Family Settles With FAA After Airplane Crash


The widow of the family that died in a small airplane crash off the coast of Florida has settled her wrongful death and airplane crash claim with the FAA. Although the widow settled for $3 million, she filed the lawsuit primarily to prevent similar airplane crashes from happening in the future.

In 2005, the woman’s late husband was piloting his vintage Cessna airplane from Georgia to the islands off the coast of Florida with his 16-year-old daughter and her two friends. After making a stop in Fort Pierce, the husband reported engine problems and asked for help from air traffic control so that he could land on a nearby beach.

Instead of giving him the coordinates of a beach for him to land on, the controller suggested he continue flying and land at an airport twenty miles away. The airplane and its passengers never made it to the airport because it crashed off the coast of Vilano Beach.

Of the four passengers on board, only one girl survived the airplane crash; another girl escaped the fuselage, but later died from hypothermia in the 50-degree water. Rescue crews took two weeks to find the downed aircraft’s wreckage.

The lawsuit filed claims that if it weren’t for the controller giving the pilot wrong information and guidance, the family would still be alive today. After this lawsuit, the surviving family members hope that controllers will get more training.