Case Study #1 Passenger Seriously Injured in Corporate Jet Crash

People mistakenly assume that expensive corporate jets are only flown by the best trained, most experienced, and most proficient pilots.  But tragically, the opposite is often the case.  The Kettles Law Firm has represented numerous people injured in crashes of aircrafts flown by professional pilots, where the companies operating the aircraft and the pilots flying them cut corners and violated well-establish rules and performance standards.

Mr. Kettles’ client was a passenger accompanying a friend on a corporate jet on a two hour flight to a medical center where his friend was to receive specialized treatment.  Bad weather had moved in over the destination airport, causing a 30 minute delay in the landing, but instead of holding (orbiting) until the weather cleared, which would have been normal, the pilots decided to land at a small airport they saw out the window from 9,000 feet. 

The pilots attempted to land too fast, too far down the runway, going the wrong direction, reverse  thrust, then attempt a go-around on a runway that was too short for that aircraft even under the best conditions.  The jet ran off the end of the runway, killing the pilots and severely injuring both passengers.  Mr. Kettles’ client spent six weeks as a patient in the hospital where he had only intended to be to keep his friend company during a routine procedure.

The NTSB investigation barely scratched the surface of the egregious conduct that caused the crash.  The Kettles Law Firm discovered unreported drug use, unreported medical procedures, and a litany of violations that came together to kill two people and permanently change the lives of two people who got on a jet assuming it was being flown by the best.

Case Study #2 Working to Lessen In-Flight Failures, One Mechanism at a Time

For thirty years, general aviation pilots have relied on a critical component called a ‘dry vacuum pump’ to power essential flight instruments – often with catastrophic results. After settling a lawsuit involving a fatal in-flight ‘dry vacuum pump failure, Jon Kettles successfully fought to release confidential company documents exposing the dangers and unreliable nature of the ‘dry vacuum pump. The manufacturer subsequently sent warnings to the over 250,000 users of ‘dry vacuum pumps’ explaining the unreliable nature of the pumps and recommending using a backup system.

For years, it has been an accepted practice in the helicopter industry to use critical metal air pressure lines that are subjected to continuous vibration and stress but not periodically inspected. An in-flight failure of one of these lines from cumulative vibration damage can cause an in-flight engine failure – often with catastrophic results. As a result of attention brought by a lawsuit by Jon Kettles, several helicopter operators have now imposed a life limit of critical metal air pressure lines to reduce the risk of an in-flight failure.

Case Study #3 Daycare Injury

The Kettles Law Firm also represents people injured in non-aviation accidents, and recently represented a boy who was severely injured at a daycare facility. Our investigation revealed a history of children being injured at this well-known and highly-regarded facility. As a condition of settlement, The Kettles Law Firm required the daycare facility to submit to a comprehensive safety evaluation by an independent expert and make all changes necessary to make the facility safe – to reduce the risk of injury to children in the future.