An investigation is underway in Michigan after an unusual amphibious plane nosedived into a popular lake. Fortunately for the two occupants, Tennesseean Tyrone Finch and his passenger, Patrick Jarman, from Deerfield, MI, they escaped the wreck of their plane with the help of people in a nearby boat and deputies from the local Sheriff’s office. Finch was only slightly hurt, but Jarman was more seriously injured and is still in hospital at the time of writing.

The plane is an ICON-A5, an amphibious monoplane that can be conveniently packed away and transported around to wherever it is wanted to be used. There are only around 90 of these planes in existence. The accident happened during a period of quite windy and gusty weather. The plane was apparently undergoing a test flight with the possibility of it being sold by Finch to Jarman. The Tennessee pilot was flying the plane at the time of the crash landing in the lake. The whole event was watched by onlookers who were enjoying their time at the lake, Littlefield Lake, at the time of the accident. It was seen taking off from the lake and then it appeared to hit a tree. Suddenly, it changed course and nose-dived into the lake.

As with any other small aircraft accident, the investigators will want to discover the reason for the accident. No doubt, so will Patrick Jarman, the seriously injured passenger. No ‘accident’ is really just an ‘accident.’ All accidents, including aviation accidents, have an ultimate cause, mostly due to some act of negligence. The list of possible causes of this accident is as follows:

  • The pilot made an error of judgment. This might include his handling of the plane, his decision to test fly the plane in conditions for which the plane was unsuitable, or poor maintenance of his own.
  • The plane had a structural design defect that contributed to the accident happening.
  • The plane had been repaired or maintained by a third party, e.g. an aircraft mechanic who failed to spot or correct an important potential mechanical or structural hazard or whose actions contributed to the plane’s behavior.
  • A combination of more than one of the above.

The person who was the most badly affected by the accident was the Deerfield man who suffered the more serious injuries. It would be unlikely that he could be blamed for his own injuries as he was a passenger. If he decides that he wishes to pursue a personal injury claim against someone responsible for his injuries, he will be dependent on the outcome of the investigation. Obviously, his own recollection of what went on during the flight would be important, as would the testimony, including clear video footage of what happened, of onlookers. Clear supporting evidence is crucial if a personal injury claim is to be successful.

A theoretical claim might be made against the plane’s owner and pilot, the plane’s manufacturer, or the mechanic or anyone else who had adjusted or maintained the plane recently if it was proven that their actions were responsible for the plane’s behavior and subsequent crash.

Contact an aviation attorney if injured in any kind of aircraft accident

If you, or a loved one, are injured during a flight, you should contact an experienced aviation accident attorney to discuss possible legal action. The Keith Williams Law Group in Nashville, TN, specializes in helping the victims of aviation accidents pursue just compensation for their injuries. The Law Group office can be contacted at (615) 313-3999.