Airplane Accident Florida Lawyer 772-242-3388 #treasurecoastlaw
Contact Florida Bar member Veteran Marine Corps Aviator
John Kevin Griffin
27 Years courtroom experience
Civil trial lawyer represents people harmed by aviation accidents
Contact 24 hours a day 7 days a week
Griffin Treasure Coast Law Aviation Accident Law
Fort Pierce, FL 34979
Introduction to an Aviation Accident Lawyer
My name is John Kevin Griffin. I am a lawyer who represents people injured in an aviation accidents.
If you or a loved one were injured in an aviation crash contact me for a free consult.
I am confident we can discuss your case in a calm and caring way to allay your fears and
answer your questions. Call 772-242-3388.
Independent Crash Investigation
An independent Crash investigation into the cause of a crash like the one described further down this web page
accomplishes three goals; first it allows us to gather evidence and test the evidence to
determine the actual cause of the crash, second, it informs the responsible aviation agencies NTSB
and FAA, and third, it provides an opportunity for the at fault corporation and manufacturer, owner operator or
aircraft dealer to take responsibility for the crash.
All of the aviation crash cases in my career have resolved in money damage settlements and all
were approved by our clients.
Naval Aviation Flight Maintenance and Safety
In the United States Marine Corps I was known as J.K. Griffin squadron pilot. A naval aviator.
One of my first collateral duties as a Marine Corps pilot was in the maintenance
department. I had the good fortune to be surrounded by highly intelligent and qualified people
many of whom are in the aviation industry today. In the midst of these marine aviation maintenance
crews I learned a timeless aviation principle; safety is paramount.
Safety is Paramount
Experience shows somewhere in every crash this safety principle is violated. Even in the explosion
of the space shuttle safety was compromised when a solid fuel rocket o-ring failed.
When an aircraft crashes 100% of the time the cause of the crash is negligence. 99% of that negligence is either
maintenance mistakes or manufacturing defects. The other 1% is operational breakdown whether in
security or flight operations; although pilot error is extremely rare as the real cause of a
crash pilot error is included in the flight operations category. In every crash someone involved
with this aircraft did something wrong. It could be in the manufacturing process, or a part or system
installed incorrectly. A catastrophic failure of dynamic component can be traced to the cause. Our
investigation of the crash is focused on findng the cause of the crash. I may accept the NTSB
investigators version of the crash if it comports with our findings otherwise I'm digging and
asking the manufacturer and owner operator of the aircraft questions.
Should I give a recorded statement?
No, a request to take your recorded statement may come from an insurance company investigator, aircraft manufacturer
investigator, or a government investigator. None these parties have your best interest at heart. More importantly,
You have a right to privacy and understandably should have legal counsel by your side. Wthout the presence of your
attorney who understands aviation crash cases you are just like a lamb among a pack of wolves. They try to get you to
jeopardise your claim by going on the record. Don't do it. A simple reply of no comment is practical
and appropriate. Call us for advice.
Should I sign documents if I'm asked ?
Don't do it. Do not sign any documents even documents presented by various government agencies without your legal
counsel's advice because these documents like the recorded statement may compromise your legal claim for damages
and consequently this innocent statement may become very important later on in your claim.
Why should I choose you?
Because I know what you need and really do care that you get what you need. I understand the relentless
grief that accompanies these tragic events. I understand this unpleasant aspect of aviation and how to bring you a bit
of closure however slight it may be. When the time comes to point to a cause of the crash we will be confident in our
conclusion. Also know that this is a family business dedicated to help families like yours right now.
How can you help me if I live in another state or city?
We will travel to you wherever you are in the United States. We will travel to the crash site. This representation
is hands on every step of the way.
How are your legal fees paid?
We charge a 'contingent fee' which is a percentage of the total amount of money damages we recover for you.
We advance costs to investigate and prosecute the defendant or defendants in state or federal court. We are reimbursed
these advanced costs by you either directly as costs become due or we are reimbursed by you from the settlement funds
we recover for you. If we don't recover money damages you owe us nothing.
Find the Cause of the Aviation Crash
It is our job to find the cause of the crash for you. If an engine breaks or a wing fails in flight we find out why it failed. For example:
In the case of an Air Tractor AT 400A crop duster a wing failed in flight. It folded up. During our
investigation this Air Tractor crop duster crash near St. Augustine, Florida we
found the aircraft rolled up in a potato row. The skilled and experienced pilot heard a bang as the right
wing folded up just as he set wings level 60 feet above the potato field. The turbo-prop modified
AT-400A with 350 gallon hopper of chemical behind the prop slid in the potato row.
The pilot survived with injuries. If he had been at a higher altitude this would have been a fatal crash.
Reading through the federal government crash reports of Air Tractor crop dusters there were
Right lower wing spar failed at the splice block attach point
Splice blocks attached the two wings together and attach the wings to the fuselage.In this Air Tractor crash the factory
modified splice blocks were sold in a kit for installation on high time aircraft. The spar failed
where these were installed with less than a tenth of the extended hour time on the wings expended.
The replacement splice blocks had one more bolt hole than the original splice blocks. The useful life
of the wings on these and similar Air Tractor models were running out. With aircraft down for maintenance
crops don't get sprayed. Since the replacement splice block had an additional bolt hole the high time
wing spar was drilled to accommodate the extra bolt.
Metalugry reveals the folly of the quick fix
The new high time wing spar extension scheme obviously had flawed failure analysis prior to deployment.
Instead of grounding these airplanes at 5,000 hours for a new wing assembly (lower spar) for fear of a
wing failure in flight Air Tractor the manufacturer already with the numbers in hand came up with a
scheme consisting of the replacement rework kit and instructions and engineering reports.
instructions to extend the useful life of these airplanes to 10,000 hours of flight. It didn't work.
This crop duster crashed when the wing folded in flight. Post crash metalurgy failure analysis revealed by the most competent of aviation
metalurgist professional in the world showed the added hole in the new designed splice blocks was too
much for the stress ridden original wing spar. The metalurgist experienced in naval aircraft crash
investigations conclusively determined using scientific methodology and best practices of metalurgy
that metal fatigue of the lower wing spar at the splice block attach point on the spar caused the
wing to fail in flight.
Law suit filed against Air Tractor and its Dealership SouthEastern Crop Service
A crop duster airplane dealer sold
a used Air Tractor AT400A crop duster to our client. It crashed. We filed a products liability suit against
the manufacturer Air Tractor and a breach of contract claim against the Dealer. With the evidence uncovered by our independent investigation
the dealer agreed to settle having breached the implied warranty the plane was fit for its
intended purpose (crop dusting). The manufacturer on the other hand escaped liability on a tort reform
technicality. Unlike an airliner passenger or cargo aircraft the federal law scheme known as GARA classifies
crop dusters as a general aviation aircraft just like civilian piper or a cessna aircraft.
The General Aviation Revitalization Act statute
gave the manufacturer here a waiver just like a statute of limitation expired for a defective product. The
Air Tractor crop duster was more than 7 years old thus the law gave the manufacturer tort immunity.
The Air Tractor defective product is a wing splice block kit that was supposed to extend the useful
life of the wing up to 10,000 hours of flight but in fact it weakend it causing it to break in flight.
The Crop Duster Crash by John Kevin Griffin. June 5, 2016
John Kevin Griffin Personal Injury Trial Lawyer
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