Fri, Jul 04, 2003
Played Hardball, Hit Home Run
An accident that has had severe
repercussions in the GA and business aviation worlds is continuing
to create turbulence.
The trial is over, and families of three
of the victims of the March, 2001 crash will split some $10.2
million with their lawyers.
The G-III pilots attempted to land at night, in a low-grade
snowstorm. They hadn't received some new NOTAM about not circling
after dark; and they tried to make the dangerous approach,
apparently without visual reference. The landing was short. AvJet
admitted its responsibility.
The Withams, Laurence and Lyle, will each start with $4,250,000,
to cover the death of their 22-year-old daughter; Aurora Garcia
will get $1,700,000, for the loss of two grandsons.
AvJet, which operated the charter, has settled most cases for
undisclosed sums; after this award, it is likely that whoever
hasn't settled, will go for a court award.
"Conversations recorded by the CVR during the last 2 minutes of
flight suggest that the flight crew was preoccupied with looking
outside the cockpit in an attempt to visually locate the airport.
As a result, the captain continued flight below the authorized MDA
after failing to establish or maintain visual contact with the
runway. The first officer did not challenge the captain’s
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