airportThe recent US ban on laptops and tablets electronic devices from carry-on luggage from flights from 10 Middle Eastern Airports, and a more limited UK ban, have been widely condemned by the aviation press and the airline industry as arbitrary, ineffective and counterproductive. There is no factual basis for the airports selected, the UK list differs from the US, and the bans can be evaded by taking a connecting flight from elsewhere.[1]

These issues raise a more fundamental question: Does the enormous cost and burden imposed upon the airlines and the traveling public by the all-encompassing TSA airport security regime provide any real benefit?

Continue Reading Air Safety: Do Away with TSA?

droneOn April 7, 2017, the Federal Aviation Administration (“FAA”) published a Notice to Airman (“NOTAM”), effective April 14, 2017, prohibiting the operation of unmanned aircraft systems (“UAS”) over one hundred thirty-three military facilities to an altitude of four hundred (400) feet. In issuing the NOTAM, FAA is relying on its authority located in 14 C.F.R. § 99.7 to address national security concerns.

Continue Reading Federal Aviation Administration Restricts UAS Operations Over 133 Military Facilities

droneThe Federal Aviation Administration’s 2017 Unmanned Aircraft Systems (“UAS”) Symposium opened on March 27, 2017. Through the first two days of the conference, the FAA has focused on its efforts to work with UAS industry stakeholders to facilitate the integration of UAS into the national airspace system (“NAS”).  In particular, the FAA has focused on three main issues: (1) the promulgation of performance based standards to accommodate future operations as UAS technology evolves; (2) the implementation of a technology based solution to facilitate compliance with FAA regulations and thus operation of UAS and further innovation; and (3) continued integration, as opposed to segregation, of various UAS into the NAS.

Continue Reading Federal Aviation Administration 2017 Unmanned Aircraft Systems Symposium, Days 1-2

UAS droneThe FAA’s new regulations for the commercial operation of small unmanned aircraft systems (“sUAS”) became effective on Monday August 29, 2016. Specifically, Part 107 to Title 14 of the Code of Federal Regulations has been added to allow for the routine civil operation of sUAS in the national airspace system. As we previously announced, highlights of the new Commercial UAS Regulations are as follows:

Continue Reading FAA Publishes Long Awaited Rules For The Commercial Operation of Small UAS

727 Plane
Photo Credit: Greater St. Louis Air and Space Museum

The first generation of jet airliners revolutionized air travel with their speed and comfort when they entered service in the late 1950s. But their takeoff and landing speeds limited them to large airports with long runways, and with four fuel thirsty jet engines their operating costs and efficiency were far from ideal.

The Boeing 727 inaugurated the second generation of American jet transports. Powered by three turbofan engines, it offered the potential for cost-effective jet service to a much wider range of cities with smaller airports that could only handle propeller aircraft up to that time. To achieve this, the 727 relied on an advanced wing design incorporating a sophisticated triple-slotted flap system which effectively increased the wing area by 25 per cent for landings, allowing lower landing speeds as well as the high cruising speeds the public expected with jet travel.

Continue Reading Air Safety: The “Deadly” Boeing 727

Product Liability Monitor

August 9, 2016
New Developments
GM’s Ignition Switch Litigation Woes Continue
By Shannon Peters

“Just when I thought I was out…they pull me back in.” That must be what GM’s executives (and counsel) were thinking when the Second Circuit handed down its recent decision overturning portions of the 2015 Bankruptcy Court decision that could have immunized the “New GM” from “Old GM’s” liability related to the ignition switch recall of 2014. The decision also calls into question the 2009 sale order as a potential violation of the victims’ due process rights. [Continue Reading]

The Hazards of Lithium Ion Batteries
By Alan Hoffman

Lithium ion batteries have been in use for more than two decades, but safety concerns about them have recently attracted a wave of media and regulatory attention. Fires involving the lithium ion batteries of Boeing 787 Dreamliners in January, 2013 resulted in the temporary grounding of the entire 787 fleet. [Continue Reading]

The Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act (PLCAA) in Actions Against Firearms Retailers
By Dan Jaffe

The U.S. District Court of Kansas recently denied a retailer’s motion to dismiss a suit alleging negligent entrustment and knowing violation of federal law in the sale of a firearm based on the pre-emption provisions of the PLCAA. [Continue Reading]

