Friday, May 30, 2014

Lawsuit discussion connected to plane crash postponed: Court records show city is suing pilot for property damage, cost of fire and police response to incident

City officials postponed this week a closed-door discussion by City Council about a roughly $91,800 lawsuit the city filed against a man who crashed a single-engine plane into a Glendale neighborhood two years ago, and a new meeting date is yet to be set. 

Glendale sued the pilot, James Roth, in January for property damage to a tree and power line he downed during the crash as well as the cost of fire and police response to the incident, according to court records.

Roth attempted to make an emergency landing around 9:10 p.m. on May 21, 2012, after he experienced a severe engine surge during his flight from Phoenix, Ariz. to Van Nuys, Calif., according to a preliminary report issued by the National Transportation Safety Board, the federal agency that investigates transportation accidents.

The Thousand Oaks resident tried to land the Cessna plane on a quiet Glendale street, but he did not see a power pole on the northwest corner of Cleveland and Glenwood roads until it was too late, according to the report. He hit the pole, an oak tree and a vehicle, finally landing upside down in the front yard of a nearby home.

The National Transportation Safety Board has yet to release a final report detailing the cause of the accident.

Roth denied that he was responsible for the damages and public safety costs, according to court documents filed in April. When reached by phone on Thursday, he declined to comment about the legal proceedings.

City officials waited more than a year and a half to file the lawsuit as they attempted to recoup damages from Roth's insurance company, and then the 57-year-old himself when his insurance agent would not pay due to a technical issue with his coverage, Chief Assistant City Atty. Ann Maurer said.

The city had up to two years to file the lawsuit, she said.

Maurer said city officials will be asking for council's direction on matters related to the case when they reschedule the closed-session meeting. The council often discusses legal, personnel and similar issues with city staff behind closed doors.

A trial is currently scheduled for July 2015.

Story and photo:

Cessna P210N Pressurized Centurion II, N732JL:

NTSB Identification: WPR12FA222
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Monday, May 21, 2012 in Glendale, CA
Aircraft: CESSNA P210N, registration: N732JL
Injuries: 1 Minor.

This is preliminary information, subject to change, and may contain errors. Any errors in this report will be corrected when the final report has been completed. NTSB investigators either traveled in support of this investigation or conducted a significant amount of investigative work without any travel, and used data obtained from various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

On May 21, 2012, about 2110 Pacific daylight time (PDT), a Cessna P210N, N732JL, impacted a power pole and tree during a forced landing, and came to rest inverted in the front yard of a residence near Glendale, California. The co-owner/pilot was operating the airplane under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Part 91. The private pilot sustained minor injuries; the airplane sustained substantial damage. The personal cross-country flight departed Phoenix, Arizona, about 1810 mountain standard time, with a planned destination of Van Nuys, California. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and no flight plan had been filed.

The pilot reported that while descending below 9,000 feet mean sea level (msl) he experienced a severe surging of the engine. He advised air traffic controllers that he had an emergency, and needed the closest airport. The controller advised the pilot that the nearest airport was El Monte airport (EMT), El Monte, California, which was located behind him and to the south. He was also told that Bob Hope Airport (BUR), Burbank, California, was in front of him. The pilot was familiar with BUR and felt it was his best choice to attempt to land at BUR.

As the pilot got closer to the airport, he determined he was not going to be able to land at the airport. He attempted to land on a quiet street but he did not see the power lines until it was too late.

The airplane impacted a telephone/power pole on the northwest corner of Cleveland Road and Glenwood Road in the city of Glendale. The airplane continued westbound hitting an oak tree and a vehicle. The airplane came to rest inverted in the front yard of a residence on Glenwood Road.

The National Transportation Safety Board investigator-in-charge responded to the scene and documented the accident site prior to the recovery of the airplane.

The debris field was approximately 120 feet in length from the first identified point of impact to the main wreckage.

The airplane was recovered for further examination.

No comments:

Post a Comment