The mother of a victim in the September 2008 Maryland State Police helicopter crash that killed four people near Andrews Air Force Base has filed suit against the Federal Aviation Administration. It was alleged that the agency’s air traffic controllers gave the pilot inaccurate weather information. The suit filed in U.S. District Court in Greenbelt by Stephanie D. Younger, mother of crash victim Ashley Younger, is expected to be the last of several filed against the FAA. The state of Maryland is among those who have sued the agency.
At the time of the crash, 17-year-old Ashley Younger was being transported to Prince George’s Hospital Center for treatment of injuries she received in an automobile crash on the night of September 27, 2008. The helicopter, known as Trooper 2, crashed in rainy weather, killing the pilot, a paramedic and an emergency medical technician in addition to the teenager. The National Transportation Safety Board concluded that the primary cause of the crash was the pilot’s decision to make a rapid descent and his misjudgment of weather conditions before he took off. But the Board also criticized the performance of FAA air traffic controllers at Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport and Andrews.
The lawsuit alleges that the controllers were unresponsive and inattentive after the pilot told them he had encountered deteriorating weather conditions that were preventing him from continuing the flight to the hospital. The suit also alleges that controllers gave the pilot outdated weather information that exaggerated the level of visibility as Bunker attempted an emergency landing at Andrews. In response to a previous suit brought by the widow of paramedic Mickey Lippy, the department blamed the pilot’s actions as the cause of the crash.
Cara J. Luther, who is with Baua, Hedlund, Anistei & Goldman, located in Los Angeles, is the Plaintiff’s lead lawyer in this case. According to Ms. Luther, Stephanie Younger, who represents her daughter’s estate, is the last of those who filed the required claims against the government to file suit.
Source: Baltimore Sun
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