This lawsuit may be eligible for a Stella Award:
Once again, I’m astounded as to how the airplane manufacturer is to blame.
A Minnesota jury has found that though the pilot was 25 percent negligent in the January, 2003, fatal crash of an SR-22 that killed him and a passenger near Hill City, Minn., Cirrus and the University of North Dakota were 75 percent negligent.
…and yet The NTSB’s factual report states the pilot requested an abbreviated briefing for the flight noting that conditions at the departure airport were 2,800 feet overcast and that he was “hoping to slide underneath it then climb out.” So the weather was admittedly not ideal and the pilot elected to fly in conditions that required advanced training. His sign off provided Visual flight rules only.
Prokop was given a VFR-only completion certificate and high performance endorsement limited to the SR-22 upon his completion of the course.
I will repeat something I’ve said before: Almost every NTSB accident report ends with the conclusion -”pilot error”. We are responsible for our safety and the safety of others. Flying has inherent risk and we seek to manage it.
I have rented aircraft in other areas of the country after a check ride from the FBO. However, if I were to violate conditions established in writing that led to an incident, how could they be responsible? I don’t mean to marginalize the anguish of losing a loved one but someone should explain how the aircraft manufacturer is at fault.
Traveling in aircraft at speeds and altitudes that are at once both lethal is inherent to the activity. An aircraft on the ramp is safe but it’s not designed for that purpose. Stella Liebeck initially won $2.9M for spilling hot coffee in her lap but hot coffee is supposed to be , well….hot. “Are the people involved ..using the courts to redress justifiable grievances that can’t otherwise be settled? Or are they trying to extort money from anyone they can? Are the lawyers involved champions of justice? …Or are they helping to abuse the system in the name of getting a piece of the action?”
You be the judge.