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Preliminary NTSB Report Indicates Fatal Commercial Airline Crash Caused by Flying Too Slowly

October 24, 2013

During the summer, many families are busy scheduling flights so that they can enjoy their vacation.  While there are disputes about the correct statistical comparison, air travel remains the safest form of transportation based on certain metrics.  The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) reports that in a recent calendar year only 44 people died in airline crashes but 44,000 died in motor vehicle collisions.  The website LiveScience® reports that the risk of dying in a car accident is 1 in 100 while the risk of perishing in an airplane crash is only 1 in 20,000.

Despite these statistical facts, commercial airline crashes tend to be horrific when they do occur.  The tragic collision of Asiana Airlines Flight 214 during this years July 4th weekend resulted in the death of two people and injury to 168 more according to a USA Today report.  While plane crash is still under investigation by the NTSB, the federal investigators have provided a preliminary indication that the plane was flying too slowly as it tried to land in San Francisco according to the USA Today article.  The chairwoman of the NTSB told the newspaper that the Boeing 777 speed target when approaching the runway is 137 knots but that the commercial airplane was traveling substantially slower than that target.

When airline crashes occurs, the NTSB investigation which includes the review of the black box data recorder information often provides critical evidence about the cause of the crash and possible liability.  The preliminary analysis of the black box recorder revealed that a crewmember indicated that the plane needed to increase its speed seven seconds prior to the crash and a second warning was provided by the aircraft four seconds prior to impact.  A mere 1.5 seconds prior to the commercial airline accident, there was a call to abandon the landing and attempt another approach based on the USA Today article. 

Our commercial airline crash injury attorneys at Montlick and Associates express our sincere condolences to the victims of this terrible aeronautical tragedy and their families.  The range of injuries included paralyzing spinal cord injuries, compression fractures, internal bleeding and organ damage as well as head injuries. 

Because this was an international flight, it is covered by the Montreal Convention, which is a treaty that governs international air carriers.  The airline may be liable for compensation to the victims and their families unless it can show that it took all necessary precautions to prevent the plane crash.  While the Montreal Convention provides that the passengers may sue the airline depending on the facts of the collision, there also may be other potential parties that could be liable including the manufacturer of the jet.

If you or someone close to you was injured or died in a commercial airline crash, our experienced Atlanta personal injury attorneys are available to provide effective legal representation to those throughout all of Georgia, the Southeast 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

Please Note:
All information provided by our blogs is general in nature and should not be relied upon as legal advice. Consult a Montlick attorney for details about your unique situation.