This case involves a plane crash that occurred during a flight lesson. The plaintiff was a flight instructor operating a high-winged, light aircraft, when the equipment allegedly failed and the plane crashed, killing the instructor. It appeared that this accident was precipitated by an unplanned stall. An expert in the engineering, equipment, and mechanics of airplanes, specifically this type of aircraft body, was sought to perform an inspection of the plane and discuss whether a mechanical malfunction caused the accident.
Question(s) For Expert Witness
- 1. Please briefly describe your experience and credentials with airplanes, and specifically airplane mechanical failures.
Expert Witness Response E-070272
I have been restoring aircraft reliability since 1993 as an aircraft mechanic in the United States Navy. I have a valid FAA airframe and power plant license issued in 2000. I currently hold the privilege of inspection authorization endorsed by the Baton Rouge FSDO. Currently, I have 100+ college credited hours from Embry -Riddle Aeronautical University towards a degree in aviation maintenance management. I have previously worked on a case against a major commercial airline. The defendants settled out of court. Aircraft maintenance engineering requirements are set forth by the FAA and EASA and these requirements do not change. The only thing that changes is the design style. The aircraft logbook entries will paint a picture as to whether the owners were following the maintenance requirements for this aircraft set forth by the manufacturer. Airworthiness directives, service bulletins, and service letters must be addressed by the owners of that aircraft. The owners are responsible for the airworthiness of that aircraft per the FARS.
Expert Witness Response E-026490
I have 40 years in the aviation industry and hold an airframe and powerplant certificate issued by the FAA. I have provided aircraft accident training as an associate staff member for the Transportation Safety Institute of the US Department of Transportation. There is a very small population of this type of aircraft operating in the United States. I have served on similar cases, both civil and criminal, involving the proper maintenance of the oxygen generators onboard the aircraft. The approved maintenance program is different for every model of aircraft. It requires the ability to read and comprehend the specific requirements developed by the manufacturer and approved by the regulatory agencies (EASA, JAA & FAA) for safe flight. I have extensive knowledge and experience with reviewing the maintenance records of aircraft.