Date registered: Oct 2004
Vehicle: 2013 S550
Location: Tampa, Florida
Mentioned: 37 Post(s)
Quoted: 447 Post(s)
Sounds to me like a triple win - trial, headlamp, and wheel. Congratulations!
It brings to mind the luck of an acquaintance, aviation attorney Bruce Lampert. Bruce gave a lecture at my law school, after which I introduced myself. I had personally observed several of the incidents (or conditions surrounding the incidents) of several air crash cases he had tried - particularly, Continental 1713 at Denver (my wife and I were driving to Denver from Boulder, overlooking the airport, and saw that one go down); and United 585 at Colorado Springs (I heard the ferocious Chinook winds come down from the mountains as that plane tried to land; the crosswinds, which shook my house, were not the cause of the plane rolling inverted on short final; a malfunctioning rudder control unit was - but winds contributed). We discussed those, and the fact that I may have directed air strikes he flew from the USS Coral Sea when he was a Navy pilot (I was an Air Force Forward Air Controller, and directed many strikes flown from the Coral Sea).
He invited me to apply for a clerkship at his firm; I did. But on the day I showed for the interview, he was not there; his brother took the interview. Bruce had taken a vacation to Hawaii celebrating a victory, and of all things, he decided to take a side trip either to Sydney or Auckland, I don't recall which. He boarded United Flight 811, and was aboard when a cargo door latch failed, resulting in an explosive decompression that blew out the side of the aircraft and caused eight deaths. While the plane landed successfully (a minor miracle itself, given the structural damage), it was a truly frightful incident that has been highlighted on several TV programs.
Of course, he tried that case too.
I did not get the job. Bruce's brother asked what I thought of naming the pilots of Sioux City Flight 232 as defendants and going after them personally for damages. I told him that while it could be done as a matter of law, in my personal opinion everyone who survived that crash (which occurred after an engine explosion had cut all flight controls to the tail) owed their lives to the actions taken by those pilots - a point the defense was sure to make, and it could make the plaintiffs look bad going after them with greater emphasis than the FAA, the aircraft manufacturer, and the airline. I told him that when flying B-52s I used to practice approaches with simulated rudder and elevator failure - no one had ever successfully landed the Buf with such a condition. Two had crashed after failure of the hydraulic pumps powering those surfaces, and neither I nor the pilots I trained as a simulator instructor were able to do it in a flight simulator. I had once experienced loss of 3 of the 4 pumps, landing with very very slow controls running from a single small standby pump. I knew how dicey it was.
Wrong answer (for them, anyway). They were representing some of the plaintiffs, and definitely wanted to go after the pilots, heavily. Oh well. But I still hold the opinion I stated. And after graduation I went to work for a small aviation law and general civil practice in Florida.
Sorry for the diversion (luck after trials is what got me here) - back to the headlamps!! Looking forward to your final report on the ballast.
2005 S500 4-Matic
Last edited by Skylaw; 06-13-2019 at 04:23 PM.