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June airplane overturn caused by unknown engine failure
Original post made
on Mar 22, 2012
A Cessna 172S that crashed into the Palo Alto Baylands mud flats and flipped onto its roof last June totally lost engine power, a National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) probable-cause report released Tuesday, March 20, has determined.
Read the full story here Web Link
posted Thursday, March 22, 2012, 5:10 PM
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Posted by Why-Should-We-Be-Begging?
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Mar 25, 2012 at 11:51 am
> A LICENSEE shall procure and maintain for the duration of the
> LICENSE, insurance against claims for injuries to persons, or
> damages to property, which may arise from or in connection
> with LICENSEE's operation or use of the Assigned Space or
> AIRPORT. The cost of such insurance shall be borne by LICENSEE.
The amount of insurance that a pilot/plane owner should carry varies wildly, from airport to airport.
There is no actual minimum dollar amount specified by the FAA.
>Aircraft Liability Insurance providing coverage for bodily injury
> and property damage with a combined single limit of not less than
> $1,000,000 per occurrence, including not less than $100,000 per
> passenger limit.
This $1M number is specified by most airports for people who want to locate their plane at the facility. The $1M is arbitrary, and does not seem to be based on any actual analysis of accidents at each airport, or nationally.
From reading the FAA accident reports, there is no evidence that the NTSB/FAA actually validate the existence of insurance during the period of investigation of each accident. Local police do not have jurisdiction, or don't seem to collect that information--if they even investigate plane crashes on/around airports.
Most airplane crashes end up in some sort of legal action. Even though about 85% of all airplane accidents are pilot error, it's amazing to see the number of law suits against other parties, as pilots try to blame someone/anyone else for their problems. Since these legal efforts take months, if not years, to resolve, and usually disappear behind a wall of secrecy--the public at large almost never learns about how these cases/crashes were resolved. So, there is generally no public awareness of just what the dollar cost associated with each General Aviation crash might be. And there is little evidence that the FAA, or the local airports, are actually enforcing their own regulations about insurance, but bring charges against any pilot/plane owner, who causes damage to people/businesses, etc. that exceed the required level of insurance.
Around the Palo Alto Airport, homes routinely sell for $1M-$5M. Over in Los Altos Hills, some homes are selling for upwards of $30M. East Palo Alto is slowly gentrifying, so homes are now listing for $1M, or more, in that city. When people are killed as a result of an airplane crash, it's not hard to believe that claims against the responsible parties will be in the $3M-$20+M range (per person). Certainly $1M/$100K insurance policies don't go very far, particularly if injured parties end up in an intensive care unit for weeks, at $15K+/day hospital care charges (and most likely more).
In the case of the Tesla crash, the power was cut off for all of Palo Alto, and homes were damaged in East Palo Alto. The loss of productivity for a whole town for eight hours (and more) certainly would be in the tens of millions of dollars, not to mention the perishable goods that some stores were forced to discard. Who is responsible for this loss of time? Well, this pilot is dead, and it's doubtful that he carried more than the insurance required (if he in fact had insurance). His estate might be worth $1M-$2M. He no doubt had shares in the Tesla Company; however, if he did not vest, then it's unlikely that the Company is going to contribute those shares to his estate so that the families of the people who died in this accident will be properly compensated for their loss.
And what about this 23-year old pilot, who is the focus of this crash? At his young age, it is unlikely his young man even owns his own carmuch less a sizeable estate that might be used to compensate people he might harm from crashing a plane supposedly under his control. And we are left with the unsettling NTSB crash analysis that the engine failure was "unknown". If the reason is "unknown"who is responsible? And don't forget, this plane was owned at the time by a corporation on the East Coast.
It's extremely unlikely that anyone at 23 knows how to properly check out an engine, or has enough experience under his belt to properly deal with every emergency that might occur during cross-country flights. This young man was lucky. We, who live under the flight operations path of the Palo Alto Airport, are not.
Pilots/plane owners are not required to reveal any specific information about their insurance policies, so there is no one that anyone can know what the typical policy limits might be. It is simply conjecture as to how much more the average pilot carries in terms of liability coverage.
This airport is a constant danger to the people living within a five mile distance of the site, and should be moved to
someplace else as soon as possible.