Problems in the Design or Structure of an Aircraft
The companies that are responsible for designing and building aircraft have a duty to produce an airplane or helicopter that will keep its crew and passengers safe. People trust these vehicles with their lives, and if they are defective or poorly designed, lives can be lost. If your family member is killed or seriously injured in an aviation accident, a qualified attorney may be able to determine the cause of the accident. If negligence is proven, you might be eligible for compensation.
Lack of Testing and Design Flaws
The design of most aircraft involves trade-offs with speed, power, weight, and aerodynamics, which all have to be properly balanced. Early development usually begins with computers, wind tunnels, and a flight simulator. Wind tunnels are used to judge the aerodynamics of the outer shell. A flight simulator uses computer programs and aircraft data to create a model of how an airplane will perform.
Before a new design ever gets close to flying, a flight simulator should be used extensively to test an airplane or helicopter. A flight simulator can determine how an aircraft design will hold up in conditions such as varying degrees of air density and air turbulence, and judge handling characteristics. A flight simulator is also a safe place to test new flight control systems, electrical or hydraulic systems, and create new flight software.
When a manufacturer fails to perform adequate testing in order to rush a product to market or to save development costs, airplane defects can occur. These defects can cause airplanes and helicopters to crash, causing catastrophic injuries and wrongful death.
The biggest factor in maintaining the structural integrity of an airplane is metal fatigue. Every time an airplane is pressurized by flight, it stresses the metal in the fuselage and wings. Over time the metal develops small cracks, which can eventually grow into large fractures. Aircraft are supposed to be designed to have a set lifespan before metal fatigue sets in. Defects can cause premature metal fatigue.
Contact an Aviation Attorney
If you or a loved one was injured in an aviation accident, an attorney may be able to help you seek the answers you deserve. If the accident was caused by structural or design flaws, you might be able to recover financial compensation. Contact an aviation lawyer for more information.