A bad year for Hawaii Scenic Flights – 7 killed in Kauai

The day after Christmas was marred by the third commercial helicopter crash in Hawaii this year. Following a day-long search for the Safari Helicopter operated tour, the crash site was found with the remains of the 7 perished occupants.

Rough Terrain of Kauai

These crashes in addition to the skydiving crash which killed 11 people in June make 2019 of the worst years for aviation accidents in Hawaiian history.

Hawaii is a unique and challenging place to aviate. While the cause of the crash is to be determined, the unforgiving terrain of Kauai would have left the pilot without a safe option if the aircraft had mechanical problems.

Scenic Air Helicopter

Air tour operators often run on very limited margins. We at Aviation Law Group have seen cases where the accidents were the results of scenic tour operators under training their pilots and under maintaining their fleets.

After Robert Hedrick passed the Hawaiian bar in 2015, Aviation Law Group became the only aviation accident firm with attorneys that are licensed in the State of Hawaii.

If you have a loved one who was injured in this or any other Hawaiian air accident, we are here to help.

ALG attorney Bob Hedrick Speaks To Scottish Bar Association On Cross-Examination

On May 18, 2016 AGL attorney Robert Hedrick gave a PowerPoint presentation to Scotland’s Faculty of Advocates, in Edinburgh, Scotland.  Below is an article from the Scottish Legal News publication, which can also be viewed at:


Advocates given glimpse into history of Nuremberg Trials

Members and guests of the Faculty of Advocates have been given a fascinating glimpse of the historic Nuremberg Trials and the widely-debated cross-examination of Hermann Goering.

Roa2683667-c7b1-4e40-9056-9a661878a4d4bert Hedrick, a US attorney and an Adjunct Professor at Seattle University, is an avid student of the Trials and has delivered a PowerPoint presentation, From History’s Greatest Trial: The Cross-Examination of Hermann Goering, to audiences in the US and Australia.

He took time out from a conference in Edinburgh on international aviation law and insurance to give his talk to the Faculty.

Mr Hedrick said that some people believed the O. J. Simpson case was the trial of the century but he was clear that the description belonged “hands down” to Nuremberg.

“We had the most significant Nazi who survived the War, Hermann Goering, and more than 20 others…it brought out some great performances and some not-so-great performances by the lawyers involved,” he said.

The US Supreme Court Justice Robert Jackson was the lead prosecutor for the US, and his cross-examination of Goering lasted two-and-a-half days, and was followed by another half day by David Maxwell Fyfe, of Britain’s prosecution team.

Mr Hedrick said Goering was a “slippery” witness, who often complained about the translation of questions to buy time to think of an answer.

“Right from the very beginning, Jackson did not control his witness, and the questions went on and on. Jackson seems more interested in the next question he is going to ask than listening to his witness,” suggested Mr Hedrick.

“Maxwell Fyfe had the benefit of watching Goering and Jackson fight it out for two-and-a-half days, and his number one thing was to control the witness…’This witness is not getting out of my grasp.’ He did a really good job.”

ALG Attorney Addresses Montreal Convention At International Aviation Law and Insurance Conference

Robert Hedrick was invited to present at the 9th Annual Conference On International Aviation Law and Insurance, held  in Edinburgh, Scotland in May, 2016. Mr. Hedrick was on a panel discussing international air carrier liability with other leading industry experts from the U.K., Italy and Australia. The panel was expertly moderated by Alan Reitzfeld of Holland & Knight, New York.

Hedrick gave an update as to the status of international uniformity under the Montreal Convention. He identified areas where the Convention was lacking uniformity, such as under Article 17, where court’s around the world continue to struggle with concepts of strict air carrier liability and emotional distress claims. The panel also discussed the viability of pre-impact fear in wrongful death claims subject to the Convention.  He summed up the experience: “It was an honor to be part of this distinguished panel, and to be among colleagues from around the world who, like myself, have a passion for international aviation law.”

Hedrick addresses Federal Preemption Issues At Pacific Northwest Aviation Law Seminar

ALG attorney Robert Hedrick was invited to give a presentation at the 42nd Annual Pacific Northwest Aviation Law and Insurance Seminar, held in downtown Seattle October 9-11. His topic was “Engines, Regulations and Preemption: Spontaneous Combustion For Judges and Juries”. During his 50 minute presentation, Hedrick focused on how the federal aviation regulations do not squarely fit into state law product liability standards. He noted that a string of cases recognizing federal preemption in aviation matters primarily involve regulation of human conduct such as flight crew warnings and pilot duties. Hedrick stated that for practical and policy considerations, those cases do not mandate application of federal standards of care in aviation product liability cases, especially claims involving manufacturing defects, because the regulations are far to general, and they do not contain specific manufacturing standards, or even design standards. “Thus, manufacturers and suppliers are hard pressed to argue that they are subject to conflicting standards of care, when a specific standard is absent from federal law. It’s a false conflict. By allowing general federal performance standards to control over specific state standards, it is virtually impossible for judges and juries to reconcile manufacturing defects with the federal regulatory scheme,” he said. “While 9th Circuit case law recognizes the dilemma, Washington state courts are not following the leading case of Martin v. Midwest Express, 555 F.3d 806 (9th Cir. 2009), especially when it comes to issues of failure to warn and that of unregulated suppliers”, Hedrick concluded.

ALG files Suit On Aircraft Misfueling Accident

ALG attorneys Robert Hedrick and James Anderson have filed a lawsuit regarding a fatal aircraft accident in downtown Spokane, Washington.  The Complaint filed by Hedrick and Anderson alleges that the aircraft was improperly fueled with Jet Fuel instead of AvGas, a mistake that led to a loss of power and a subsequent crash. ALG represents the family of the fatally injured pilot, and Mr. Hedrick says that he looks forward to bringing justice to the family of the victim.  Mr. Hedrick and Mr. Anderson can each be reached at 206-464-1166.  

ALG’s Hedrick Completes Speaking Tour In Australia

Robert Hedrick recently travelled down under to give a series of presentations to attorneys and law students in Australia.  On May 9, 2014 he gave a presentation at the 33rd Annual Aviation Law Association of Australia and New Zealand in Melbourne, entitled Recent Developments In U.S. International Aviation Law. During his one-hour PowerPoint presentation, he discussed recent Montreal Convention cases, issues of U.S. Jurisdiction and Forum Non Conveniens, Airline Deregulation Act Preemption cases, and the status of U.S. drone regulation. Hedrick also provided an update of major air carrier accidents that are in litigation in U.S. courts.

Hedrick also gave five Nuremburg Trial presentations to law schools located in Sydney and Melbourne. His PowerPoint lecture was entitled: From History’s Greatest Trial: The Cross Examination Of Nazi Hermann Goering. The schools included: University of New South Wales School of Law, University of Notre Dame School of Law, Macquarie University Law School, and the University of Victoria Law School. Hedrick believes that lawyers (and non-lawyers) young and old can learn from significant trials that have withstood the test of time.