Earlier this summer, a vintage World War II plane crashed in the town of Burnet, Texas shortly after takeoff. The military aircraft was carrying 13 passengers – including volunteers and family members with the Commemorative Air Force – to an air show in Oshkosh, Wisconsin. When it left the central Texas airport, the plane began to dip dangerously to the left, causing the plane’s wing to hit the ground. As the aircraft came to a stop, it burst into flames. Luckily, all of the passengers were able to exit the aircraft and were treated by medical personnel. Most had minor injuries, however, one person was airlifted by helicopter to a nearby medical center.
The C-47, nicknamed Bluebonnet Belle, was originally a military cargo plane that transported service members during WWII. It is now owned by the Highland Lakes Squadron of the Commemorative Air Force. Volunteers spend their time maintaining the aircraft and operating it for air shows and other events. After the crash, the plane was declared a total loss and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is currently investigating the incident.
Improving Aviation Safety
There are more than 220,000 active aircraft in the United States. Even though fatal aviation accident rates are declining, 347 people were killed in 209 aviation accidents across the country in 2017 alone. To try and reduce the number of accidents, the FAA and the aviation industry have been working closely together to improve general aviation safety. Their goal is to reduce fatal accident rates by 10%. To do so, they’ve developed numerous safety campaigns and special safety teams, including:
- The Fly Safe National Safety Campaign – In 2015, the Federal Aviation Administration launched the Fly Safe National Safety Campaign to help prevent loss-of-control accidents. A loss-of-control accident occurs anytime an aircraft enters a flight regime that is outside its normal flight. This often results in a stall or spin, and can happen in any phase of the flight.
- Got Weather? – In 2014, the FAA introduced its “Got Weather?” National Safety Campaign in an effort to help the aviation community recognize and identify dangerous weather patterns. Most weather-related aviation accidents are fatal, and failure to recognize bad weather approaching is a frequent cause of plane crashes.
- U.S. Helicopter Safety Team (USHST) – Since its introduction in 2013, the USHST has helped promote safety and reduced the number of civil helicopter accidents in the country. In the three years following the teams introduction, the civil helicopter industry experienced 30% fewer accidents.
Have You Been Injured in an Aviation Accident in Texas?
If you’ve been injured in an aviation accident in Texas, it is important to know that you are not alone. At David K. Wilson & Associates, our Texas aviation accident lawyers have been zealous legal advocates for aviation accident victims for decades. Our law firm has the experience and resources needed to tackle these types of complicated and catastrophic injury cases – and win.