On December 6, attorney Richard Genter filed a lawsuit on behalf of client Charles Duke in U.S. District Court in Indiana. The complaint seeks a jury trial to determine punitive damages from defendants Rolls-Royce (and its previous Allison/General Motors incarnations), Standard Aero and Southeast Helicopters. Duke was flying an aerial tree-trimming mission on Dec.
AOPA and seven flight schools have challenged in federal court a New York state law that requires criminal background checks for all flight school students. The law went into effect in September.
Aspen Avionics, the maker of the AT300 hazard awareness display, has asked a New Mexico court to dismiss a lawsuit filed by Eclipse Aviation in October claiming “intellectual ownership” of the device. Former Eclipse employees Peter Lyons and Jeff Bethel say they developed the AT300 before ever coming to work for the VLJ maker and that Eclipse decided to sue them only after the pair left the company to form their own company.
A $27 million child-abduction suit involving charter and aircraft management services operator Executive Jet Management (EJM) has been settled out of court for an undisclosed amount, according to attorneys for the plaintiff, Cornelia Streeter.
Garlick Helicopters and Double R Flying Service in Montana and their owner, Ronald Garlick, have been indicted on federal fraud charges in connection with allegedly non-airworthy parts used on a Bell UH-1 and OH-58A. Garlick was convicted in 1998 on similar charges and served a year in prison, according to the DOT. At press time Garlick declined to comment.
A wrongful-death lawsuit in connection with the Feb. 16, 2005, crash of a Circuit City Citation 560 has resulted in a $3.5 million out-of-court settlement for the family of one of the passengers. The payment will be made by Circuit City and Martinair, the Richmond, Va.-based manager of the aircraft.
Joseph Lepore and Jan Paladino, the pilot and copilot of the ExcelAire Legacy 600 involved in a midair with a Boeing 737 operated by Brazil’s Gol on September 29, returned to New York on December 9. Brazilian authorities confiscated their passports after the accident. The two pilots were allowed to leave Brazil only after their attorney in Brazil successfully filed for habeas corpus.
In the continuing legal saga involving hundreds of helicopter pilots employed by Lafayette, La.-based PHI, a spokesperson for the pilots’ union told AIN on December 12 that the parties have agreed to court-supervised mediation in an attempt to resolve their differences and get the pilots back to work.
Bell 206L LongRanger, Colville Lake, Canada, Oct. 5, 2006–A Canadian-registered LongRanger lost power on approach to a remote location and the pilot performed an autorotation. The LongRanger, which belonged to Great Slave Helicopters, was substantially damaged, and one passenger suffered minor injuries. The Transportation Safety Board of Canada is investigating.
Roy Horridge, owner and operator of grounded Houston-based Air Ambulance by B&C Flight Management, and William Sexton, a former officer with the company and aircraft mechanic, have been indicted for aircraft parts fraud and bank fraud. U.S. Attorney Don DeGabrielle last Friday unsealed a 12-count indictment against Horridge, 72, and Sexton, 65. Both men were arrested.