For almost 80 years, Goodyear blimps have adorned the skies as very visible corporate symbols of the tire and rubber company that began operations in 1898. As a Virginia personal injury lawyer as well as a dad I remember pointing the blimp out to my kids at a baseball game.
Now, a tragic airship accident on June 12, 2011, in which a pilot lost his life grounded the blimp fleet in Europe. Michael Nerandzic, an experienced pilot, used to tell his wife not to worry about him flying in a blimp. ''When he used to fly fixed-wing I worried but he always used to say: 'What's going to happen with an airship?',''said his widow. Nerandzic is being hailed a hero for ordering his three passengers to safety before flames consumed the airship's gondola. Our thoughts go out to the family of this brave pilot who made sure his passengers were safe.
Investigators don't know yet what caused the accident, nor is there any word on whether Goodyear will also ground its American fleet. Blimp and other aircraft accidents are often catastrophic. With the summer season upon us there will be many air shows across the country. While most of these are safe there is always a chance for an accident.
Considering that half of all airplane accidents are caused by pilot error and that many small airplanes are operated by their owners, there's a good chance that if you were injured in an airplane accident a lawsuit will need to be filed against the owner of the plane.