PHILADELPHIA (CN) – Fifteen of 16 passengers died in the crash of a Keystone Helicopter off Newfoundland on March 12 because the chopper’s gearbox could not, as advertised, “run dry” for 30 minutes, the survivors say in state court.
The families say Keystone advertised that its Accident S-92 Helicopter was “the safest helicopter in the world” and that its “high durability gearbox” had a “30 minute run dry” capacity.
They say that during the flight from St. John’s, Newfoundland, “two of the three titanium studs used to secure the oil filter bowl on the MGB [main gearbox] failed, resulting in the loss of all lubricating oil from the MGB.”
They claim the pilots, believing in the 30-minute run-dry claim, did not try to set down on the water, but headed back to land, and crashed 10 minutes later. Fifteen of the 16 aboard died from drowning and/or impact, and the sole survivor, Robert Decker, suffered severe injuries.
Plaintiffs demand damages on 87 counts, including wrongful death and breach of contract. They are represented in the Court of Common Pleas by Martin Brigham with Raynes McCarty.