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Class-Action Lawsuit Filed against Piper Aircraft

By Orlando Personal Injury Attorney on March 20, 2019

A lawsuit has been filed by the father of a person taking flying lessons after the plane they were in crashed and killed both the student and the flight instructor. The incident, which took place last April, happened within Daytona Beach. Officers with the Volusia County Sheriff’s Office stated that the aviation accident occurred close to 10:00 in the morning, when a small Piper PA-28 Cherokee aircraft fell from the sky and landed close to 1496 Took Farms Road, near to the Daytona Beach Flea and Farmers’ Market.

According to the Volusia County Sheriff’s Office, the plane crash was the result of one of the wings suddenly becoming uncoupled from the plane itself. As might be expected, there is no way for a plane to remain in the air once it loses one of its wings. Now, the father of the 25-year-old flight student has brought a lawsuit against Piper Aircraft.

This lawsuit comes after the official investigation into the crash reported that metal fatigue was the primary factor responsible for the aircraft losing a wing. After the crash and the official investigative report, the Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University removed all Piper PA-28s from their roster of aircraft to be used in flight training.

The lawsuit, which is filed as wrongful death, states that the Piper company knew full-well about the structural flaws in their planes and that they had been aware of these flaws since 1987 when a similar incident occurred and killed the pilot aboard. This 1987 crash resulted in the FAA issuing a directive, known as an Airworthiness Directive, that demanded the Piper company subject their aircraft to an extensive investigation of their wings. Instead of complying, the Piper company successfully lobbied the FAA to have the Airworthiness Directive withdrawn.

In the lawsuit, it is also stated that following this incident the Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University inspected all of its other Piper aircraft. One of these other planes inspected showed the same sort of cracks and wing fatigue that are believed to have led to the first plane’s crashing.

At the time of this writing, the Piper company has not responded to questions regarding the lawsuit.


James O. Cunningham

James O. CunninghamSince 1977, personal injury lawyer James Cunningham has provided effective legal advocacy to people who are injured through the negligent actions of another person or entity throughout the Central Florida area. He fights to obtain recoveries for his clients’ physical and emotional pain and suffering and pursues his clients’ personal injury cases with a commitment to excellence and impeccable preparation.

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