Fatal Landing of Sout hwest Airlines Flight at Midway Airport in Chicago Last Night is Similar to….

Previous Runway Overrun Accident Carrier Has Had

May Be Indicative of Carrier-Specific Problem, Says Nation’s Leading Aviation Law Firm

NEW YORK, Dec. 9 /PRNewswire/ — The fatal landing of Southwest Airlines (SWA) Flight 1248 at Chicago’s Midway Airport in a snowstorm last night is strikingly similar to at least one other runway overrun accident involving Southwest, and may be indicative of a carrier-wide operational problem, according to attorneys and pilots with the aviation law firm Kreindler & Kreindler LLP (http://www.kreindler.com/). The previous incident occurred at Bob Hope Airport in Burbank, CA, on March 5, 2000, injuring several people on the ground.

“While the investigation is ongoing and the specific cause in the Midway accident is not yet determined, it was the direct responsibility of the Southwest flight crew to safely land the 737 aircraft or make the decision that a safe landing could not be accomplished,” said Daniel O. Rose, a partner at Kreindler who is also a highly trained pilot. “The crew, as do all crews, had the option to either abort the approach or divert the plane and passengers safely to another airport. Does this suggest a pattern in SWA’s flight operations?

“In the Burbank crash of a 737-300, injured parties successfully claimed that SWA fosters a culture of expediency, cost savings and an aggressive ‘get the plane down’ approach that, in combination, compromised passenger safety,” said Mr. Rose, who was involved in the Burbank litigation. “In that incident, it was determined that the SWA flight crew failed to abort an unstable approach. The aircraft approached too high, too fast and too steep. The flight crew was warned by the onboard warning system, yet proceeded with a dangerously out of limits approach and failed to abort the landing when it was clear they were unable to stop on the runway.”

Mr. Rose indicated that, as a cost-savings method, SWA had also decided to disconnect an automatic braking system, which would have stopped the aircraft on the runway in Burbank. As at Midway, the Burbank aircraft ran off the runway, broke through the airport barriers, 20 feet tall steel blast fences, and ran onto Hollywood Way, a busy multi-lane road, crashing into a car and injuring its occupants. Kreindler was the lead attorney in the case on behalf of the 20 families involved in the Burbank crash.

“No less important is the fact that an especially high level of caution is required whenever severe weather that could compromise a safe landing is obvious and when runway conditions deteriorate,” said Marc S. Moller, an aviation attorney and partner at Kreindler & Kreindler. “Weather doesn’t cause accidents; people do. The fact that other aircraft safely landed last night before Flight 1248 and that the runway condition was reported as ‘fair’ would seem to suggest that there was something different about this plane’s approach and landing. The 737-700 involved in the Midway crash should have had the auto brake system installed and, if used, that should have stopped the aircraft, given a normal and stable approach by the flight crew. Yesterday’s crash is not the first in bad weather that should never have happened.”

Originating from Baltimore-Washington International Airport last night, the landing of SWA’s Boeing 737 killed at least one child on the ground and seriously injured several others as the plane overran the runway and plowed onto Central just south of 55th Street adjacent to Midway Airport.

About Kreindler & Kreindler LLP

Founded in 1950, Kreindler & Kreindler LLP (http://www.kreindler.com/) is nationally recognized as the first and most prominent aviation law firm in the nation. With offices in New York and Los Angeles, the firm has been the leading plaintiff legal counsel on hundreds of aviation cases, including major ones such as the September 11 terrorist attacks, Pan Am Lockerbie Flight 103, Korean Airlines Flight 007, and American Airlines Flight 587, and many cases of small private and commercial crashes. The leading legal textbook in the aviation field, “Aviation Accident Law,” and a standard legal treatise, “New York Law of Torts,” were authored by members of the firm. The firm has handled many cases stemming from weather-related accidents, including World Airways Flight 30, Boston, MA (runway overrun due to ice); USAir 405, New York, NY (icing on takeoff); and Continental 1713, Denver, CO (icing on takeoff).

Marc S. Moller: Kreindler law partner who has represented thousands of victims of commercial and general aviation disasters, and litigated accidents involving single-engine, multi-engine, helicopter, corporate jet and military equipment for more than 25 years. He is presently the Plaintiffs’ Liaison Counsel for all passenger and ground victim tort litigation arising from the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, and is an internationally recognized expert in aircraft litigation.

Daniel O. Rose: Kreindler law partner specializing in litigating airline, general aviation and military crash cases, as well as other complex products liability and negligence cases. Mr. Rose served in the United States Navy as a carrier-based attack pilot including service in Operation Desert Shield. He is a multi-engine commercial and instrument rated pilot.

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