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Josh-D. S. Davis

Xaminmo / Omnimax / Max Omni / Mad Scientist / Midnight Shadow / Radiation Master

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Emergency landing kills pedestrian
Pilot, Aviation
N9JE, Edward Smith. Lancair kit completed in 2009-01-20 with TSIO-550-C. Accident March 17, 2010.

At 13,000 feet or so, the crankshaft broke. The front seal leaked the oil, and the propeller departed the plane over the Atlantic. Oil covered the windshield, obstructing vision. The pilot tried to make it to Hilton Head airport, but had to make a landing on the beach. The pilot and his passenger were unhurt. The jogger was killed instantly.

Lancair sold the plane kit, not the engine. Unless there were a fundamental defect in the design of the engine mounts, I doubt they would be found liable.

The propeller came off because the crank failed. I don't think Hartzell will be found liable.

The engine was used, not factory refurbished, so I think TCM will also be OK.

Pen Yan Aero Service performend the engine inspection, repair and RTS. They probably are most at risk for liability.

The plane was stuck, and tide came in, so they anchored the plane. Some of the oil was probably spread around from the salt water. I would expect any details of the journal bearings and wear patterns from the NTSB inspection to be critical in the lawsuit. ie, if the engine teardown shows signs of running the engine with low oil (gouging, varnishing, etc of the crank) or if the crank were near low-end limits for remaining thickness.

The owner is ultimately responsible for the flight, and his insurance should probably be tapped, regardless of whether he's criminally liable.

There was a witness who was watching the plane make its pattern over the beach. The plane landed 200 feet in front of him, skidded to a stop at the water's edge, and was in tact. The witness saw the downed pedestrian after. I would have thought that if you see a plane flying in circles, coming closer to the ground, right over you, that you would be pretty loud about getting people out of the way. Since he's not named in the lawsuit, it implies there is a financial component to the lawsuit, even though it's calling out punitive damages.


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I also find fault with the jogger, who was listening to his iPod at unsafe volumes (that prevented him from hearing a plane coming down right on him).

Nah, with no engine in operation, the plane would have been pretty quiet. BUT, it was suggested by a few that they thought suing Apple would be the next illogical step for her.

He's lucky to have landed. with the loss of the prop and hub, his CG loading would have been way off.

Re: Squished landing.

For whatever reason I totally didn't think that the engine was ... off. You're absolutely right. Clearly, they should still sue Apple.

Re: Squished landing.

I've been a strong believer that light aircraft should have a car-horn installed, both for engine-out situations and for taxiway issues where other fans might be turning too.

Re: Squished landing.

That actually makes a lot of sense. Also, it's a great outlet for "air rage" ("Hey buddy! Get outta my flight pattern! Where'd you learn to fly?!")

Re: Squished landing.

Also, Happy Birthday!!

Re: Squished landing.

Shanky! I have now spent 3x my gift cert money on Amazon and am happy about it. :)

9x Motion sensor, battery operated, under-cabinet, LED lights (alkalines last about 6 months, so the reviewers say)
1x 32GB class 10 SDHC card for my laptop
2x 2GB SDLD cards for the kids' cameras

Re: Squished landing.

Those motion-sensing lights sound pretty clever! Also, 32GB ARE YOU MAD?! WHAT COULD YOU POSSIBLY NEED THAT MUCH SPACE FOR?? 640K ought to be enough for anybody.

Re: Squished landing.

encrypted, compressed filesystem?

Re: Squished landing.

And 640k? What crazy sorcery do you speak of?

My other computer is a

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