After a plane crash occurs, an investigation takes place. Because air traffic is regulated by the federal government, the National Transportation Safety Board conducts the investigation. The agency’s staff conducts the investigation and the NTSB board usually signs off on the staff’s conclusion. If there are questions raised during the investigation, the board can choose to conduct hearings and hear testimony.
That is not what happened with a 2012 crash in Florida. The NTSB reached a conclusion in November of 2014 about the crash and the board followed the conclusion. The report blamed the pilot for the Florida plane crash, which killed all six members of a Kansas family.
According to the report, Ronald Bramlage, the pilot, his wife and their four children had been vacationing in the Bahamas and stopped in Ft. Pierce, Florida on June 7, 2012 to go through customs. Bramlage was piloting a Pilatus PC-12/47 aircraft and was headed to Johnson City, Kansas, where the family resided.
The plane left customs around noon and climbed to a cruising altitude. The area was experiencing some slightly bad weather and air traffic control in Miami gave Bramlage permission to deviate from the assigned path. The aircraft also experienced some icing on the wings and Bramlage initiated standard deicing procedure. The NTSB report claimed the weather and icing were well with the acceptable range for aircraft.
For some reason, the aircraft’s autopilot disengaged, forcing Bramlage to take control of the aircraft. The NTSB concluded that Bramlage’s was not able to steady the aircraft after the autopilot disengaged and the plane descended quickly. It was traveling at more than 338 knots, twice the maximum operating speed of the vehicle. As a result, the right wing was torn off and a hole was ripped in the fuselage, ejecting 13-year-old Boston Bramlage from the plane.
The plane crashed in a wooded area around 50 miles Southwest of Orlando, and burst into flames. The crash killed the entire family.
The NTSB concluded that Bramlage was too inexperienced to operate the single-engine turbo prop plane. Bramlage had a pilot’s license, but had only minimal hours as the pilot in command. “(H)is lack of experience was evidenced by the fact that he did not maintain control of the aircraft after the autopilot disengaged,” the report states.
If you or a loved one has been injured in a plane accident, contact the Law Offices of James O. Cunningham, P.A. immediately at 877-FL-INJURY (877-354-6587) for a free initial consultation.
James O. Cunningham
Since 1977, personal injury lawyer James Cunningham has provided effective legal advocacy to people who are injured through the negligent actions of another person or entity throughout the Central Florida area. He fights to obtain recoveries for his clients’ physical and emotional pain and suffering and pursues his clients’ personal injury cases with a commitment to excellence and impeccable preparation.
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