Thu, Feb 05, 2009
Four Execs Already In Custody
Six executives of a Florida-based air charter service face
federal criminal charges in connection with the crash of an
overloaded jet which couldn't get off the runway at Teterboro, New
Jersey in 2005.
Acting US Attorney Ralph J. Marra, Jr. tells the New Jersey
Star-Ledger that Platinum Jet Management of Fort Lauderdale claimed
to be a luxury charter service, but didn't hold the required
certificate; falsified flight records; and routinely overloaded
planes with fuel at airports where the price was cheaper, a
practice known as 'tankering.'
"The fuel loading was the primary contributing factor in the
crash," Marra said. "It is astounding -- and criminal -- that
owners and operators of jet aircraft would repeatedly engage in
such a dangerous game with passengers and airplanes loaded to the
brim with jet fuel."
As ANN reported, on the morning of February 2,
2005 the pilots started a takeoff roll in the Challenger CL-600
with eight passengers. When the pilots found the plane wouldn't
rotate, they tried to abort the takeoff... but crashed through a
perimeter fence and out across six lanes of traffic on busy Route
46. A car's roof was torn off, and the plane finally stopped after
hitting a clothing warehouse.
The National Transportation Safety Board ruled the plane had a center-of-gravity forward
of limits. No one died, but the NTSB came down on the
company for a host of violations, and the FAA for inadequate
Michael Brassington, the 35-year-old President and CEO, and
chief pilot 29-year-old VP Paul Brassington -- Michael's brother --
and two other execs of Platinum Jet are in custody, and warrants
are out for two more.
The suit also claims the captain of the flight that crashed at
Teterboro reportedly lied about his experience on job applications,
and had been fired from a previous job for safety related issues
and poor airmanship. Neither pilot was charged in the Teterboro
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