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Tragic Helicopter Wreck Highlights the Complexities of Aircraft Crashes

Nov 28, 2018 Aviation Accidents, Catastrophic Personal Injury, Vehicle Wrecks

The recent deaths of a newlywed couple and an experienced pilot in a helicopter crash shocked and saddened the San Antonio community. While we don’t know all the fact surrounding the incident, it highlights the risks associated with air travel. Keep reading to learn more about aviation liability and Crosley Law’s approach to airplane and helicopter crash claims.

A Fatal Helicopter Crash Minutes After Taking Flight

On November 4, 2018, newlyweds Bailee Ackerman Byler and Will Byler waved goodbye to their wedding guests and boarded a private helicopter in Uvalde County. The young couple, both students at Sam Houston State University, planned to take a short flight to San Antonio for their honeymoon. A family friend with plenty of flight experience piloted the helicopter.

Ten minutes after the helicopter took off, it crashed into a mountain. Neither the passengers nor the pilot survived the impact. The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) is still investigating the incident.

Unfortunately, even getting investigators to the crash site remains a challenge. The helicopter crashed four miles from the nearest state road in harsh terrain. Once investigators reach the site, they’ll have to search for debris and other evidence in an area roughly the size of a football field. While we hope that the NTSB report offers some insight into this tragedy, it’s possible that we’ll never know the whole story.

Crosley Law sends its deepest sympathies to the friends and families of those involved. From the media reports we’ve read, the couple and pilot were beloved members of their communities and had a bright future ahead of them. We can’t even imagine the heartbreak that their loved ones are experiencing.

“Aviation accident claims are incredibly complicated, and aircraft manufacturers and airlines frequently work to influence the outcomes of federal investigations. “

It’s Not Always Easy to Identify the Cause of a Fatal Helicopter Crash

Aviation is a complex field, and helicopters and airplanes are complex vehicles. Crashes can occur for many different reasons, which may include:

  • Pilot error and misconduct
    • Loss of control while in flight
    • Unintentionally flying into terrain or water
    • Miscalculating fuel amounts
    • Inexperience
    • Fatigue and intoxication
  • Poor aircraft maintenance
  • Defective and dangerous aircraft parts and systems
  • Adverse weather conditions
  • Air traffic control errors

Unfortunately, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) can’t always pinpoint the causes of airplane and helicopter crashes, and many crashes remain unsolved.

RELATED ARTICLE: Human Fatigue and Its Effects on the Road and in the Air

The lack of resolution in these cases isn’t necessarily the fault of the FAA or NTSB. Aviation accident claims are incredibly complicated, and aircraft manufacturers and airlines frequently work to influence the outcomes of federal investigations.

At Crosley Law, we have experience handling complex aircraft liability claims, and we’ve built a reputation as one of San Antonio’s premier injury law firms. In one groundbreaking case, we represented the family of a student who died during a private flight lesson. The instructor was demonstrating a maneuver when the plane struck a series of electrical wires and burst into flames. While the NTSB blamed the instructor for the crash, the family wasn’t convinced, and they hired Crosley Law to uncover the truth.

RELATED ARTICLE: Robinson v. Diamond Aircraft Accident

Our legal team collaborated with scientists, engineers, and other world-class experts to reveal all the factors that caused the wreck. After a thorough investigation, it became clear that the fuel system’s design contributed to the severity of the fire. Some of our experts concluded that the victim could have survived the crash in a properly designed plane. As a result of the investigation, both the flight school and manufacturer agreed to a confidential settlement.

If you have unanswered questions about an airplane or helicopter crash that injured or killed a loved one, contact Crosley Law for a free consultation. We can assess your claims, help you understand your legal options, and explain our cutting-edge approach to aircraft liability and personal injury claims.

Don’t wait to consult a lawyer after a crash, especially if you suspect a defective aircraft part was to blame. Your lawyer will need to act quickly to preserve evidence, including the wrecked aircraft. If you wait too long, critical evidence might become lost forever.

Texas Law Does Not Require Insurance For Many Private Aircraft

Many people assume that because Texas requires drivers to carry auto insurance, the same rules apply to aircraft. However, this isn’t true. While commercial aircraft must carry liability coverage and other forms of insurance under federal law, Texas law does not require insurance for private airplanes and helicopters.

When Crosley Law investigates an aviation disaster, we look for every potential source of insurance coverage that can aid in a financial recovery. To learn more about your rights and legal options after a crash, contact us today.

Crosley Law: We Demand Justice for Aircraft Crash Victims in Texas

Crosley Law uses trial-tested strategies and cutting-edge methods to investigate claims and pursue justice for the victims of negligence. If you or a loved one suffered serious injuries in an airplane or helicopter crash, contact us today. We’d love the opportunity to hear your story and explain how we can help.


Grinberg, E. (2018, November 6). Reaching wreckage of helicopter in which newlyweds died leaving their wedding will be ‘difficult.’ CNN. Retrieved from https://www.cnn.com/2018/11/05/us/texas-newlyweds-helicopter-crash/index.html

The content provided here is for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice on any subject.

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