image of plane at night on runway

“Col. Pete Field knows more about airplanes and flying than anyone I’ve ever come across. His incredible experiences in wartime and non-wartime, in military and civil aviation, in test piloting, and accident investigation, make him an indispensable expert in any aviation related litigation. Col. Field provided incredibly helpful expert testimony in a recent aviation trial in federal court. His command of the issues, and clear explanation of complex aeronautical concepts, helped carry the day over other highly-credentialed and highly expensive opposing experts. I would not handle another aviation case without consulting Col. Field.”  

Ranse Partin
Partner, Conley Griggs Partin LLP


I have been involved as an Expert Witness in 50 aviation cases, using the experience and education gained in my career. I have worked both plaintiff and defense sides and have always been accepted by the court (no successful Daubert challenges). These cases have involved Military, Large Corporate, General Aviation, and Homebuilt Aircraft, many involving fatalities.

  1. Experimental Aircraft A second owner of an experimental aircraft was killed along with his passenger during a crash resulting from non-acrobatic maneuvering flight. The passenger’s estate sued for loss of earnings. The issue to be determined was whether or not the pilot was responsible for the accident.
  2. Stall Spin Accident A student and instructor were killed after loss of control during stall practice maneuvers. Although the aircraft was fitted with a ballistic recovery parachute it did not deploy fully. Issues to be determined involved pilot/instructor competency and matters concerning the aircraft manufacturer’s adequacy of spin testing, parachute design installation, and parachute deployment mechanization.
  3. Flight Test of a Large Corporate Aircraft A large corporate jet powered aircraft was lost during flight testing and four crew members were killed after being unable to exit the burning aircraft. Issues in this case concerned whether a breakdown in upper management's review of ongoing flight test results had occurred and an undesirable pressure been brought on the company’s flight test organization to further proceed through flight test when serious aerodynamic problems were encountered.
  4. Light Sport Flying Service A highly entrepreneurial flying service using uncertified light sport aircraft for low altitude scenic flights suffered a pilot and passenger fatal accident. The issue was whether uncertified aircraft could be used for scenic tourism in a business environment.
  5. Military Aircraft A military fighter aircraft encountered engine problems on take-off and subsequently crashed into a housing complex. The crew ejected and no one on the ground was injured or killed, but there was substantial loss of property. The issue concerned the responsibility for the loss of property.
  6. Warbird Crash A foreign built warbird was used to give jet aircraft “joy ride” experience to winners of a charity raffle. The aged pilot suffered a momentary misjudgment during extremely low altitude maneuvering flight and allowed the airplane to impact the ground. The subsequent crash killed all aboard. Here the issue was one of responsibility for the loss of life.
  7. Runway Incursion Crash Right-of-way issues on crossing runways came into question when glider operations conflicted with normal traffic at an uncontrolled airport. A landing aircraft stalled attempting to avoid the collision. All aboard the landing aircraft were killed. The issue in this case was to determine who was responsible for the crash.
Expert Witness Cases Types:

I have served as an expert witness or consultant to law firms in both plaintiff and defense cases involving the following types of aircraft:

General Aviation

Beechcraft BE-36 / 55 / 76 / 200

Cessna 172 (4) / 206 / 402 / 421 / Citation

Cirrus SR 20 / 22

Piper PA-30 / 32 / 38 / 46






Hawker Hunter

BAE Hawk

Experimental Aircraft

Edge 540

Kit Fox

Lancair 4P

Tanarg 912

Corporate Aircraft

Gulfstream – 650



Other Category

Avionics Shop Loss