Aviation Accident Attorneys

Aviation Law Group PS is a leading West Coast law firm representing plaintiffs in the West Coast, the United States, and the World in aircraft accidents and other aviation-related cases involving serious injury/wrongful death. With more than 30 years of experience practicing law, and more than 40 years in aviation, ALG is proud of our excellent legal work on behalf of hundreds of clients. We routinely handle cases with local counsel in all 50 State and Internationally. Additionally, ALG attorneys are licensed to practice law throughout the Western United States including AlaskaWashington, Hawaii, and California

Aviation Law Group Commences Investigation Into September 4, 2022 Northwest Seaplanes Fatal Accident In Washington

On September 4, 2022, a Northwest Seaplanes (DHC-3 – De Havilland Otter, registered as N725TH), operated by Friday Harbor Seaplanes, crashed into the waters of Mutiny Bay off the southwest coast of Whidbey Island killing 10 persons on board including one child. Our sincere thoughts and condolences go out to the families of the passengers and pilot.

 

This accident hits very close to home for Aviation Law Group, as we are headquartered in Seattle, and our attorneys, who are all pilots, have spent many years flying in the Pacific Northwest, including flying seaplanes.

 

Like so many people, we want answers and want to know why this aircraft lost control and crashed into Puget Sound. ALG has thus commenced its own investigation into the accident. Our team includes four commercial pilots of which two are also FAA-certified mechanics. Our investigation comes with experience: ALG has investigated and represented victims of many seaplane accidents occurring in Washington, British Columbia, and Alaska, including numerous accidents involving the same type of aircraft here, the DHC-3 De Havilland Otter. Our attorneys have experience flying De Havilland single-engine airplanes.

 

We recently finished a case where we represented 4 victims in the crash of a DHC-3 Otter seaplane in Alaska, and are currently working on behalf of numerous victims who were involved in yet another DHC-3 Otter crash earlier this year.

 

While we could guess at the possible causes of this tragic accident, we refrain from doing so at this early stage. We have learned that it is better to base our accident evaluations on solid facts rather than speculation. 

 

As our investigation continues we will periodically update our news blog with more information about the accident, our investigation, the operational history of DHC-3 aircraft, and related issues.

 

Mutiny Bay Seaplane Accident
Links and Analysis

by Aviation Law Group Attorneys

FAA Emergency AD For De Havilland Otters Raises Questions

Despite Canada finding that the corrosion and fatigue conditions constituted an unsafe condition likely to develop in other aircraft, which came out on July 19, 2018, the FAA did not issue an AD or publicly act for 4 years. Only after the accident did the FAA publish this emergency AD.

The Northwest Seaplanes Accident on Mutiny Bay: A Few Preliminary Thoughts and Legal Considerations

BY ROBERT HEDRICK, CASEY DUBOSE, KERRY KOVARIK, AND CHRIS RUSING {This article was originally published in the Washington State Bar News, October 2022. The Bar News is mailed to every attorney in the State of Washington. We are delighted that it was a featured...

Why was the accident seaplane so low?

With low cloud layers, it is not uncommon for seaplane pilots to choose lower altitudes in order to maintain VFR conditions.

History of DHC-3 Otter Reflects Flight Control Related Accident History

There are 37 incidents and accidents listed in the NTSB accident database involving the de Havilland DHC-3 Otter. Of those thirty-seven events, five involved structural or mechanical failures that impacted the flight control system of the aircraft

Who was the FAA Certified Operator of the Mutiny Bay Seaplane Accident – Northwest Seaplanes, Friday Harbor Seaplanes, or West Isle Air?

Why would aircraft owners and operators form multiple companies for their air carrier business?

Seaplane lost off the coast of Whidbey Island

On September 4th, 2022, ten people were lost in a tragic accident off the coast of Whidbey Island following the crash of a Northwest Seaplanes DHC-3 Otter. The flight departed from Friday Harbor at 14:50 local time, and its last position was reported at 15:09. The...
Bob Hedrick

Bob Hedrick

Attorney 30+ years
Commercial Pilot
A&P Aviation Mechanic
20+ years Teaching
Aviation Accident Law

Casey DuBose

Casey DuBose

Attorney 7+ years
Commercial Pilot
Flight Instructor
Aviation Law Speaker

Kerry Kovarik

Kerry Kovarik

Attorney 11+ years
Flight Instructor
IA Aviation Mechanic

Chris Rusing

Chris Rusing

Attorney 20+ years
Airline Pilot & Instructor
Airbus 320 Series Captain

WHAT WE DO

Aviation Accident Law

 

 

General Aviation Accidents

General aviation involves private and recreational flight activity. It includes non-airline flights such as scenic flights, flight training, private flights, recreational flights, helicopter flights and operations, seaplanes, flying clubs, business flights, gliders, and a lot of other aerial activity. All of Aviation Law Group attorneys have extensive experience in many aspects of general aviation, from flying and instructing, to operations and aircraft maintenance. Since 1988, our lawyers have handled accidents involving nearly all aspects of general aviation activity for airplanes, helicopters, and fixed base operators.

Helicopter Accidents

Helicopter accidents often involve issues of external load operations such as longline or external load (link to external load), heli-lifting, heli-logging, and fire-fighting support.

Major Airline Accidents

ALG attorneys have represented numerous families who lost loved ones in major airline disasters, such as the January 31, 2000, Alaska Flight 261 accident near Point Hueneme, California, and the February 25, 2009, Turkish Airline Flight TK 1951 accident in Amsterdam. We have extensive experience with international airline liability law, including the Montreal Convention and its predecessor the Warsaw Convention, where issues of liability, jurisdiction, applicable law, and recoverable damages are complex. ALG attorneys have given many talks and written numerous articles in this specialized field of law. Mr. Hedrick also teaches the Montreal Convention as part of his Aviation Accident Law course at Seattle University School of Law.

International Coverage and Regional Expertise

Washington

Unfortunately, aircraft accidents occur nearly weekly throughout Washington.  In addition, many aircraft accidents outside of Washington involve Washington manufacturers or operators. 

Alaska

Because of the extent of aviation activity throughout the 49th and largest state in the U.S., Robert Hedrick obtained his attorney license in Alaska nearly 20 years ago in 2002 and is an active member of the Alaska Bar Association.

Hawaii

Aviation activity is unique in the Hawaiian archipelago because of its location and geographical topography.

Recent Aviation Law News

Representative Cases

Airplane Mis-fueling Accident

A lineman working for local aircraft fueling operation pumped Jet-A aircraft fuel into the tanks of a reciprocating single-engine airplane, which required 100 octane low lead fuel.

Defective Carburetor Accident

In February 2013, following a 3-week trial, a Washington jury returned a verdict for $8.9 million in favor of our client against an aircraft engine manufacturer.

Regional Fly-In Accident

After a 3-week jury trial, Robert Hedrick obtained a $10.5 million verdict against a regional fly-in host and its national counterpart. The case involved failure to arrange for adequate fire and emergency response at the event, which caused a pilot to die needlessly. 

Aircraft Design Defect

Last year, after a two-week trial, a 12-person jury returned a verdict in favor of the clients of Aviation Law Group, finding that an aircraft’s flight control system was defectively designed, which caused the deaths of a pilot and his passenger.

Firm Contact Information

If you or a loved one has been the victim of an aviation-related accident, please reach out to us. We are always willing to provide a free initial evaluation and meeting.

info@aviationlawgroup.com

(206) 464-1166

Aviation Law Group, 819 Virginia St, Suite C-2, Seattle, Washington, 98101

Office Hours: M-F (6am-7pm)

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