In September 2017, Montgomery Gentry member Troy Gentry was killed in a helicopter crash while being conducted on a sightseeing tour in Medford, New Jersey. On Feb. 14, 2018, Angie Gentry, the widow, filed a wrongful death suit to the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas, implicating three helicopter companies in the crash. The details of the lawsuit are something that North Carolina residents should know about, especially those who lose a loved one in an aviation accident.
The lawsuit laid out a clear technical timeline of the events leading up to the crash. Apparently, the helicopter’s throttle jammed shortly after lifting off; as the helicopter increased its speed, the pilot decided to pull out the mixture control, shutting down the engine. What should have led to a safe landing via autorotation, where the rotors spin freely, instead resulted in a hard landing, killing all on board. Throttle and engine problems prevented the helicopter from maintaining the speed necessary for autorotation.
Though the lawsuit makes no claim against the pilot, stating that the Pilot Operating Handbook did not prepare for this kind of scenario, the widow does hold accountable the manufacturers of the helicopter itself. The manufacturers failed to make it crashworthy, even though they knew how its military counterpart was updated years before. The National Transportation Safety Board continues to investigate the crash.
Filing a wrongful death lawsuit is legally complex and emotionally trying, so the families of those who die in aviation or other accidents will want to see a lawyer before taking any definite steps. It’s important to remember that a statute of limitations exists, and an attorney can help to ensure that the action is commenced in a timely manner.