Local witnesses and pilots report that it was a direct collision between Coeur d’Alene-based scenic floatplane operator Brooks Seaplane in a Beaver and an unidentified general aviation Cessna 206 out of Lewiston.
Aviation Law Group has handled many seaplane accidents and mid-air collisions over the past 25+ years. The seaplane and piloting experience of the attorneys at ALG that make ALG uniquely qualified to handle these types of cases.
For example, ALG currently represents numerous passengers who were involved in the May 13, 2019 mid-air collision of two seaplanes near Ketchikan, Alaska, in which one was a DeHavilland Beaver and the other a turbine DeHavilland Otter. ALG has also handled many seaplane accidents in Washington, British Columbia, and Alaska.
When mid-air accidents occur in good weather, federal aviation regulations related to visual flight rules apply, including the requirement that all pilots see and avoid other aircraft. More specifically, 14 CFR 91.113 sets out the right-of-way rules for aircraft in flight, including when they are converging, approaching head-on, overtaking, and landing. 14 CFR 91.159 sets forth the cruising altitudes for aircraft in flight which are designed to help prevent mid-air collisions by keeping aircraft at different altitudes. Also, local flight practices, altitudes, routes, and patterns may come into play.
In handling these types of accidents, it is essential that aviation counsel have a thorough working understanding of the aviation regulations, and the relationship between the regulations and pilot operating practices, as applicable to the unique facts of an accident. In addition, any time aviation accidents occur on or above water, including seaplane operations, federal maritime law may apply. ALG lawyers understand the interplay between aviation law and maritime law and have a lot of experience using these laws to our clients’ advantage in seaplane accident cases.