Aviation Accident Expert Witness


Aviation accidents are complicated because so many factors are involved. As aviation accident lawyers, it’s our job to investigate every avenue, looking at the airworthiness of the aircraft, the people involved in the flight, such as ground crew, pilot, and air traffic controllers, and the weather conditions during the flight.

At Nurenberg, Paris, Heller & McCarthy, our airplane accident attorneys have access to the most respected expert witnesses in their specialty, who help analyze and explain the circumstances surrounding the accident and provide their professional opinions on the cause of the accident.

Who Is Qualified?

Federal courts and most state courts allow any witness to be qualified as an expert if that witness possesses knowledge, skill, experience, training, or education that might aid the jury or judge to understand the technical issues involved, including piloting, aircraft maintenance and overhaul, weather, aerodynamics, and more.

In addition, we use the most up-to-date technology and a host of resources to demonstrate that another person’s carelessness caused your loved one’s accident.

Types of Aviation Experts

Depending on the cause of your accident, we may consult the following experts to help attest the details surrounding your claim:

  • Accident Reconstructionists
    Accident reconstructionists are used to descriptively and factually illustrate the circumstances of the case to a jury or judge in an easy-to-understand manner.

Many experts in this area have credentials from the Accreditation Commission for Traffic Accident Reconstruction (ACTAR), as they reconstruct a wide range of accidents. They also typically belong to organizations such as the National Association of Professional Accident Reconstruction Specialists, Accident Reconstruction Communications Network, Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA), or other regional, state, and local groups. Some are full-time crash reconstructions while others offer such expertise in addition to their main occupations.

  • Aerodynamics
    Aerodynamics experts assist in crashes involving propellers, helicopter rotors, air load or structural calculations, a plane’s stability and control, jet propulsion, electrical propulsion, and electrical discharges. These experts also can evaluate if weather or speed played a role in the accident.

Aerodynamics experts are often professors, researchers, and consultants in the field.

  • Air Traffic Controllers
    Air traffic control experts can be vital in assisting our team of aviation accident attorneys with analysis as they prepare a case for litigation, and they can be vital in describing to a jury what could—or should—have happened during events leading up to a crash.

Many of these experts are currently or formerly members of the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) air traffic evaluation and investigations staff, and most are current or former air traffic specialists. Some are pilots or even flight instructors as well. Nurenberg Paris may retain such experts to analyze communication between a commercial airline and an air traffic control tower.

  • Aircraft Engineers
    It may be necessary to have expert engineers advising and/or testifying as to what role, if any, design defects in the aircraft’s engineering contributed to the crash. Engineers will, among other things, assess an aircraft’s design defect, electrical systems, fuel system, and workmanship.

At Nurenberg Paris, we utilize aerospace, civil, mechanical, maintenance, materials, electrical and electronic, and even ocean/marine engineers, depending on the circumstances of your case. We might also consult senior scientists, distinguished professors, military personnel, FAA officials, or those with years of experience in aircraft manufacturing, among others.

  • Airline Employees (including Pilots, Mechanics, and/or Safety Officers)
    In any investigation of an aircraft crash, the role of human error has to be considered. At Nurenberg Paris, the aviation team knows that pilot or other human errors commonly contribute to the accident.

We obtain experts from aviation service companies, airline manufacturing companies, and airports who are familiar with flight procedures and standards and work and interact with others in the industry on a daily basis. We also will work with former airline pilots from major airlines.

Experts can include: workers at the manufacturing plant, maintenance workers, the pilot and crew, air traffic controllers, weather analysts, airport security personnel, and more.

  • Manufacturers
    A design flaw or defect in the aircraft could eventually prove to be a fatal mistake. It takes an expert—or a team of experts—in all phases of aircraft manufacturing to investigate what role manufacturing may have played in the accident.

An aviation manufacturing expert may review avionics, electrical systems design, mechanical systems and other controls for manufacturing defects, or look for any other defect that might have led to a loss in operational control by the pilot.

  • Weather Experts
    consulted for weather conditions will examine evidence from the crash and re-create the circumstances to see what effect rain, ice, lightning, wind shear, fog, clouds, or other meteorological conditions may have had in your case.

These experts come from various backgrounds and include professionals who are properly qualified in weather and climate litigation for support and expert witness services. This includes forensic meteorology and climatology professors.