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Aviation Law News

Defective Army Helicopter Blamed for Deaths

The families of two National Guard Army pilots have filed an aviation wrongful death lawsuit against the manufacturers of a helicopter that crashed last year near Mosul, Iraq. Billie Jean Grinder, 25, and Marcus R. Alford Sr, 28, both died when the army helicopter they were piloting crashed during a mission.

The pilots were attempting to land the helicopter at an airbase approximately 30 miles from Mosul when it crashed. The Department of Defense said that the pilots were not under fire at the time of the crash, and were not threatened by any nearby forces.

The lawsuit was filed in Knox County, Tennessee on Feb. 18, 2011 nearly a year after the Feb. 21, 2010 crash. The crash involved one of the Army’s most advanced helicopters, the Kiowa OH-58D Warrior. Manufacturers named in the suit include Bell Helicopter, Rolls-Royce North America, Goodrich Pump and Engine Control Systems, Unison Industries, and Honeywell International.

The Kiowa OH-58D Warrior was developed in conjunction with the Army Helicopter Improvement Program. It is supposed to have several distinctive advantages over previous models, including an upgraded transmission and engine for more power, a quieter rotor system and a Mast-Mounted Sight above the rotor.

The lawsuit blames the crash on the Full Authority Digital Electronic Control system of the helicopter. The lawsuit states that it was “a direct and proximate cause in the deaths of warrant officers Billie Jean Grinder and Marcus R. Alford Sr.” because the control system failed before the crash.

(Source: The Tennessean)

Wrongful death lawsuits are opportunities for the surviving family members of aviation accident victims to receive compensation for the loss of their loved ones. The lawsuits often involve multiple defendants and complex issues of liability.

For information on how to file an aviation wrongful death lawsuit, contact our plane crash attorneys today.

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