While flying, the thought of a possible accident due to a machine failure or any other reason often sits in the back of passengers' minds. Aircraft accidents are always serious, as victims rarely escape with minor injuries. Such was the case recently when a pilot was killed after his aircraft crashed near a western Montana ski area.
The Undersheriff stated that the vintage airplane was being flown from Florida to Montana, with the pilot having taken over the plane in Hamilton, Minnesota. The plane crashed in a parking lot near the Montana-Idaho border in Sula, Montana. The pilot was the only person on board at the time of the crash.
According to a witness, one person on the ground narrowly escaped the accident, as the plane crashed only 50 feet away from his vehicle as he was leaving the workplace. He also stated that there were cars parked at the site shortly before the plane crash. The National Transportation Safety Board investigator stated that there was no evidence that the pilot tried to land the plane, as it came straight down to the ground. The landing gear had not been deployed. However, the witness still believes that the pilot did everything possible to save lives on the ground.
The NTSB investigator stated that the plane was built in the late 1930s or early 1940s and had made multiple stops before it crashed. Investigations are ongoing to determine the probable cause of the accident. The investigators will look at maintenance records, talk to witnesses and interview people at airports where the pilot had previously worked to find clues. The crash investigation and report may take up to a year to complete.
As there may be various reasons for a plane crash, all aspects will be investigated. Research into the airplane equipment and components also may indicate the possibility of a products liability claim. Investigators also must check to see if the proper FAA standards and regulations were followed. This process may help the person recover compensation for loss of their loved ones and property damages.