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 Unlimited -- Recent Daily Episodes

Episode Date

Monday

Tuesday

Wednesday

Thursday

Friday

Airborne On ANN

Airborne 06.29.15

Airborne 06.30.15

Airborne 07.01.15

Airborne 06.25.15

Airborne 06.26.15

Airborne Hi-Def On YouTube

Airborne 06.29.15

Airborne 06.30.15

Airborne 07.01.15

Airborne 06.25.15

Airborne 06.26.15

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 06.30.15: Defending Santa Monica, Aspen ADS-B, NBAA v Privatization

Also: Spectra Reserves, Aero-Calendar, New Airman Standards, Spaceport America, Pointing Lasers, C-17 Training Network, Seaplane Sim Supporters of the Santa Monica, California Airp>[...]

Hexacopter Blasted Out Of The Air Results In Small Claims Charge

Court Finds In Favor Of Aircraft Owner Back in November last year, Eric Joe was visiting his parent's home in Modesto, CA, and flew his Hexacopter low and slow over what he says wa>[...]

SpaceX Falcon 9 Anomaly Was Apparently In The Booster's Second Stage

First Stage Operated Normally As The Spacecraft Disintegrated More details are emerging from the launch failure Sunday of a SpaceX Falcon 9 booster carrying a Dragon resupply space>[...]

AeroSports Update: Wingfoot One Headed To AirVenture

Goodyear’s Brand New Wingfoot One Airship Makes Its EAA AirVenture Oshkosh Debut This Year. If you think rigid airships are something from the past, it’s time to get a >[...]

AD: Dassault Aviation Airplanes

AD NUMBER: 2015-13-08 PRODUCT: All Dassault Aviation Model FALCON 2000EX airplanes.>[...]

blog comments powered by Disqus



Advertisement

Advertisement

Podcasts

Advertisement

© 2007 - 2015 Web Development & Design by Pauli Systems, LC