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Executive Plane Crashes in Akron, Ohio, Leaving at Least Nine People Dead

A business jet carrying seven people and two pilots crashed into an apartment building this afternoon (Tuesday, Nov. 10, 2015) reportedly killing everyone on board in a fiery crash while on approach to Akron Fulton Airport in Ohio..

Colin Dunn to Speak at ITLA Seminar on "Intervening Cause"

Colin H. Dunn, partner at Clifford Law Offices, is scheduled to speak at the Illinois Trial Lawyers Association (ITLA) Update and Review Seminar on "Intervening Cause." Dunn has successfully tried many cases to verdict at the firm, including premises liability cases and aviation crash lawsuits. He also is a columnist for the Chicago Daily Law Bulletin.

An Entire Community Mourns the Death of Those Killed in Tragic Plane Crash Near Bloomington

A vigil is being held tonight (April 7, 2015) for four of the victims who belonged to the same church in Bloomington-Normal and flowers are everywhere around town and around the campus in honor of seven men who died in a tragic plane crash early this morning, all part of the Illinois State community. All of the men who died are described as loving husbands, fathers and leaders in the community and their loss is found in the faces of everyone in town, as many are visibly shaken and tears are being shed by so many. The town is home to Illinois State University (ISU) and the students and those who live there all feel like a close-knit family. They all can't believe that such a tragedy struck home. The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) is on the scene along with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).  Officials held a press conference at noon of initial observations of the crash of the Cessna turboprop plane. A finding of probable cause is not expected from the government agency for at least a year. That press conference can be viewed here: The group was returning from Indianapolis after having watched the final game of the NCAA basketball finals. The plane took off at about 11 p.m., according to authorities, and Peoria air traffic control had contact with the pilot because there was no air traffic controller on duty past 10 p.m. at Bloomington's Central Illinois Regional Airport. The plane is believed to have crashed shortly after midnight less than two miles from that airport. It was located in a field around 3 a.m.

Seven People Reportedly Killed in Small Plane in Central Illinois Returning Home from NCAA Final Championship

A tragic plane crash involving a Cessna 414 occurred just outside Bloomington, Illinois, Tuesday morning (April 7, 2015) when seven people aboard were killed when the aircraft crashed just short of the airport.  Numerous media outlets are reporting that six people were aboard as well as the pilot, all returning late last night from the NCAA championship basketball game in Indianapolis. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has confirmed the incident and the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) is sending investigators to determine the cause of the crash that occurred about 1:30 a.m. There is no initial word on what caused the crash of the six-passenger small plane that crashed in the small town of Towanda, Illinois. The plane crashed at Route 9 and McClean County Road 2100 East, less than two miles east of the Central Illinois Regional Airport in Bloomington, Illinois. Local officials are planning a press conference today at noon CST regarding the tragedy.

Three Americans Reported on Board the Tragic Germanwings Flight That Is Thought to Have Been Intentionally Crashed

It is being reported throughout the world that the young co-pilot of Germanwings Flight 9525 intentionally crashed the plane into the French Alps yesterday, killing all 150 people on board. In its wake, grieving families are looking for answers as to why a person would commit such a horrific act. Major news outlets are reporting that the 28-year-old co-pilot from Germany who has been working for the airline since 2013 locked out the captain and apparently deliberately crashed the plane. CNN is reporting that someone manually re-programmed the autopilot from 38,000 feet to 100 feet. Experts say that in the mountainous region, that would only spell one outcome - a crash. U.S. regulations recommend that at least two people be in the cockpit at all times, largely for medical emergency reasons. CNN also reported that only five planes have been intentionally crashed by pilots in aviation history: A summary of those crashes can be read here: Among those who were killed are three American citizens - two from Virginia and another whose father resides in Barcelona, Spain. A world prays for all of the families who lost loved ones aboard that tragic flight. Kevin P. Durkin, partner at Clifford Law Offices, has spoken to Bloomberg News, Bloomberg television, Canadian television and the Wall Street Journal about the legal implications for the families who lost loved ones in this tragic crash.  Mr. Durkin has taken the depositions of literally hundreds of experts and aviation executives in the course of the past quarter century involving his intensive work in aviation litigation.  He has been discussing the Montreal Convention and other national and international laws that come into play, particularly for the three Americans who were killed on board.

