Pilot Says He Was Not PIC In Fatal Accident | Aero-News Network
Aero-News Network
RSS icon RSS feed
podcast icon MP3 podcast
Subscribe Aero-News e-mail Newsletter Subscribe

** Airborne/NBAA2014 10.20.14 ** HD iPad-Friendly -- Airborne/NBAA2014 10.20.14 **
** Airborne 10.17.14 ** HD iPad-Friendly -- Airborne 10.17.14 **
** Airborne 10.15.14 ** HD iPad-Friendly -- Airborne 10.15.14 **

Tue, Mar 14, 2006

Pilot Says He Was Not PIC In Fatal Accident

Was Only IFR Rated Pilot Aboard

A young Ohio pilot -- the sole survivor of a Beechcraft Bonanza V35 accident in Rock Hill, SC last summer -- says he's been wrongly accused.

Matthew Sullivan, 24, says he was one of three certificated pilots on board the Bonanza (file photo of type, right) July 24, 2005 as it flew from Columbus, OH to Rock Hill. An instrument-rated pilot -- the only one on board, in fact -- Sullivan was flying right seat on the IFR trip.

Shortly after cancelling their IFR flight plan, Sullivan, the plane owner and the other pilot -- who was flying in the left seat -- overshot the airport at Rock Hill by about ten miles, according to the NTSB's Probable Cause report. The aircraft then apparently ran out of fuel on the way back to the strip, crashing about a mile short of the runway.

The NTSB report lists Sullivan as the pilot in command -- but that the pilot in the left seat, Eric Johnson, was actually flying the plane. Sullivan told the Rock Hill Herald that the plane's owner, Eric Coulman, presented Johnson as an Air Force veteran and an experienced pilot.

"I was picturing a 'Top Gun,'" Sullivan said, adding he was not aware Johnson did not have an IFR rating.

After an investigation, the FAA took no action against Sullivan. The man's lawyers, however, say that by listing Sullivan -- who is a flight instructor -- as PIC, the NTSB is scapegoating him -- as well as leaving him open to potential liability action in the future.

For his part, Sullivan -- who is still recovering from his injuries in the accident -- says he does not remember the day of the crash... only the day before, in which he maintains it was decided he was only supposed to be a passenger on the doomed flight.

"Dr. Coulman owned the plane, filed the flight plan and made the decision as to who would fly the aircraft," Sullivan wrote to the NTSB. "Mr. Johnson actually flew the plane knowing he did not have the certification or authority to do so. It would be an injustice to blame me (as an invited guest) for their errors."

Sullivan says he was on his way to a class reunion.

FMI: Read The NTSB Probable Cause Report

Advertisement

More News

Airborne at NBAA--10.20.14: HondaJet, Honeywell Forecast, Gulfstream's G500/G600

Also: Garmin's ADS-B For BizAv, R44s For Jordan, Textron Aviation, Hartzell Props, Clarity Aloft Pro Plus At a news conference early Monday at the 2014 NBAA convention, HondaJet sa>[...]

Airborne 10.17.14: Enstrom Delivers, Flight School Scandal, NBAA2014

Also: Rare O-46 Rebuild, Valor Unveiled, OK's Anti-Fly-In Airport, FAA Screw-Ups, The first Enstrom Model 480B-G has been delivered to Rick Boswell of New Hampshire with the Garmin>[...]

Airborne at NBAA--10.20.14: HondaJet, Honeywell Forecast, Gulfstream's G500/G600

Also: Garmin's ADS-B For BizAv, R44s For Jordan, Textron Aviation, Hartzell Props, Clarity Aloft Pro Plus At a news conference early Monday at the 2014 NBAA convention, HondaJet sa>[...]

Game-Changing NBAA2014 Sponsor Mid-Continent Instruments and Avionics!

Innovation Brings Safe, Certified, Nanophosphate® Lithium Batteries To New Business Aircraft True Blue Power is the first company in the world to achieve FAA TSO and EASA ETSO >[...]

ANN FAQ: Feel The Propwash!

Get Aero-News Delivered To Your E-Mail We know you, like many of our readers, make it a point to check out the latest news and information daily on Aero-News... but did you know th>[...]

blog comments powered by Disqus



Advertisement

Advertisement

Podcasts

Advertisement

© 2007 - 2014 Web Development & Design by Pauli Systems, LC