Editor of the Month
Shannon Peters Shannon Petersconcentrates his practice on the areas of product liability, intellectual property, and general commercial litigation as part of the firm’s Product Liability team. He advocates for clients of all sizes, from individuals to corporations, including some of the world’s leading manufacturers of specialty chemicals, petrochemicals, automobile parts, and industrial and consumer products, advising them on negotiations, discovery issues and litigation strategies.
Connect with us: Blog | Twitter | LinkedIn
Technology, Manufacturing & Transportation
Product Liability Practice
Manufacturers work hard to develop material goods and product designs that are high-quality, safe and durable. We understand your commitment to excellence and commit ourselves to defending you against product liability allegations. Husch Blackwell’s Product Liability team has insight into your industry-specific challenges. [More information]
Product Liability Monitor Archive
July 2016

droneBoth the House of Representatives and the Senate have now voted to pass, and the President has now signed, the Federal Aviation Administration Reauthorization Act of 2016 (the “Act”).  The Act, which averts a shutdown of the FAA, funds the agency through September 30, 2017.  Importantly, the Act contains a number of provisions related to unmanned aircraft systems (“UAS”), including FAA requirements to:

  • Publish guidance regarding the application for, and expedited approval of, exemptions or certificates of authorization or waiver for the use of UAS by civil or public operators in response to emergencies;
  • Continue developing a research plan for the deployment of a traffic management system for UAS;
  • Establish a pilot program for airspace hazard mitigation at airports and other critical infrastructure using UAS detection systems; and
  • Develop a program, in coordination with NASA, to test and model the collision of UAS with various sized aircraft in a number of operational settings.

Click here for more information regarding Husch Blackwell’s UAS team or contact Tom Gemmell, or David Agee.

droneOn Tuesday June 21, 2016, the Federal Aviation Administration (“FAA”) announced the release of the long awaited regulations for the commercial operation of small Unmanned Aircraft Systems (“sUAS”) – to be promulgated in 14 C.F.R. Part 107 (the “Commercial UAS Regulations”).  The Commercial UAS Regulations will be effective sixty (60) days from the date of their publication in the Federal Register.  Highlights of the new Commercial UAS Regulations are as follows:

Continue Reading FAA Announces Publication of New Small UAS Regulations

Product Liability Monitor

June 7, 2016
New Developments
Driverless Cars and the Law
By Mark Pratzel

As driverless car technology evolves, questions continue to arise regarding its legal repercussions. Google, one of the leading forces behind autonomous cars, predicts that they will be available to the public by 2020.  Nissan and Tesla are also developing self-driven car technology.  And consumers support the new technology.  A recent Pew Research Center study indicated that nearly half of Americans would ride in a driverless car. [Continue Reading]

The Sandy Hook Firearm Litigation
By Joe Guffey

On the morning of December 14, 2012, Adam Lanza entered the Sandy Hook Elementary School armed with a Bushmaster AR-15 rifle modeled on the military M-16, which he used to kill 26 persons and wound others. The shootings received extensive nationwide media coverage. [Continue Reading]

Federal Preemption of Aircraft Design Defect Claims
By Alan Hoffman

In Sikkelee v. Precision Airmotive Corp., 45 F.Supp.3d 431 (M.D. Pa. 2014), a wrongful death suit arising from the crash of a Cessna 172 claiming defects in the carburetor of its Lycoming engine and the related manuals and instructions, the plaintiff alleged that Lycoming violated various design requirements for the engine type certificate, and failed to report failures, malfunctions or defects as required by the Federal Air Regulations. [Continue Reading]

Editor of the Month
Alan Hoffman concentrates his practice in the Alan Hoffman areas of product liability, tort and business litigation with the firm’s St. Louis office. He handles a wide variety of product liability and personal injury litigation, including chemical and toxic tort; premises liability; firearms and ammunition; maritime; aviation; and rail cases. He has defended chemical manufacturing clients in exposure and product liability cases. Alan also has been an active pilot for more than 40 years and has a unique knowledge of aviation law.
Connect with us: Blog | Twitter | LinkedIn
Technology, Manufacturing & Transportation
Product Liability Practice
Manufacturers work hard to develop material goods and product designs that are high-quality, safe and durable. We understand your commitment to excellence and commit ourselves to defending you against product liability allegations. Husch Blackwell’s Product Liability team has insight into your industry-specific challenges. [More information]

universityThe FAA issued a major announcement yesterday on the use of Unmanned Aircraft Systems (“UAS”) for educational institutions (link).  Students of educational institutions no longer need a Section 333 exemption or other authorization to fly under certain conditions, provided that they follow the rules for model aircraft.

Continue Reading FAA Memorandum on Educational Use of UAS