Claims Through Lawyers That The Airplane Carried Too Much
A teenage girl in California who was seriously injured in an
accident at Trukee Tahoe Airport in September 2009 is suing the
pilots of the airplane, claiming it carried too much fuel.
The suit was filed November 22 in Santa Clara County Superior
Court in California. The Nevada Appeal reports that the
then-14-year-old girl was a passenger in the plane which was owned
by the parents of a friend. The Cessna 206B went down shortly after
takeoff, and the suit says that the accident occurred because the
aircraft was overweight for the density altitude at the
The planes owner/pilots Karen and Steve Trolan say that the
airplane was within its weight and balance envelope for the
conditions at the airport that day. Karen Trolan told the paper
that her family was also badly injured that day.
The suit seeks unspecified damages.
The NTSB determined that the probable cause of the accident was
the pilot’s failure to maintain adequate airspeed for flight,
which resulted in an aerodynamic stall and subsequent impact with
the ground. Contributing to the accident was the intermittent
failure of the stall warning system due to a contaminated switch.
The report (WPR09LA432) is not admissible as evidence in court. The
report indicates that, using reported and estimated weights of the
pilot and three passengers, aircraft empty weight, full fuel, and
the weight of the baggage removed from the airplane, a Cessna
Aircraft Company representative calculated the weight and balance.
The representative stated that the airplane was within center of
gravity limitations. The estimated weight of the airplane at the
time of the accident was about 3,396 pounds. The maximum gross
weight for the airplane was 3,600 pounds. Using the reported
weather conditions and reported airport elevation, the density
altitude at the time of the accident was calculated to be about