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Fatal Crash Involving Mexican - American Singer Jenni Rivera: Troubling Details Emerge

February 22, 2013

The investigation into the death of influential Latin singer Jenni Rivera and six others in a fatal airplane accident has revealed some alarming information about the factors that may have caused the crash.

While investigations of this type are standard following an aeronautic accident, the results are seldom this troubling. Preliminary facts reported by the Los Angeles Times suggest that the tragic airplane accident could be linked to both pilot error and problems with the plane.

The aircraft crashed after the engine essentially stopped functioning causing the plane to dive head first 28,000 feet in a period of thirty seconds – a near vertical dive. The wreckage from the crash and remains of Ms. Rivera and six others on board were sadly scattered in Mexico where the plane crashed.

Preliminary facts from the Los Angeles Times report indicates that the plane crash may have been the product of a number of possible factors, including the following:

Pilot Age: Commercial pilots in the U.S. must comply with a mandatory retirement age of 65. The mandatory retirement age is based on the recognition that advanced age can impair necessary skills and increase the risk of a medical emergency like heart attack or stroke. While the pilot reportedly had a valid license to fly in Mexico, he was not licensed to fly under conditions that require use of instruments and was not allowed to carry passengers for a fee. Some have speculated that the near vertical dive may have been the result of a catastrophic medical incident like a heart attack and that the co-pilot was not able to recover from the error. The medical fitness of a pilot is obviously a serious issue.

Condition of the Aircraft: There have been reports that perhaps the age of the Lear 25 jet might be as much of a concern as the age of the pilot. The Times report indicates that the aircraft was manufactured in 1969. U.S. aviation records also indicate that the aircraft suffered significant damage during an incident in 2005 when an unbalanced fuel load caused the plane to tip. The pilot lost control and the plane crashed into a runway distance marker.

Falsified Safety Records: The top executive of Starwood Management, the company that owned the plane, was previously imprisoned for falsifying safety reports for planes that he purchased from Mexico and sold to private pilots in the U.S. The Starwood executive was accused of manipulating inspection stamps, tail numbers and logbooks.

Many airline crash lawsuits are complicated by these types of serious issues, but this incident involves a frightening array of unsafe practices that may have contributed to this tragic airline accident. These issues of pilot error and aircraft mechanical problems are complicated by choice of law and jurisdiction issues because many plane crashes involve inter-jurisdictional issues between states or countries.

Our Atlanta airplane accident lawyers at Montlick and Associates are available to provide effective legal representation to clients throughout all of Georgia and the United States, including but not limited to Albany, Athens, Atlanta, Augusta, Columbus, Gainesville, Macon, Marietta, Rome, Roswell, Savannah, Smyrna, Valdosta, Warner Robins and all smaller cities and rural areas in the state. No matter where you are located our attorneys are just a phone call away, and we will even come to you. Call us 24 hours a day/7 days a week for your Free Consultation at 1-800-LAW-NEED (1-800-529-6333). You can also visit us online at and use our Free Case Evaluation Form or 24-hour Live Online Chat.

Category: Personal Injury

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