A new report issued by the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), concerning the explosion of Virgin Galactic’s SpaceShipTwo over the Mojave Desert last year, indicates that the Federal Aviation Administration failed to properly evaluate any potential dangers both in the craft and on the ground. The report concludes that questions raised by a number of safety inspectors, including the location of the test flight as well as the craft’s overall construction, were ignored and deemed “too detailed and “too penetrating.” As reported by the LA Times, safety inspectors and consultants working with the FAA attempted to sound the alarm over possible regulation violations by the craft’s designers – Scaled Composites. Additionally, FAA officials indicated that due to the remoteness of the testing grounds the company “didn’t really need to meet regulations.”
Unfortunately, these oversights and lack of regulation lead to the death of one pilot and a number of close calls on the ground. Following the plane’s explosion, debris rained down over 33 miles of desert – some within feet of the viewing public. Two trucks narrowly missed being crushed by the cockpit section of the vessel that crash-landed on Cantil Road in Antelope Valley. Sections of the cabin were located just outside a high school in Ridgecrest and one driver reported debris falling within 30 to 40 feet of their vehicle. The FAA plans to issue an official response to the NTSB’s findings within the next 3 months.
When a defective product fails, it has the potential to cause grave harm to anyone using it. However, when that product is a vehicle poses a threat to the general public, the negligent company must be held accountable. Remember, if you are involved in a crash or collision with a vehicle that was deemed faulty or defective, you have the right to take legal action against the at-fault company. For more information, call Kahn Roven, LLP today.