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If you have ever experienced a fire involving Jet-A or 100LL, you know just how deadly a post-crash fire can be. Historically, fires are to blame for many deaths in otherwise survivable plane crashes, but the problem has particularly plagued helicopters for decades.
For years, what seemed like relatively minor, easily survivable helicopter crashes resulted in serious post-crash fires that often claimed lives or left occupants with devastating burn injuries. Alarmed by this problem during the Vietnam War, the military urged Huey manufacturer Bell Helicopter to develop and produce fuel systems that boasted added safety and strength. These new and improved systems were proven crashworthy time and time again, with sterling reputations in the following years.
The military has all but eliminated the risk of post-impact fires by installing crashworthy fuel systems in all rotorcraft, but the problem still exists in many civilian helicopters. While all helicopters manufactured since 1990 have been equipped with crash-resistant fuel systems, the standards are not as stringent as military helicopter requirements. For many smaller helicopters, these fuel systems may be sufficiently crashworthy, but larger helicopters see a much higher rate of post-impact fire.
If you were involved in a helicopter crash that was easily survivable, yet suffered severe burns as the result of a post-crash fire, the manufacturer may be found responsible for your injuries based on the design of the fuel system. If a safer, more crashworthy alternative was easily achievable and would have prevented the post-impact fire, an experienced aviation attorney may be able to present a strong case on your behalf.
If your case relies on defects in the design and manufacturing of the aircraft involved, it is essential that you have an attorney with experience in the aviation industry to assist you in your case. At Curry, Pearson & Wooten, our aviation attorneys have worked in the aviation industry for decades, and will fight aggressively for your rights after your accident.
To schedule a free consultation, contact us today by phone or by filling out our online contact form.