Exclusive Interview for February Sweeps: News 4 San Antonio Features Ladd Sanger on the Deadly Loophole of Hog Hunting Helicopters

Feral hog hunting from helicopters is big business in Texas, however it also carries big risks that can have catastrophic consequences. News 4 San Antonio interviewed Ladd Sanger on the dangers of these hog hunting excursions, as well as the lawsuit he is handling for Thomas Swan, a Medina County organic farmer, who was injured when the helicopter he was riding in crashed.

According to Sanger, NTSB documents indicated the helicopter was operating with a Part 91 “General Aviation” certificate, not a Part 135 “Commercial Charter” certificate, which has tougher safety standards. “That means that you have maintenance programs, that means you have FAA oversight, that means you have an operations manual, you have a chief pilot, you have a director of operations, you have training standards,” said Sanger.

Sanger also claims many hog hunt operators are taking advantage of a loophole that allows them to fly up to six hunts a year with just a “General Aviation” certificate, if they stay within 25 miles of an airport and notify the FAA ahead of time. He believes the FAA needs to eliminate that loophole, or more hunters could end up like Thomas Swan, whose injuries have made it difficult to continue farming.

To watch the full segment, click here.

Mike Slack and Ladd Sanger Interviewed on the Deadly Grand Canyon Helicopter Crash

An Airbus EC-130 helicopter (fka Eurocopter) crashed in the Grand Canyon on Saturday February 10, 2018, leaving three dead and four in critical condition. Arizona Daily News, The Arizona Republic, KSNV Channel 3, FOX 5 Vegas, Las Vegas Review Journal and Univision Las Vegas turned to Mike Slack and Ladd Sanger, who have handled numerous crashes involving this aircraft, as well as a prior crash by tour operator, Papillon Helicopters, to discuss what might have caused the accident.

According to Slack and Sanger, Papillon Helicopters has had fatal crashes like this in the past; and the EC-130 has had an estimated 25 crashes between January 1, 2001 and February 11, 2018. “In this particular crash, we saw a post-crash fire, which we’ve also seen in several other crashes we’ve handled. Airbus has been aware that its helicopters have a tendency to explode in otherwise survivable impacts, but has chosen not to improve the crashworthiness of its fuel systems,” said Slack.

According to Sanger, this is particularly problematic since Airbus helicopters already have a tendency to experience engine failures. “Too many passengers have died or suffered horrible burn injuries because of the tendency of Airbus helicopters to explode in otherwise survivable crashes,” said Sanger.

Click here to read the full Arizona Daily Sun article.

Click here to read the Arizona Republic article.

Click here to read the USA Today article.

Click here to read the Las Vegas Review Journal article.

Watch the full KSNV Channel 3 interview here.

Ladd Sanger Featured in Lohud.com Article: Nature Air Grounded After Costa Rican Plane Crash That Killed Steinberg Family

Costa Rican aviation officials have grounded Nature Air, the charter flight company, after one its planes crashed and killed the Steinberg family on New Year’s Eve. Lohud.com turned to Dallas Managing Partner Ladd Sanger in the article “Nature Air Grounded After Costa Rican Plane Crash That Killed Steinberg Family,” to discuss the suspension of Nature Air’s operating certificate as investigators search for a cause of the plane crash.

According to Sanger, aviation regulators likely found repeated or intentional violations in order to justify suspending an entire airline operation. He also noted that pulling an operating certificate affects many other flights and business at Nature Air.

“What we have is Nature Air has had a couple of crashes and this accident has pulled back the curtain probably on some operational issues at the company,” Sanger explained.

Read full article.

Ladd Sanger Featured in Fox News: Deadly Costa Rica Crash Highlights Dangers of Non-Commercial Tourism Flights

The Cessna plane crash in Costa Rica that killed 10 Americans sheds light on the dangers associated with flying non-commercial tourism flights in countries where there is little transparency on the type of service one is getting, pilot experience, safety records and the age and maintenance of the aircraft.

In the Fox News article “Deadly Costa Rica Crash Highlights Dangers of Non-Commercial Tourism Flights, Aviation Experts Say,” Dallas Managing Partner Ladd Sanger provides insight on the risks associated with flying on private tourist flights.

 Sanger explains that high frequency flights in salt water and corrosive environments, like Costa Rica, put a lot of wear, tear and stress on the plane’s engines. He notes how hard it can be for consumers to vet and understand how pilots are trained and what kinds of maintenance practices these operators use.

“You need to understand that your risk of getting on a single engine aircraft being operated in a third world country is significantly higher than flying on a commercial airliner with two jet engines and two professional pilots in the United States,” said Sanger. 

Read full article.

Ladd Sanger Featured in Lohud.com Article: Questions Raised in Costa Rican Plane Crash that Killed Steinberg Family From Scarsdale

In the Lohud.com article on the tragic plane crash that killed the Steinberg family, Dallas Managing Partner Ladd Sanger provides insights on the increase in Cessna Caravan crashes.

Although it is too early to draw conclusions on the cause of the crash that killed the Steinberg family, Sanger points out that the Cessna Caravan has been connected to engine failures in various remote locations. Sanger explains that the proximity to salt water, the heavy use of these planes between islands and resorts up to 15 times a day and the insufficient regulation and oversight are key factors in Cessna Caravan crashes.

Read full article.