(CN) -The widows of two Venezuelan businessmen killed in a February air crash claim in separate lawsuits that the owner of the twin-engine turboprop failed to ensure its airworthiness or that its pilots were adequately trained for an emergency.
In complaints filed in May, Yllen Colmenares and Elisa Herrera de Vetencourt say their husbands were headed home to Venezuela from Miami, Florida when the accident occurred.
Francisco Dimarco Vegas and Juan Carlos Vetencourt De Lima boarded the Beech 1900C aircraft owned by defendant Aeropanamericano CA shortly before 2:30 p.m. on February 11, 2015, and the plane was only in the air for a matter of minutes before the pilots reported they were experiencing engine trouble.
The widows say air traffic controllers cleared the pilots to return to the Kendall- Tamiami Executive Airport in Miami-Dade County, but the plane never made it back.
“In the course of attempting to return to the airport, at approximately 2:39 p.m., the pilot flew into a utility pole, causing the plane to crash into the ground, approximately two miles west of the runway,” the women say.
Everyone on board the aircraft was killed.
The widows claim Aeropanamericano and its employees failed to check that the aircraft was in “airworthy and safe condition” before allowing it to fly with passengers on board.
They also call into question the pilots’ skill and training, arguing they should have been prepared to handle the situation they found themselves in.
“The subject aircraft was designed to fly with only one engine functioning and was designed such that a reasonably skilled pilot can continue to fly the plane safely with only one engine functioning,” the women claim.
Colmenares and Vetencourt seek compensatory damages on claims of wrongful death and negligence.
They are represented by Curtis Miner and Lewis Eidson of Colson, Hicks, Eidson P.A. in Coral Gables, Fla.
Representatives of the Aeropanamericano did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
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