NC Aviation Law Attorney

Dangers At Newark Airport

The unsafe landing procedures have been revealed at New Jersey’s Newark Airport because the air traffic controllers who cared more about passenger safety than their jobs.

The controllers knew that landing planes on intersecting runways at the same time risked lives and when the FAA ignored them, they turned to the news media for help. All they wanted the FAA to do was to help them do their job – to keep airplanes from colliding. Even after several close calls, the FAA tried to keep the controllers quiet, accused of caring more about capacity than safety.

The Department of Transportation Inspector General confirmed the landing on intersecting runways at Newark created “unnecessary flight hazards” and faults the FAA for being slow to respond. New Jersey Congressman Chris Smith states the slow response to prevent a catastrophe could have killed hundreds if not thousands. The Office of Special Counsel blasted the FAA for not going far enough an for allowing “a potential danger to the flying public to persist.”

The FAA plans to start up an automated system to help air traffic controllers separate plane on intersecting runways on December 14th.

Posted by 3:08 pm

Mr. Crouse, Prominent Aviation Attorney, Quoted By Rotorhub

The following article was released by Rotohub, Sikorsky Bell, and Eurocopter.

Raleigh, NC September 10, 2008 — The Sept. 4 crash of the United States Coast Guard Eurocopter HH-65 “Dauphin” helicopter and the loss of four service members comes on the heels of three other high-profile crashes and points to the ongoing need for increased efforts in helicopter safety, says a prominent aviation law attorney.

Devices such as cockpit voice recorders and flight data recorders — two electronic tools which could help pinpoint the causes of fatal helicopter crashes — are the exception rather than the norm in most helicopters and light aircraft, says Raleigh, N.C. lawyer James T. Crouse, a former U.S. Army helicopter test pilot.

“These devices are available and should be mandated,” Crouse says. “Similar devices have been utilized in the automotive industry for years, and are now affordable for use in smaller aircraft in aviation such as helicopters.”

Crouse is the senior partner in the Crouse Law Firm, which concentrates in aviation accident law at the local, national and international level, representing the families of persons injured in civilian and military aviation accidents, including helicopter crashes.

Crouse has long been an advocate of greater safety devices in helicopters and has written extensively about the causes of helicopter accidents. The Coast Guard crash in Hawaii may have been caused by a problem with the aircraft’s main rotor system, Crouse says, perhaps as a result of interference by a cable that could have snapped during a simulated rescue operation involving the aircraft’s winch. “Fortunately, the aircraft had a flight data recorder which, along with other portions of the aircraft, has been recovered,” Crouse says. Four survivors have also been able to give information to investigators, according to Crouse.

The need for greater helicopter safety is underscored by the Coast Guard crash and several other recent incidents:

An Aug 8. crash of a Sikorsky S-61N helicopter in Northern California’s Trinity Alps took the lives of seven firefighters and two others. “The crash is still under investigation, but given the fact that it was a heavily loaded helicopter at a fairly high density altitude, the aircraft was within the danger zone of helicopter operations where any problem with lift can cause the aircraft to have difficulty maintaining altitude,” Crouse says.

On Aug. 29, a Robinson helicopter crashed in southwestern Missouri. Very little information has been released on that accident. “This is a popular helicopter due to its relatively low cost, and its simple design makes it popular with new helicopter pilots,” Crouse says. “The fact that the helicopter was seen flying normally and then nose-dived points to a failure of a component.”

On Aug. 31, an Air Evac medical helicopter crashed near Burney, Indiana, killing the pilot, flight nurse and paramedic. Reportedly, the Bell Model 206 Long Ranger helicopter’s main rotor system was found 200 yards from the main crash site, possibly indicating a catastrophic failure of the main rotor system, says Crouse. The crash marked the fifth time in recent years that a medical helicopter operated by Air Evac EMS has crashed, and the second fatal accident in Indiana for the West Plains, Missouri company.

Crouse says that major steps are being taken in helicopter safety through the work of such organizations as the International Helicopter Safety Team, formed by industry and government groups to study the causes of accidents and to make recommendations on their prevention.
Those efforts are commendable, but Crouse notes that data recorders are still not required on helicopters–or other “light” aircraft. This is a limitation for the accident investigators, Crouse says. “The investigators still rely upon an analysis of the wreckage–which they have been doing for decades. We could get closer to the cause if we had this electronic information. The capability is there, why not use it?”

Crouse added: “Whether the cause of each of these crashes can be determined remains to be seen. But the families, operators and manufacturers need to know what happened. Without this knowledge, there is a strong risk that crashes will continue to occur due to the same, undetermined, causes.”

