Aviation News, Headlines & Alerts
Category: <span>Published Settlement</span>

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Denver Based Startup Plans Supersonic NYC-London Flights in 3.4 Hours

Boom Technology, a Denver, Colorado, based startup, wants to build a supersonic airplane that will be able to fly at 1,451 miles per hour, i.e. 2.6 times faster than any of the current airliners.

The company says its 40-seater aircrafts, at their cruising altitude of 60,000 feet, will reduce the time to fly from New York to London by half. So for a roundtrip price of $5,000, the travelers will be able to cover this distance in only 3.4 hours. Boom founder Blake Scholl said, “Imagine departing from New York at 6 a.m., and landing at Heathrow by 2:30 p.m. London time… You’ll be able to make afternoon meetings, you can stay until 9:30 p.m., have a full productive day, and and back in New York at 8 p.m. [local time] so you can tuck your kids into bed.”

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€10,000 Awarded for Child Trauma

Two year old Emma Reddan witnessed a Sikorsky S76 piloted by Bill Curry crashing in the Neptune Hotel car lot. The chopper’s rotor blade struck a lamp post, resulting in the crash.

Emma Reddan suffered from separation anxiety disorder.

In Civil court, Judge Matthew Deery approved a €10,000 settlement for Emma Reddan from Curry and GP Helicopter Services Ltd, of Woodstown Dale, Knocklyon, Dublin, and Barrack Construction Limited, Thomastown, Caragh, Naas, Co Kildare.

Judge Interprets Widow as Unentitled. Canadian Charter is No Common Carrier

Mark McLean had a million dollar life insurance policy under Canadian Premier Life Insurance Company, through Sears Canada Inc. When he was killed in a Vancouver Island plane crash three years ago, it seemed an open and shut case that his widow would get an accidental death benefit of $1 million under the 2007 policy. McLean was one of four Seaspan employees on an amphibious Grumman Goose flight from Port Hardy to Chamiss Bay.

But the policy was only valid for the fare-paying passenger of common carrier. The charter restricted to employees or contractors of Seaspan does not qualify as a common carrier. The The Honourable Mr. Justice Bracken found that “In this case, the aircraft was not operating as a regularly scheduled airline and was instead under a charter restricted to employees or contractors of Seaspan. It was a flight where Seaspan determined who the passengers were, the time of the flight and its destination. Thus, it did not fit within the definition of “common carrier” under the accidental death benefit rider.”

The widow was denied the accidental death benefit of $1,000,000 under the policy.

In George’s Point of View

Unfortunately, a judge must base his opinion on the wording of the policy.

The Judge had no choice. The policy excluded a non fare paying trip. Everyone should take advice from Insurance 101 and get out the magnifying glass. Read the fine print. It is still valid advice.

Insurance Companies salivate when they win a case like this. The agents who sell these policies, even they don’t know what they are selling and if they do, fail to explain all the fine print that will be included in the policy if the proposed insured buys a policy, or fail to use a combination of Life Insurance and Accidental Death Insurance that combine to cover all eventualities.

No doubt when Mark McLean got on that plane, he was confident of his coverage. I believe that as Seaspan regularly chartered that flight exclusively for their employees, either they should have provided insurance coverage, or made certain that the employees are otherwise covered. Perhaps they too needed to take a magnifying glass to their policies as well.

Stupid, almost a scam, my opinion, misleading, overall.

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17.8 Million Awarded to Surviving Family

What: F/A-18 Military Jet from the carrier Abraham Lincoln landing at Marine Corps Air Station Miramir
Where: San Diego neighborhood
When: DEC 8, 2008
Who: Young Mi Yoon, 36; her daughters Grace, 15 months, and Rachel, 2 months; and her mother, Suk Im Kim, 60.
Why: A witness said the plane was chugging along with what seemed like one engine. Then…”roar of engine and all of a sudden, woop, dead silence.”

In George’s Point of View

Dead Silence. The rogue jet flattened a house, silenced four lives, and stole the joy from the lifetime of tomorrows of Don Yoon (who lost his wife, daughters and mother-in-law), Jun Hwa Lee (who lost his mother, sister and nieces), Sanghyun Lee (who lost his wife, daughter and grandchildren.) Maybe it’s a cheap trick to keep repeating Young Mi, Grace, Rachel and Suk Im Kim in multiple incarnations, but like all of us, they were composed of all the hats they wore, and their lives touched a lot of people; and I don’t regret the repetition. I’m wishing I knew the names of poor Young Mi’s two siblings, so I could repeat the relationships twice more. How better to express that those four lives lost are ever so much more than we can define?

Where there had once been plans of a Korean family wedding, the joy of cousins, reunion of generations, and decades of Christmases like the one just past, for Don Yoon and his in-laws, there’s now only pain, and following that, an immeasurable vacuum. I guess there’s no point on my dwelling on how great the loss, or the irony. Don Yoon came to the US at 18 to build a better life, and one minute before that jet crashed, he had the American dream.

I guess you could say it went from dream to nightmare. The three years since that crash have ended with the U.S. District Court in San Diego awarding the surviving family members $17.8 million. I don’t need to be a gambler to know that they would trade every penny to have their family back.

Skydiving Crash Victims Awarded by Jury

Doncasters Inc. of London is a manufacturer of aviation components. They were recently held accountable for the death of five victims of the crash of a DeHavilland DHC-6 Twin Otter, the skydiving plane which exploded at the Sullivan airport.

Six people were killed: Melissa Berridge, 38, of St. Louis; Victoria Delacroix, 22, of London; Robert Cook, 22, of Rolla, Mo.; Rob Walsh, 44, of St. Louis; Scott Cowan, 42, of St. Louis were awarded four million each, and a portion of $28 million in punitive damages.

