Mon, Jun 06, 2005
Widow Wins Lawsuit
A federal jury ordered the Little Rock National Airport (Adams
Field) to pay more than $2.1 million to Susan Buschmann, the widow
of Captain Richard Buschmann. He died after his American Airlines
jet went off the end of the runway on June 1st, 1999.
Captain Buschman was in command of AA Flight 1420, and attempted
to land the MD-82 during a severe thunderstorm after a long duty
day. The airplane was unable to stop on the runway, and hit
approach lights. The accident killed him and ten others.
The NTSB had reported that Captain Buschmann made several
errors, and the airport tried to use that in their defense. The
NTSB cited "The flight crew's failure to discontinue the approach
when severe thunderstorms and their associated hazards to flight
operations had moved into the airport area and the crew's failure
to ensure that the spoilers had extended after touchdown."
The NTSB said "the flight crew's (1) impaired performance
resulting from fatigue and the situational stress associated with
the intent to land under the circumstances, (2) continuation of the
approach to a landing when the company's maximum crosswind
component was exceeded, and (3) use of reverse thrust greater than
1.3 engine pressure ratio after landing," contributed to the
Ultimately, the jury deliberated just a few hours before they
agreed that the runway safety zone at the airport was inadequate,
with lights only 453 feet from the runway instead of the 1,000-foot
standard. The airport reconfigured the safety zone after the
"I feel like my husband's been exonerated," Susan Buschmann said
after the verdict, according to an AP report.
Lawyers for the airport said they would consider an appeal.
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