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Tuesday, July 23, 2024 | Back issues
Courthouse News Service Courthouse News Service

Wife’s Plane Crash Death Blamed on Faulty Gauges

(CN) - The widower of a South Florida woman killed in an airplane crash in Ohio claims in court the plane's owner allowed its pilots to operate it with a malfunctioning instrument and control panel.

In a complaint filed in Broward County, Fla., Joel Castillo says that his wife was flying from the Fort Lauderdale Executive Airport to Akron, Ohio on a work related trip when the accident occurred.

Castillo claims that his wife died on November 10, 2015, "when the chartered aircraft, in which she was a passenger, crashed into an apartment building while attempting to land in Akron, Ohio, killing her and all others aboard."

According to local Akron television station Fox10TV, the Ohio State Highway Patrol said that "the plane clipped a telephone wire, hit an apartment building ... then crashed into an embankment behind that building."

The Fox10TV's report said the plane was just two miles from the airport when the crash occurred, and that it had a total of nine passengers.

Defendant Rais Group International owned the British Aerospace 125-700A aircraft, which it leased to defendant Execuflight Inc., operator of an aircraft chartering and maintenance facility in Fort Lauderdale.

The complaint alleges that defendants Oscar Chavez and Renato Marchese worked for Execuflight, and they were in charge of piloting the aircraft and properly maintaining its engines, instruments and control panels while in flight.

Castillo says that Chavez and Marchese operated the aircraft at a dangerously low altitude making it difficult for them to effectuate a safe landing, which could have avoided the death of all the passengers.

He goes on to say that the Execuflight's pilots did not have the proper government licenses to operate the plane, and one of them suffered from a severe health impairment that prevented him from passing his medical examination.

Castillo seeks compensatory damages on claims of negligence and strict liability.

He is represented by Robert Distefano from Distefano & Kennedy in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.

Execuflight Inc. did not respond to email and phone requests for comment on the lawsuit.

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