Leading New York personal injury lawyer, Jonathan C. Reiter, experienced in aviation accident lawsuits, reveals the head of the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) http://www.ntsb.gov, Debbie Hersman, accused the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) http://www.faa.gov of failing to implement “scores of recommendations” about regulating shared air space between tour helicopters and small airplanes. As covered by the New York Times, on Tuesday, August 11, 2009, the NTSB leader was quoted when she addressed the media, while NTSB workers were examining the wreckage of the tour helicopter recovered from the New York City river. The wreckage was from the air space disaster between a small plane and the chopper over the Hudson River that killed all passengers and crew of both aircrafts totaling 9 people.
Hersman further stated if the NTSB recommendations were implemented by the FAA that aviation safety would improve in the shared New York City air space. The tragic aviation disaster happened last Saturday when a small plane collided in mid-air with a tour helicopter carrying Italian tourists, sending both aircrafts plunging into the Hudson River. Nine people died in the airplane-helicopter crash, and it took investigators two days to find the wreckage. The following information regarding the shared New York City area airspace was revealed:
- Every day 225 aircraft fly within 3 miles of the crash site
- Pilots flying below 1,100 feet are not required by the FAA to be monitored by air-traffic controllers.
- Pilots flying below 1,100 feet are free to choose their air travel route
- The pilot of the small plane chose to communicate with Teterboro air-traffic controllers.
The pilot of the small plane, Steven Altman, chose to communicate his location and air space route with Teterboro, New Jersey, air-traffic controllers, just before the crash. The NTSB also released this communication. The National Air Traffic Controllers Association (NATCA) http://www.natca.org/ states the rules of the shared air space, termed the “exclusionary corridor” between the George Washington and Verrazano bridges, are known as “visual flight rules” which means “see or be seen”. Pilots flying in this air space up to 1,100 feet above the water are expected to communicate their altitudes and locations between one another over a radio frequency. This allows pilots of small airplanes and helicopters to travel below larger aircraft traffic without direction from air-traffic controllers.
New York aviation accident attorney, Jonathan C. Reiter, a New York personal injury lawyer educating New Yorkers about complexities of shared air space. http://www.jcreiterlaw.com/ Phone: (212) 736-0979