Pilots Blamed for Fatal Crashes in Aircraft That Had Mechanical Flaws


Slack & Davis represented the family of a pilot who died as a result of a 2006 Robinson R44 helicopter crash in Fredericksburg, TX. KENS-TV reporters spoke to aviation attorney Michael Slack about the crash. Excerpt: “Their determination of probable cause looked at why the helicopter hit the ground. The NTSB didn’t bother to examine why everybody got horribly injured,” said attorney Michael Slack, who represented the Nemec family in its lawsuit against Robinson Helicopter Company.

Pilots Blamed for Fatal Crashes in Aircraft That Had Mechanical Flaws

Aircraft manufacturers have paid out hundreds of millions of dollars in settlements to victims in fatal general aviation crashes, despite the NTSB blaming pilots for these accidents.…Among the notable examples of this decades-long trend, a fatal helicopter crash in Fredericksburg on April 13, 2006.

Pilot Craig Nemec and two of his three passengers died after his Robinson R44 helicopter collided with a power line shortly after taking off.

One passenger died at the scene, another passed away a day later after being airlifted to SAMMC’s burn unit.

A third passenger survived with burns to his face and hands.

Craig suffered burns on more than 50 percent of his body and died after a courageous 15-month fight against complications from those burns.

“He asked to renew our vows, we did, and we talked about, you know, its going to be really hard,” said Craig’s widow Ellen Nemec.

The NTSB’s initial report and final report cited Craig’s failure to avoid the power line and his failure to follow recommended departure procedures at the Gillespie County Airport as the primary causes of the crash.

However, the power line was not marked and a lawsuit filed by Ellen Nemec in 2008 revealed the helicopter was destroyed because of a devastating fire caused by fuel leaking from the helicopter’s tanks.

“Their determination of probable cause looked at why the helicopter hit the ground. The NTSB didn’t bother to examine why everybody got horribly injured,” said attorney Michael Slack, who represented the Nemec family in its lawsuit against Robinson Helicopter Company…

See the full story here.