About Crouse Law Offices:Crouse Law Offices in Raleigh, N.C. is headed by attorney James T. Crouse, a pilot and lawyer with more than three decades of aviation and legal experience. Mr. Crouse also teaches aviation law at Duke University Law School. For more information, visit the firm’s Websites at and

Posted by 4:44 pm

Wrongful Death Claim Filed As Result of DJ AM’s Plane Crash

People Magazine reports “DJ AM’s” mother has added a wrongful death claim to the lawsuit her son filed against LearJet prior to his death.

In her lawsuit, Andrea Gross claims the plane crash in September 2008 “ultimately caused Adam Goldstein’s death at a later date.” The co-pilot and three others were killed when their Learjet went down shortly after takeoff in South Carolina. Goldstein and a drummer with the band survived but suffered second and third degree burns.

Goldstein had filed a $20 million lawsuit against Learjet, the pilot’s estate and others prior to his death. Post-Traumatic Stress and survivor’s guilt from the plane crash is cited as the cause of his fatal relapse in August.

The family of the co-pilot has settled their wrongful death lawsuit and will receive $500,000.

With 28 years of experience in aviation law, including handling crashes internationally, Crouse Law Offices will be able to handle your concerns competently and efficiently. The successful career of Crouse Law Offices has gained them the respect of major law firms and large aviation manufacturers. If you or a loved one has been injured or killed in a helicopter or plane incident, please call us at 919-861-0500 or contact us online for a free review of your case.

Wrongful Death

Posted by 4:14 pm

Zoned Airspace Goes Into Effect Over The Hudson

On Thursday, November 19, a long needed “exclusionary zone” over the Hudson River in New York City goes into effect. The new “zone” system separates the airspace for helicopters and seaplanes from the airspace for aircraft flying over the Hudson, reports rotor & wing.

VFR aircraft which operate under air traffic control rules will operate above 1,300 feet while lower flying aircraft using visual flight rules will fly between 1,000 feet and 1,300 feet and use the same radio frequency used by aircraft flying below 1,000 feet. These changes were made in hopes of avoiding another midair collision such as the one on Aug. 8 that killed nine people.

Aircraft Rules Over The Hudson

Posted by 3:23 pm

Mother Sues After Daughter Dies In Helicopter Crash

The mother of an Oklahoma woman who died last month in a helicopter crash has filed suit against the pilot’s estate, his parents, the helicopter manufacturer, the owner of the helicopter and five unknown men, reports the Tahlequah Daily Press.

The crash of the Robinson R-22 in mid-October killed her daughter and the 26-year-old pilot. The suit alleges the pilot negligently operated the aircraft which caused the injuries that led to her daughter’s death. The pilot’s parents are listed because they had control over the helicopter and allowed their son to fly the chopper, knowing he had “reckless flying habits.” Robinson Helicopter Co. is accused of negligent design of the R-22 which made it “defective and unreasonably dangerous.”

A judgment of $10,000 from each defendant is sought in the case.

Crouse Law Offices has vast experience in the field of Aviation Law. Mr. Crouse is a qualified Army helicopter pilot and has the experience and knowledge needed to competently handle your helicopter case. If you or a loved one has been injured or killed in a helicopter crash, call our offices at 1-919-861-0500 or online for a free evaluation of your case.

Helicopter Crash Lawsuit

Posted by 4:47 pm

Medical Helicopter Crashes In Arizona

Another medical helicopter crashes – this time in Arizona, seriously injuring both people on board, reports the Associated Press. Since this was a training flight, there were no patients on the flight.

The Eurocopter AS 350 was a training helicopter and was attempting landing on the San Carlos Indian reservation when the pilot lost control and crashed around 7:30 p.m. Wednesday night.

The FAA and NTSB are investigating.

Arizona Medical Helicopter Crash

Posted by 3:57 pm

$8.5M Awarded in Ford Rollover Product Liability Case

The Gadsden (Alabama) Times reports an Etowah County Circuit Court jury has awarded $8.5 million to a woman injured in a 2003 Mercury Mountaineer rollover accident.

Two people were killed in the accident and two were injured, including Latoya Duckett. Ms. Duckett filed a product liability lawsuit against Ford Motor Company alleging the vehicle was unstable and rolled over too easily. As a result of the accident, Ms. Duckett’s right leg had to be amputated just below the knee, her left arm is paralyzed, and she suffered brain injury.

The case against Ford Motor Company in the deaths of the father and daughter killed in the accident was settled for an undisclosed amount several years ago.

No punitive damages were awarded, but the $8.5 million in compensatory damages was the largest in the county’s history.

If you or a loved one has been injured or killed by a defective product, call the experienced attorneys at Crouse Law Offices at 919-861-0500 or use our online contact form. With over 28 years experience they work hard for their clients who have been injured by these products.

Ford SUV Rollover

Posted by 2:20 pm

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