David Aternoster, 35, also died in the crash but his relatives were not part of the lawsuit. Jim and Scott Cowan, owners of Quantum Leap Skydiving were piloting.

Eight engine failures are believed to be due to a defective Doncasters part according to aviation experts, air crash investigators, metallurgists and aircraft design engineers.

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$1.2 Million Helicopter Settlement

What: Midwestern Air Services LLC, Robinson R44 II, Raven, four-place, two-bladed, single main rotor, single-engine helicopter en route from Horseshoe Casino Heliport to Kenosha Regional Airport
Where: Kenosha, Wisconsin
When: September 21, 2008
Who: pilot Alan Sapko and passenger Joan Anzalone
Why: The National Transportation Safety Board ruled pilot error. A judge ruled that the pilot’s estate will pay the heirs of Joan Anzalone 1.2 million.

The report of the crash states that the helicopter:
“… was destroyed when it impacted an occupied house and terrain near Kenosha, Wisconsin. A ground fire subsequently occurred. The personal flight was operating under 14 CFR Part 91. Night instrument meteorological conditions prevailed at the time of the accident. No flight plan was on file. The private pilot and a passenger were fatally injured. The five occupants in the house were uninjured. The flight originated from the Horseshoe Casino Heliport (2IG3), near Whiting, Indiana, about 0507, and was destined for the Kenosha Regional Airport (ENW), near Kenosha, Wisconsin, when the accident occurred.

According to information provided by Horseshoe Casino, the pilot landed at 1907 on September 20, 2008. The pilot and passenger had dinner, they observed a concert, and gambled. The pilot had a glass of wine with his dinner about 1930. About 0139 on September 21, 2008, a beverage confirmed to be a Captain Morgan’s and diet Coke in a short glass was given to the pilot. About 0146, another Captain Morgan’s and diet Coke in a tall glass was given to the pilot. About 0213, the pilot set the first glass down empty. About 0423, the pilot took a drink from the second drink glass. The glass was about half full. The pilot gambled until about 0449 and then he and his passenger departed for 2IG3. The pilot and passenger departed from 2IG3 about 0507.

A Wisconsin State Patrol Trooper who was outside the weight facility on Interstate 94 at the Illinois and Wisconsin State Line about six miles south of the accident site heard a helicopter heading north at a “very low altitude” and estimated it at 500 feet. He did not see the helicopter or its lights due to the “dense fog.” He stated that the visibility there was about 300 to 500 feet.

A witness who lived near the accident site gave a statement to the Kenosha Police Department. The witness stated that a low flying helicopter was heard. It circled once then went away and came back. The witness saw an orange flash through the window and heard a “boom.” The witness said the helicopter sounded “really low” and the “engine sounded like it was at low RPMs.”

A witness from the occupied house on the northwest corner of 97th Avenue and 70th Street that was impacted by the helicopter gave a statement to the police department. The witness, in part, reported:

My family and I were fast asleep in our residence when I heard and
felt a loud bang like thunder, and then a cloud of debris came
[through] our bedroom door. My wife and I were in the southeast
bedroom. Our two sons were in the northeast bedroom and our
daughter was the bedroom over the garage. We got our kids and
[with] the help of our neighbors made it down the stairs and outside.
None of us were injured. I saw the flames across the street and one
of our neighbors told me a helicopter hit our house.

The pilot held a Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) private pilot certificate. He held a FAA third-class medical certificate issued on April 3, 2006, with no limitations. At the time of that medical, he reported 60 hours total flight time to date and 30 hours in the six months prior to that examination. The pilot’s logbook indicated that the pilot had accumulated 329 hours of total flight time. The pilot recorded 37.25 hours of night flight time.

A certified flight instructor (CFI) that instructed the accident pilot indicated that two previous CFIs had instructed the accident pilot and had endorsed the accident pilot for solo flight training operations. According to the CFI, the two previous CFIs believed that the accident pilot was flying in violation of his solo privileges and the CFIs removed the accident pilot’s solo endorsement. The CFI stated that he had no problems with the accident pilot’s training and solo activities.

The accident pilot’s medical certificate and student pilot certificate had a solo endorsement with “revoked” written across it.”

No one in the house was injured.

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$15 Million Settlement

We don’t always hear the numbers when cases are settled, so the news release that a $15 million settlement was okayed in Cook County, Illinois seemed to be a noteworthy news byte.

The ruling was in favor of the Chicago restaurant executive Michael Waugh who was killed in a 2006 crash.

Waugh, general manager of Joe’s Seafood, Prime Steak and Stone Crab Restaurant, was en route from Olathe, Kansas, when the Cessna 421B he was in crashed.

A major point in the case was that the plane was piloted by a Morgan Stanley senior financial advisor, who was not a professional pilot.

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Published Settlement: $15 million

What: Twin-engine Cessna 421B on approach to Chicago Executive Airport in Wheeling
Where: crashed into a storage yard
When: January 2006
Who: Michael Waugh ( general manager and chief operating partner of Joe’s Seafood, Prime Steak & Stone Crab in Chicago), Kenneth Knudson (founder of Sybaris), and Scott Garland (financial adviser at Morgan Stanley)
Why: Circuit Judge John Ward awarded $6 million to Waugh’s widow, with the rest being divided among the couple’s three young sons.

Wrongful death suiit: Morgan Stanley improperly allowed employees to fly personal planes to conduct business–a situation which other financial institutions prohibit.
Pilot Mark Turek, a Morgan Stanley senior vice president was charged with negligence.

George’s Point of View

Settlements are seldom published


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