Airbus Plane Crash in the Alps Presumably Kills all 150 Aboard

A world mourns another tragic plane crash in France, killing all 150 people aboard including two babies, 16 students and two teachers from a German high school. Germanwings Flight 9525, an Airbus, reportedly was "obliterated" when it plunged from 14,000 feet in eight minutes into the foothills of the French Alps in southeastern France where it is very difficult to reach, according to rescuers. It is being reported that 144 passengers and six crew members were on board. European officials are reporting that the majority of those on the plane were of German, Spanish and Turkish descent. The captain of the plane reportedly had 10 years of experience as a pilot, including more than 6,000 flight hours on that particular Airbus model. Germanwings became a wholly owned subsidiary of Lufthansa in 2009. The plane left Barcelona, Spain, early Tuesday morning at 10:01 a.m. (March 24, 2015) local time - a half hour late - heading to Dusseldorf, Germany. There are conflicting stories as to if there was a distress call from the cockpit prior to the crash. No piece of the debris is larger than a small car and there is no sign of life, according to CNN reporters, and helicopters have been unable to land in the area. The terrain also is so difficult it is unable to be reached by a vehicle. Apparently search and rescue workers have locate at least one of the black boxes that will help to tell the story of what occurred. To learn more about the crash, go to CNN at:

Tracking Airplanes - Can We Do Better?

It's been one year since Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 vanished, taking the lives of 239 passengers and crew who have never been seen again. It is one of aviation's greatest mysteries, despite the touting of some state-of-the-art technology to help prevent such disasters. The Boeing 777-200ER weighed about 656,000 pounds and was the length of six school buses. How did it just vanish into thin air? How could air traffic control not keep in touch with its whereabouts? How could experts not be able to find it after contact was lost? It is hard to imagine when the move of a simple package can be tracked nearly hour by hour, but a plane loaded with people still can't be found. Live satellite tracking apparently wasn't turned on in that plane and its route was to be mostly over land where ground-based radar stations could track it. On the news, over and over again, various scenarios played out that that probably was not the case. More than a week after its disappearance, experts determined that the Malaysian Airlines plane most likely went down in the Indian Ocean, some 1,100 miles west of Australia. Now, aviation experts and regulators are trying to move forward with a plan that by the end of next year would mean that they would know a jet's position every 15 minutes. In 15 minutes, a jet can travel more than 150 miles. Perhaps this would not solve every tragedy, but it would narrow a search to a more limited area. A formal vote on the new rules is expected by November by the International Civil Aviation Organization, which is part of the United Nations. If accepted, each participant country's air traffic regulator would have to accept and implement this change. The second part of the changes to the proposed rules is that any plane with 19 seats or more and built after 2020 would be required to automatically transmit its location every minutes if the plane deviated from its route, made an unusual move such as a sudden drop or climb, or if a fire was detected on board the aircraft. Pilots would not be allowed to disable the system. A world awaits what will happen to these proposals but already Malaysia, Australia and Indonesia announced plans to be among the first nations willing to test such tracking. Every day, there are some 90,000 daily flights around the world. Tracking the move of each one every minute would be quite costly. But saying that to anyone who lost a loved one on Flight 370 is not possible. It's problematic that oftentimes that's just what businesses, including the business of flying airplanes, do - a cost/benefit analysis to determine if it's worth the price. Airline executives examine if it is worth it to invest in tracking devices or cockpit upgrading versus the likelihood of needing the device should such a tragedy happen. Industry experts predict that the 15-minute tracking plan would add about $2 per person to the cost of a long-distance flight. Streaming live data on exactly where the plane is at all times would cost $7 to $13 per minute, depending upon how much data is sent. A world awaits on how the International Civil Aviation Organization will vote because every live counts.

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