Flight School Cleared of Liability in Settlement

     (CN) – A flight school does not have to contribute to an airplane maintenance company’s settlement for damages after a fatal plane crash, the Missouri Court of Appeals ruled.




     Five people died when a Piper turboprop plane, which took off in Missouri, crashed in Tennessee in 2001.
     Dallas Airmotive Inc. settled with the families of the survivors and sought contributions from FlightSafety International, Inc., the decedent pilot’s flight school.
     The pilot was experienced, but not on turboprop planes, and he only took lessons on turboprops nine days before the crash.
     Dallas asserted a negligence case because FlightSafety did not teach the pilot how to handle the left-engine failure that caused the crash.
     However, Judge Smart agreed with the trial court that the case actually involved educational malpractice, which is not recognized under Missouri law. Negligence would have to occur during the instruction.
     “This is not a case of injury during the instruction,” Smart ruled. “This is a case about the quality of instruction.”

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