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Tue, Jan 03, 2012

Las Vegas Helo Accident Spawns Second Lawsuit

Filing Made On Behalf Of Family Of Couple Fatally Injured In The Crash

A lawsuit has been filed in a Nevada court stemming from an accident involving a Las Vegas-based tour helicopter which went down near Lake Mead in December. The suit is the second to be filed following the accident.

Attorney Gary Robb of Kansas City, MO, filed the suit on behalf of the family of Delwin and Tamera Chapman. The Utica, KS, couple was celebrating their 25th wedding anniversary in Las Vegas when they booked the sightseeing tour. Robb told the Associated Press that the effect on the family was "horribly sad." The suit, which seeks unspecified damages, was filed against tour operator Sundance Helicopters. The company's CEO Larry Pietropaulo said in a statement only that he was working openly with all parties involved, but did not respond to specific allegations in the suit.

Robb is the same attorney who filed the other lawsuit in conjunction with the accident. He says he suspects both pilot error and mechanical failure.

According the the NTSB, a replacement engine and servo actuators for the main and tail rotors had been installed in the accident aircraft as part of a regular maintenance regimen the day before the accident. It had been flown successfully in one test flight and on two tours before the accident flight.

Robb says he will use the same evidence in both cases but will seek separate trials.

FMI: www.ntsb.gov

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