Wed, Dec 09, 2009
Third Time In 10 Years Jacksonville Controllers Actions
The daughters of a couple killed when their charter flight
went down short of the Gainesville, Florida airport in November of
last year have sued the FAA, saying Jacksonville air traffic
controllers did not properly do their jobs in relation to the
Attorney's for 22-year-old Kyle Taylor and 19-year-old Julia
Taylor, the children of Barbara and Gordon Bennett Taylor, say the
pilot of the airplane was not notified of poor weather conditions
at the time of the accident.
Pilot Andrew Ricciuti was attempting to land at Gainesville,
which is 57 nm southwest of Jacksonville International Airport. The
Taylors had chartered the plane to take Gordon Taylor to
Gainesville for a kidney transplant. The NTSB reports that the
aircraft approached the airport too low and clipped trees before
going down short of the runway. Weather was reported to be foggy at
the time of the accident.
Jacksonville Television Stations WTLV and WJXX report that it
is the third time in 10 years that the FAA has been sued over ATC
operations at JIA. In one instance, an aircraft was attempting to
land a JIA in December 2001 when it went down in foggy conditions.
Their families received nearly $10 million in a settlement with the
FAA. In the other, a plane that went down in the ocean off Vilano
Beach, Florida in December of 2005. The FAA settled for $3 million
in that instance. In both of those lawsuits, the plaintiffs claimed
ATC did not properly do their job.
The NTSB did not find the controllers at fault in either of
those incidents, but judges ruled in favor of the plaintiffs in
civil suits. The FAA would not comment on the pending litigation,
or why it settled in the other cases even though the official
investigation found ATC was not responsible in either case.
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