Aerobatic hall of fame pilot Eddie Andreini was flying a routine at the Travis Air Force Base. He was attempting a stunt known as an inverted ribbon cut. Something went wrong. Eddie’s Stearman slid upside down along the runway, coming to a stop at show center. His Stearman caught fire. Eddie couldn’t get out. The crowd watched, prayed, and waited for fire trucks to arrive. Some bystanders wanted to rush to the plane to help, but the announcer warned everyone to stay back and “let the firefighters do their job.”

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Airport fire trucks must get to a burning plane within three minutes if they are going to save any lives. That’s the maximum response time allowed by the National Fire Protection Association, the organization that sets the standard for airport firefighters, including those working at U.S. Air Force bases. 

The survivable atmosphere inside an aircraft

The Chinook helicopter was flying in Afghanistan.  Without warning, one of the helicopter’s two engines flamed out.  The helicopter crashed.  Eight service personnel were killed and fourteen were severely injured.

The victims and their families sued the helicopter’s various manufacturers, including Boeing, Honeywell and Goodrich.  They claimed that the helicopter’s engine quit because of a defect in

The Federal Tort Claims Act allows citizens who have been injured by the federal government to sue the United States.  But there’s an important exception.  No suit against the government is allowed when the victim is a service member injured by the negligence of the United States military. 

The rule protecting the military is called the Feres Doctrine

A crew member injured by an aircraft’s defective design may sue to hold the aircraft manufactuSuper Stallion Helicopterrer accountable.  At least he can when the aircraft involved in the accident was a civilian aircraft. If, however, the airplane or helicopter was a military aircraft, then the rules change.

A manufacturer who built an aircraft specifically for the military may be

Thursday’s mid-air collision involving a Coast Guard C-130 and Marine Corps AH-1H Super Cobra was the second military helicopter crash that has occurred east of San Clemente Island since 2007.  

On January 26, 2007, four were killed when a Navy MH-60S Seahawk crashed just miles from the San Clemente Islandspot of Thursday’s accident.

The Navy was unable to determine