On Friday, November 16, 2012, an El Paso, Texas jury found a defective flight control component caused the fatal crash of a U.S. Custom and Border Protection (CBP) Eurocopter AS350B3 helicopter on May 22, 2007. The crash killed the pilot and critically injured the other crewmember.
The two-week trial centered on claims by the pilot’s family and the injured crewmember that a manufacturing defect in a flight control servo made the aircraft uncontrollable and caused the crash during a routine border security mission. Defendants, Eurocopter and Goodrich, contended that the accident was caused by the pilot entering vortex ring state.
Dallas area aviation attorney Jon Kettles and El Paso attorney Enrique Moreno represented the widow of the pilot killed in the accident.
NOTE: We have run the above statement verbatim exactly as it was sent to us by YES Communications. The NTSB report which would appear to contradict the legal position outlined above can be seen here – it concludes by saying “The NTSB determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be: The pilot’s encounter with a vortex ring state and his inability to maintain control of the helicopter.”
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