's main landing gear tires failed during the takeoff, the first tire failing 1.5 seconds after the airplane had passed the maximum speed at which a takeoff can be safely aborted. The NTSB found that the first officer indicated to the captain that the takeoff should continue, but the captain chose to reject takeoff by deploying the airplane's thrust reversers at near-takeoff speed, something pilots are trained to avoid unless the pilot concludes the airplane is unable to fly. According to the NTSB investigation, there was no evidence that the airplane was unable to become airborne.

During the investigation, the Board determined that the tire failure damaged a sensor which caused the jet's thrust reversers to return to the stowed position, indicating that perhaps the airplane's control system believed the plane to be airborne, when thrust reversers are no longer needed. This malfunction spelled disaster, because while the pilot was attempting to slow the airplane, the thrust reversers were not activated, so the jet was actually careening forward at the speed required for takeoff, greatly increasing the severity of the accident.

In July, 2009, the NTSB recommended to Learjet that it change the design of some of its thrust reversers so that they could remain controllable in emergency situations, even if there were malfunctions with sensors or other electronic equipment. Further, the Board suggested that Learjet pilots receive intensive training into the safe use and potential problems of an aircraft's thrust reversers

Ironically, the cockpit voice recorder, which captured the conversation between the captain and the first officer in the moments before the crash, revealed that immediately prior to the attempted takeoff, both pilots were discussing the length of the runway and the circumstances that would result in an aborted takeoff. "[W]e've got plenty of runway," one of the pilots can be heard saying. Four minutes later, after nearly reaching the speed needed for takeoff and then attempting to reject the takeoff, it became apparent to the crew that the equipment had malfunctioned. "[T]hey're shut off they're shut off" exclaims one of the pilots, followed by the other pilot responding "how many?" just seconds before the crash.

No Comments

Leave a comment
Comment Information

Recent Jury Verdicts &
Settlements

$6.4 Million Settlement Medical Malpractice

More Verdicts & Settlements
  • National board of trial academy
  • ABPLA | American Board of Professional Liability Attorneys
  • AV preeminent | Peer rated for highest level of professional excellence 2018
  • The best lawyer in America
  • Super Lawyers
  • America's top 100 high stakes litigators
  • The national trial lawyers top 100 trial lawyers
  • Avvo Rating 10.0 Superb Top rated personal injury
  • American association for justice president's club
  • American association for justice Leaders forum
  • ACBCA American College of Board Certified Attorneys
  • B Injury Board
  • Recommended by peers for leading lawyers network the top lawyers

*AV®, AV Preeminent®, Martindale-Hubbell Distinguished and Martindale-Hubbell Notable are certification marks used under license in accordance with the Martindale-Hubbell certification procedures, standards and policies. Martindale-Hubbell® is the facilitator of a peer review rating process. Ratings reflect the anonymous opinions of members of the bar and the judiciary. Martindale-Hubbell® Peer Review Ratings™ fall into two categories — legal ability and general ethical standards.

**Board certification is not required to practice law in Illinois, and the Illinois Supreme Court does not recognize specialties in the practice of law.

What Our Clients Say

  • Just wanted to take a moment to say thank you. I know a lot of hard work, by all of you, went into the preparation of this case and we wanted you to know that it is greatly appreciated. We worried about many things during that period, but one thing we didn't worry about was our attorneys. What a fine team you make! You guys are great! Read More
  • I wanted to touch base with everyone again to express my thanks to everyone involved in the USAir 1016 case for the way the case was handled and the way you treated myself and my family. While I realize that there are other law firms that could have tried the case, I don't believe they could have matched the caring you showed us... Read More
  • How do we thank you for doing such a tremendous job with the lawsuit against Freeport Memorial Hospital?...The day that check arrived I was so nervous, in fact I was a wreck until we had it safely invested. I am not thanking you just as our attorney, but as a very good friend...Read More
  • We would like to take this opportunity to express our heartfelt thanks for the supportive service that you have given our family during the past three years. While we wish that we would not have found ourselves in a situation requiring your services, we are grateful for the sensitive way...Read More
Email Us For a Response

Have Questions? We Have Answers.

Tell us about your case and we’ll get back to you with a FREE case evaluation.

Bold labels are required.

Contact Information
disclaimer.

The use of the Internet or this form for communication with the firm or any individual member of the firm does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Confidential or time-sensitive information should not be sent through this form.

close

Premier Personal Injury & Wrongful Death Attorneys

Call 877-216-4213 or Email Us For A Free Initial Consultation

 Rapoport Law Offices, P.C

Office Location

20 North Clark Street
Suite 3500
Chicago, IL 60602

Toll Free: 877-216-4213
Phone: 312-445-9160
Chicago Law Office Map

Contact Information

Map