Monthly Archives: April 2017

The aftermath of Germanwings

On March 24, 2015, the passengers and crew of Germanwings Flight No. 9525 (from Barcelona to Dusseldorf) were the victims of a tragic aviation incident. Shortly after take-off, the pilot left the cockpit. The co-pilot (Mr. Lubitz) locked the cockpit door and initiated a steep descent into the French Alps. Despite attempts by the crew to gain entry to the cockpit and communicate with Mr. Lubitz, the plane crashed, killing everybody on board. The incident sparked international concern, and the incident resulted in the implementation of various safety measures across the globe.

The French Aviation Investigation Authority (the BEA) investigated the accident. The BEA report revealed that Mr. Lubitz suffered from a prior history of depression and psychological disorders. Shortly …

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PTSD is not a “bodily injury” down under

In November, 2009, an aircraft operated by Pel-Air Aviation Pty Ltd.  (“Pel-Air”) flew on a charter flight from Samoa to evacuate a patient and her husband to Melbourne.  Six people were on board the aircraft, including Ms. Karen Casey, a nurse employed by Care Flight (NSW), and Dr. David Helm.  The aircraft was scheduled to refuel at Norfolk Island but poor weather forced the pilot to ditch the aircraft in the sea.  Everyone on board the aircraft survived, but Ms. Casey and Dr. Helm were both seriously injured and commenced an action against Pel-Air in the Supreme Court of New South Wales.

As the case involved an international flight, the Montreal Convention applied to their claims for damages.  At trial, …

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