The youngest son of Larry and Jane Glazer has brought a wrongful death lawsuit against several aircraft companies stemming from the plane crash that killed his parents two years ago.
Kenneth Glazer, the administrator of the couple's estate, claims in a civil complaint that the companies were negligent in the design, manufacture, testing and sale of the Socata TBM 900 aircraft that Larry Glazer was piloting on Sept. 5, 2014, and which went down off the coast of Jamaica in dramatic fashion.
Specifically, the complaint alleges that the plane's cabin pressurization system was faulty and that some of the companies knew it could malfunction but had neglected to warn the Glazers of the risk or provide protection for them.
Nowhere does the complaint identify precisely what flaw or series of flaws were responsible for the crash, however.
"The family is obviously devastated by this, as I think the community is in general, and they want answers to prevent something like this from happening in the future and they want accountability," said Glazer's lawyer, Daniel Rose, a partner at Kreindler & Kreindler, a New York City law firm that specializes in air disaster litigation.
The complaint was filed in state Supreme Court on Aug. 30 and names as defendants 17 foreign and domestic companies, many of them related.
Most of the complaint's 85 pages focus on the plane's manufacturer, Socata S.A.S., a French company, and Liebherr-Aerospace Toulouse S.A.S., another French company that designed the cabin pressurization system, as well as the subsidiaries of those two companies.
The lawsuits seek damages on behalf of all beneficiaries of the Glazers' estate, including the couple's two other children, Melinda Glazer Maclaren and Richard Glazer.
The Glazers, prominent local real estate developers and philanthropists, had taken off from the Greater Rochester International Airport at 8:26 a.m. the day of their fatal flight, and were bound for Naples, Florida, where they had a vacation home.
Larry Glazer, an experienced pilot, was at the controls at 28,000 feet around 10 a.m. when he radioed air traffic controllers to report "an indication that is not correct in the plane" and asked permission to descend to 18,000 feet.
Controllers initially cleared Larry Glazer to go down to 25,000 feet, which he did, but when they directed him to descend to 20,000 feet a few moments later, his speech had become slurred and he didn't respond.
Two Air National Guard fighter jets who were dispatched from South Carolina to intercept the plane reported seeing Larry Glazer slumped over the controls but breathing and the cockpit windows frosting over.
The jets shadowed the Glazers past Florida and over the Bahamas, but disengaged prior to the plane entering Cuban airspace, where it gradually descended as the engine ran out of fuel and crashed into the Caribbean Sea.
The Glazers were both 68 years old.
The National Transportation Safety Board, which opened an investigation into the crash, has not released any findings. Eric Weiss, an agency spokesman, said Tuesday the probe was still ongoing.
But many experts at the time of the crash speculated that the aircraft experienced a gradual loss of air pressure, causing the Glazers to suffer a lack of oxygen that caused them to become disoriented and eventually fall unconscious.
The complaint draws on that speculation, claiming that, "upon information and belief, at some time after takeoff, unbeknownst to Larry Glazer, the cabin of the subject aircraft began to insidiously depressurize."
The Socata TBM 900 the Glazers were flying was the first one off the assembly line.
According to the complaint, Socata had contacted Larry Glazer about purchasing the plane because Glazer, who had extensive experience flying Socata TBM aircraft, was president of the TBM Owners and Pilots Association.
He agreed to buy the $3.7 million plane in February 2014.
A newer Socata TBM model, the 930, which was released this year and is an extension of the TBM 900, is reportedly equipped with an emergency descent mode.
The function is designed to automatically bring the plan down to 15,000 feet in case of a loss of cabin pressure, unless the pilot responds.
Read the full lawsuit: https://drive.google.com
Transcript of N900KN conversations with air traffic control before the pilot lost consciousness
Pilot: TBM 900KN flight level 280
ATC: November 900KN Atlanta…
Pilot: 900KN we need to descend down to about [flight level] 180, we have an indication … not correct in the plane.
ATC: 900KN descend and maintain 250.
Pilot: 250 we need to get lower 900KN.
ATC: Working on that.
Pilot: Have to get down. And reserve fuel… limit a return… thirty-three left… have to get down.
ATC: Thirty left 900KN
Pilot: 00900KN (holds transmit button)
ATC: N0KN you’re cleared direct to Taylor.
ATC: 0KN, cleared direct to Taylor.
Pilot: Direct Taylor, 900KN.
ATC: Copy that you got descent (slope?) 200…
ATC: Descent and maintain flight level 200, and you are cleared direct Taylor.
Pilot: KN900KN (sounds confused)
ATC: Understand me, descend and maintain flight level 200, flight level 200, for N900KN
ATC: TBM, TBM 0KN, descend and maintain flight level 200
ATC: 0KN, if you hear this, transmit and ident.
ATC: N900KN, Atlanta center, how do you read?
ATC: N900KN, Atlanta Center… AC5685, keep trying N900KN
AC5685: TBM900KN, this is AC5685, how do you read? (Military aircraft?)
ATC: N900KN, Atlanta Center, how do you read?
AC5685: TBM900KN, AC5685, how do you read?
ATC: N900KN, TBM, 900KN, Atlanta Center, how do you hear this…
ATC: N0KN, descent now, descent now to flight level 200.
ATC: N900KN, TBM 900KN, if you hear this transmission, contact … center 127.87
ATC: N0KN, TBM 0KN, contact … center 127.87 if you hear this…
NEW 51LG LLC: http://registry.faa.gov/N900KN
NTSB Identification: ERA14LA424
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Friday, September 05, 2014 in Open Water, Jamaica
Aircraft: SOCATA TBM 700, registration: N900KN
Injuries: 2 Fatal.
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 may not have traveled in support of this investigation and used data provided by various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.
On September 5, 2014, about 1410 eastern daylight time (EDT), a Socata TBM700 (marketed as TBM900), N900KN, impacted open water near the coast of northeast Jamaica. The commercial pilot/owner and his passenger were fatally injured. An instrument flight rules flight plan was filed for the planned flight that originated from Greater Rochester International Airport (ROC), Rochester, New York at 0826 and destined for Naples Municipal Airport (APF), Naples, Florida. The personal flight was conducted under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91.
According to preliminary air traffic control (ATC) data received from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), after departing ROC the pilot climbed to FL280 and leveled off. About 1000 the pilot contacted ATC to report an "indication that is not correct in the plane" and to request a descent to FL180. The controller issued instructions to the pilot to descend to FL250 and subsequently, due to traffic, instructed him to turn 30 degrees to the left and then descend to FL200. During this sequence the pilot became unresponsive. An Air National Guard intercept that consisted of two fighter jets was dispatched from McEntire Joint National Guard Base, Eastover, South Carolina and intercepted the airplane at FL250 about 40 miles northwest of Charleston, South Carolina. The fighters were relieved by two fighter jets from Homestead Air Force Base, Homestead, Florida that followed the airplane to Andros Island, Bahamas, and disengaged prior to entering Cuban airspace. The airplane flew through Cuban airspace, eventually began a descent from FL250 and impacted open water northeast of Port Antonio, Jamaica.
According to a review of preliminary radar data received from the FAA, the airplane entered a high rate of descent from FL250 prior to impacting the water. The last radar target was recorded over open water about 10,000 feet at 18.3547N, -76.44049W.
The Jamaican Defense Authority and United States Coast Guard conducted a search and rescue operation. Search aircraft observed an oil slick and small pieces of debris scattered over one-quarter mile that were located near the last radar target. Both entities concluded their search on September 7, 2014.