Personal Injury

Lawsuit alleges airplane defects caused crash that killed three Kansas doctors

airplane propeller Lawsuit alleges airplane defects caused crash that killed three Kansas doctorsThe family of two Kansas physicians killed when their airplane crashed in Palos Hills, Ill., last October has filed a lawsuit against the plane’s manufacturer, alleging the crash was a result of airplane defects. The complaint alleges the aircraft was “negligently designed, manufactured, and assembled.”

The Beechcraft Baron was headed to Topeka, Kan., when it crashed Oct. 12, 2014 about five minutes after taking off from Chicago Midway International Airport.

The airplane’s three occupants, neurosurgeon Tausif Ur Rehman, pulmonologist Ali A. Kanchwala, and Dr. Kanchwala’s wife Maria Javaid, an interventional cardiologist, died on impact. All three doctors were originally from Pakistan.

The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), which is investigating the crash, has said the airplane appeared to have fallen from the sky in a “near-vertical attitude,” a statement that is bolstered by witnesses who said the plane had gone into a nosedive. The Beechcraft airplane hit the ground in a densely populated suburban area. Nobody on the ground was injured.

“There was no distress call, the airplane simply dropped off radar,” NTSB Senior Air Safety Investigator John Brannen said in a press conference after the crash. “It’s very fortunate we don’t have any damage on the ground.”

Mr. Rehman, the pilot, held a private license and was trained on single and multi-engine planes, Mr. Brannen said.

The Chicago Sun Times reports that Amina Rehman and Farahnaz Bandukwala are suing Beechcraft Corporation, Honeywell International, and an individual named Lloyd Hetrick for damages related to the deaths of Mr. Rehman and Mr. Kanchwala. Mr. Hetrick’s involvement with the aircraft is not clear from available reports. The complaint asserts that the airplane’s autopilot and artificial horizon navigation device were defective.

The lawsuit also claims the plane’s maintenance manual, pilot operating handbook, illustrated parts catalog, and other documents fail to explain the operation and maintenance of the autopilot and artificial horizon.

Source: Chicago Sun Times