LATAM offer to passengers after Sydney to Auckland mid-flight terror

Latam Airlines from Sydney to Auckland suddenly lost altitude, launching, An Australian law firm representing passengers who were on board a dramatic LATAM airlines flight from Sydney to Auckland, has revealed the carrier has offered compensation payments of between $2295 and $7652. As many as 50 passengers and crew were assessed by paramedics when flight LA800 landed in Auckland in March after experiencing a sudden drop in altitude en route sending anyone not wearing a seatbelt into the roof of the Boeing 787.

The cause of the “sudden movement” was attributed by LATAM to a “technical issue”, believed to be related to the pilot’s seat

More than a dozen people were taken to hospitals in Auckland for further treatment, after suffering cuts, bruising, back and neck injuries and fractures.

Director of Carter Capner Law, Peter Carter said the South American airline was offering some passengers ex gratia payments but he cautioned them not to sign anything without legal advice. “Passengers should ensure that any acceptance of a relatively small payment now doesn’t prejudice other rights they may have to compensation? said Mr Carter.

“Each person has rights and these rights may be substantial”

He said he expected to represent about 15 passengers, possibly more, who had suffered injuries ranging from moderate to severe.

Mr Carter had provided LATAM with the names of some of the passengers he was advising, and said he had told the airline that “any payment made now would be accepted without prejudice to their compensation rights”

“All passengers on the flight irrespective of where they live, are able to claim,” he explained, noting that the law firm had been contacted by passengers from Australia, New Zealand and Brazil.

“Some of these people may be eligible for far more significant compensation if the airline is found to be at fault.”

Under the Montreal Convention which governed airline accidents, those who suffered physical injuries could claim up to $260,000 for proven losses, with more available if the airline was found to be responsible.

Those who were not physically injured but suffered psychological trauma could also be eligible for compensation if the investigation found the airline manufacturer or system supplier was at fault, Mr Carter said.

“In this case, we may be able to claim Boeing or the system supplier which would then include pure emotional and psychological injuries,” he said.

“It takes time to fully investigate these matters, but whatever the outcome, the important advice right now is that any acceptance by a passenger of any amount of money from LATAM should not prejudice their rights to future claims”

LATAM was contacted for comment but did not respond.

Chile’s transport accident investigation authority was examining the incident, with assistance from New Zealand’s Transport Accident Investigation Committee.

Those close to the investigation have suggested an unintended seat movement may have pushed the pilot into the flight controls at such an angle, the Boeing 787 was briefly sent into
a deep dive.

Another 787 pilots said if the control column was pushed forward enough, it would override the autopilot causing it to disconnect.

This would see the aircraft suddenly pitch down, resulting in the sort of chaos experienced in the cabin of the LATAM Airlines flight on March 11