Monday, January 21, 2013

Beechcraft 100 King Air, C-GXRX: Passengers injured in plane crash sue airline for damages: Accident occurred October 27, 2011 near Vancouver International Airport (CYVR), BC - Canada

Six passengers who survived a fatal plane crash at Vancouver Airport are suing the commercial airline for damages.

All seven passengers aboard the King Air 100 aircraft were pulled to safety after it struck Russ Baker Way, slid across the road and burst into flames in October 2011.

The two pilots, Luc Fortin and Mark Robic, were rescued by firefighters but later succumbed to their burns.

The aircraft, owned and operated by Northern Thunderbird Air Inc., was on a charter flight from Vancouver to Kelowna at the time of the crash.

Six of the passsengers — Ruben Cohen, Kelly Jablonski, Jeffery McCord, Cameron and Lorelie Sobolik and Troy Zanatta — have now filed a lawsuit against the airline in B.C. Supreme Court.
The suit says that as the passengers boarded the flight, a number of them noticed the presence of oil under the aircraft wing.

The presence of the oil was reported to the flight crew but the boarding process continued and the aircraft took off for Kelowna, it says.

Shortly after takeoff, the captain announced that the aircraft would be returning to YVR due to an oil issue, says the suit.

Passengers could see oil streaming from the left engine and on to the wing, it says.

The flight crew reduced power on the left engine, elected not to declare an emergency and proceeded to attempt to land at YVR, says the suit.

“The flight crew failed to properly manage the speed of the King Air 100. The speed decreased to the point where it became uncontrollable. As a result, the King Air 100 rolled hard to the left, plummeted towards the ground,” is how the claim describes it.

According to the lawsuit, the passengers sustained the following injuries:

Cohen, a Vancouver businessman, suffered a number of injuries, including fractures and soft tissue injuries to his spine and a mild traumatic brain injury.

The injuries for Jablonski, a Richmond businessman, included an injury to his head causing pain and loss of function of his jaw, fractures to the sternum and a shattered sternum and fractures to his spine.
Injuries for McCord, a West Vancouver businessman, included lacerations to his head and face, post-concussion syndrome, and a fracture to his spine.

Cameron Sobolik, a Surrey businessman, suffered injuries including fractures to his spine, soft tissue injuries, a fracture to his sternum and paralysis.

Lorelie Sobolik, a Surrey businesswoman, had injuries that included fractures to her spine, injuries to her spinal cord and spinal canal and multiple rib fractures.

Troy Zanatta, a Surrey businessman, suffered injuries that included fracture and compression injuries to his spine and soft tissue injuries to his neck and back.

The injuries and losses were caused by the negligence of the airline and the flight crew, says the lawsuit.

General and special damages are being sought, in addition to damages in trust for family members or partners who provided care.

In the wake of the crash, the Transportation Safety Board said a string of events led to the crash but that ultimately it was the post-crash fire that led to the two deaths.

A TSB report said such fires could be prevented by something as simple as a switch to turn off a battery so it can’t be the source of a spark.
No response to the notice of civil claim has been filed. The allegations have not been proven in court. The company was not immediately available.

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