A 21-year old electrician working at Goodwood Airfield has opened a legal process seeking damages after being struck by flying debris from a crashing Robinson R44. As a result, Sebastian Ward had his leg amputated below the knee. Mr ward was installing wiring on a new hangar at Goodwood aerodrome when R44 Clipper G-CLPR crashed and he was hit by flying debris from 200 feet away.
Mr Ward is seeking damages of more than £300,000 from helicopter pilot Michael Pascal and his company MCP (Poole) Ltd after the accident on May 28 2009. He will need prosthetics for the rest of his life and is registered disabled. The R44 was deregistered to the USA in January 2010, where it is now regsitered N396KT to Air Transport of Phoenix, Arizona.
The AAIB investigation summarised the accident thus: "The student pilot was landing on a concrete apron in front of some hangars. As the helicopter descended from a low hover, it was seen to rock from left to right and then to rotate quickly to the left. It lifted slightly in a nose low, right skid low attitude and then rolled over onto its right side.". Full report here.
In a High Court writ Mr Ward says Mr Pascal was negligent by crashing the helicopter during landing, losing control of the machine and allowing the rotor blade to smash and strike him. He also accuses the company of negligence, with the writ saying that the firm was liable for Mr Pascal’s actions and allowed him to fly when he was not experienced enough.
Jeremy Parkin - HeliHub.com
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