While a majority of seaplane activity occurs in the Northwest and Alaska, the rest of the country still experiences fatal seaplane accidents. That is just what occurred on October 4, 2020, in Queens New York. The Cessna 182 seaplane was moving fast and apparently skipping on the water just before it crashed into a solid pier tearing the aircraft apart. One passenger died, and the pilot and another passenger survived but with serious injuries. The cause of the crash is under investigation by the NTSB. Hopefully, the surviving pilot will be able to shed light on what happened.
The ability to land and take off on water gives seaplanes wonderful access to areas otherwise inaccessible to aircraft. As the conditions vary with each body of water, some common risks are inherent in all water operations, such as changing wind, challenging waves, boat traffic, water currents, and water and shore obstructions.
For example, when an accident causes seaplanes to flip over in the water, a very dangerous condition arises, even if the seaplane does not sink. The aircraft is held by its floats upside down just below the surface, its fuselage will be underwater making timely escape critical. Survivability depends on many factors including emergency egress.
Aviation Law Group has handled many fatal and serious injury seaplane accidents, including in the lower 48 States, British Columbia, and in Alaska. Even if the original accident was caused by pilot error, there may be other contributing causes such as maintenance, egressability, product failure, and survivability. At ALG we work with a variety of experts throughout the aviation industry to investigate and prove our seaplane accident cases and have our own in-house sea-plane rated attorney. We have handled claims against many seaplane operators and maintenance providers. Attorneys at ALG have also given numerous aviation industry talks about seaplane safety and accidents.
ALG attorneys are available to handle seaplane accident cases throughout the U.S., and in Canada and other countries.