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Florida Personal Injury

Man Survives Plane Crash In Lake County

The pilot of a small ultralight aircraft is recovering from injuries sustained in a recent plane crash in Lake County, Florida. The pilot, who was practicing “touch and go” maneuvers, sustained serious injuries and was taken to Orlando Regional Medical in Orlando.

The pilot took off from Florida Flying Gators Ultralight Airport in Mineola sometime around 4 pm. According to local police, the experimental aircraft descended from 500 feet in the air after smoke came pouring out of the engine. The crash is currently under investigation by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).

Our thoughts and prayers go out to the pilot while he makes his recover. As a law firm that regularly represents victims hurt in airplane accidents, The Pendas Law Firm takes comfort knowing neither the pilot nor innocent bystanders on the ground were killed in what could have been a very serious accident.

What are ultralight aircraft?

As the name suggests, ultralight aircraft are lightweight airplanes that usually carry only one or two passengers. These types of aircraft typically weigh less than 300 lbs fully loaded and carry approximately 5 gallons of fuel.

Ultralight aircraft usually have a top speed of just over 60 miles per hours. Pilots do not need a license to operate these types of aircraft but are expected to operate their craft during daylight hours in unpopulated areas.

Types of ultralight aircraft

  • Traditional fixed-wing aircraft
  • Weight-shift control trikes (three wheeled aircraft) utilizing a hang glider wing operated by control bars
  • Powered parachute: wheeled aircraft with engines mounted under parafoil wings
  • Powered paraglider propelling pilots with backpack engines with parafoil wings
  • Powered hang gliders using motorized foot-launched hang glider harness to carry the pilot
  • Hot air balloons

FAA ultralight operating rules

  • Ultralight aircraft may only be flown between sunrise and sunset
  • Aircraft may not be flown near cities, towns, an assembly of persons
  • Have only one seat
  • Used solely for recreation or sport
  • Powered ultralight aircraft specifications
    • Weigh less than 254 lbs
    • Carry no more than 5 gallons of fuel
    • A top speed of 64 mph
  • Unpowered ultralight aircraft specifications
    • Weigh less than 155 lbs

Ultralight accident injury claims

Although some ultralight aircraft do not require certification or registration of aircraft, the FAA does have operating guidelines for ultralight aircraft and their pilots. Should an accident be caused by an ultralight pilot due to his or her failure to adhere to these rules, injured parties hurt by this type of negligence may be able to bring actionable claims against the pilot or other parties involved.

If you or a loved one was hurt in a crash involving an ultralight aircraft, it could be because the pilot did not follow FAA rules to operate the aircraft away from inhabited areas. Although there are no certifications as to the airworthiness of the vehicle, pilots and maintenance crews may still be held liable for negligence if these parties knew or should have known the aircraft was unsafe or was to be operated under unsafe conditions.

The Pendas Law Firm represents victims hurt in aircraft accidents across Orlando, West Palm Beach, Tampa, Fort Myers, Jacksonville, Fort Lauderdale and Miami. If you were hurt, contact our office for a consultation about your aircraft accident injury.

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