Lawsuit Madness - OMG

Discussion in 'Hangar Talk' started by CT4ME, Oct 10, 2013.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. CT4ME

    CT4ME Cleared for Takeoff

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2011
    Messages:
    1,318
    Location:
    Phoenix, AZ
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    CT4ME
    Or... why Aviation costs so much...
    a recently-trained pilot (CTsw) was on a cross-country flight that encountered serious headwinds. Fearing that his flight fuel planning didn’t consider the winds, he stopped short of his destination, only to confirm he was very low on fuel. Figuring he had enough for, maybe, 30 more minutes of flying, he took off trying to make it home. Several minutes later, he crash-landed in a field, fuel starved. Luckily, there were no injuries reported.

    Our pilot (lawyer) friend has filed a $10 Million lawsuit against Flight Design, the place he bought his aircraft from, his flight instructor, and several un-named John Doe’s…. for not specifically telling him he shouldn’t fly when you are very low on fuel! He also states the FAA curriculum for Light Sport Pilot doesn’t include that a “Light Sport Pilot know or be trained (on) fuel starvation to the pilot’s engine…”. So, I guess we can presume the FAA could be one of the John Doe’s. Some of the monetary damages are to cover “attorney fees to protect himself against governmental investigations regarding his piloting”. Any admission of guilt there?

    You can read the rambling lawsuit yourself, or Google this guy to find out more about this person... he is colorful, to say the least.

    Sad... unless this thing is thrown out quick, it's going to cost several people a bunch of money.

    ...break out the popcorn...
     
    Last edited: Oct 10, 2013
  2. douglas393

    douglas393 Pattern Altitude

    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2011
    Messages:
    1,814
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    douglas
    Put it in the spin zone so we can really say what we want to say. I say we sue him for gross stupidity, and giving us pilots a bad name. Any lawyers out there willing to file?
     
  3. Henning

    Henning Ejection Handle Pulled

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2005
    Messages:
    39,482
    Location:
    Ft Lauderdale FL
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    iHenning
    Is his name Pete Fleming? :ROFL: Seriously, sounds like a guy who was SP because he couldn't get a medical for psychiatric reasons. Is it true though that the SP curriculum doesn't cover fuel minimums?
     
  4. douglas393

    douglas393 Pattern Altitude

    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2011
    Messages:
    1,814
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    douglas
    I could be wrong but I thought the SP curriculum included much of the PPL curriculum except for things such as night flying, longer cross countries, and the medical requirements and the like. I cannot imagine that fuel starvation, and emergency procedures would not be part of the curriculum. Even if it was not, which I cannot imagine, common sense would tell you not to take off without filling your tanks. Then again there is no accounting for stupidity.
     
  5. CT4ME

    CT4ME Cleared for Takeoff

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2011
    Messages:
    1,318
    Location:
    Phoenix, AZ
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    CT4ME
    ... and then there's that little thing about taking off with adequate reserves...
     
  6. pbramlett

    pbramlett Line Up and Wait

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2010
    Messages:
    805
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    PGB
    **** that guy. He'd probably sue if his Prius ran out of gas too.
     
  7. AdamZ

    AdamZ Administrator Management Council Member

    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2005
    Messages:
    15,452
    Location:
    Montgomery County PA
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Adam Zucker
    It certainly IMHO is a bizar website and complaint but I have to ask, it seems the guy is saying that the design of the plane permits fuel starvation ( note not exhaustion) where there is fuel in one tank but the other tank is dry. That seems to be a colorable argument.

    I'm not familar with flight design planes but is that an issue in those aircraft?
     
  8. AdamZ

    AdamZ Administrator Management Council Member

    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2005
    Messages:
    15,452
    Location:
    Montgomery County PA
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Adam Zucker

    How much does a CT burn an hour?
     
  9. CT4ME

    CT4ME Cleared for Takeoff

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2011
    Messages:
    1,318
    Location:
    Phoenix, AZ
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    CT4ME
    Roughly 5 gph, depending. New one, fuel injected, is closer to 4. Issue of uneven feeding from dual-wing-tanks is not different than any other similar setup. And Slosh factor when at the very bottom of tanks.
     
  10. Jim Logajan

    Jim Logajan En-Route

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2008
    Messages:
    4,003
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    .
    Sport pilot PTS covers understanding of fuel minimums at several points during the exam:

    http://www.faa.gov/training_testing/testing/test_standards/media/faa-s-8081-29.pdf

    Insuring adequate fuel is tested for under cross country planning, navigation, and systems and equipment malfunctions.

    The lawsuit is merely a consequence of the fact that anyone can sue for anything for any or no reason at all. It has nothing to do with the cost of GA per se.
     
  11. Norman

    Norman En-Route Gone West

    Joined:
    May 3, 2013
    Messages:
    4,861
    Location:
    cone of confusion
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    KPTK
    "for not specifically telling him he shouldn’t fly when you are very low on fuel!"

    Someone should have told him not fly when he's short on brains.:mad2:
     
  12. asgcpa

    asgcpa En-Route

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2012
    Messages:
    2,553
    Location:
    Illinois
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    CPA
    Unbelievable. He is accepting no responsibility at all.
     
  13. CT4ME

    CT4ME Cleared for Takeoff

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2011
    Messages:
    1,318
    Location:
    Phoenix, AZ
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    CT4ME
  14. Henning

    Henning Ejection Handle Pulled

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2005
    Messages:
    39,482
    Location:
    Ft Lauderdale FL
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    iHenning
    Not unusual in our society, everything is someone else's fault, ask any lawyer on a billboard.
     
  15. danielabernath

    danielabernath Pre-Flight

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2013
    Messages:
    84
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    danielabernath
    Hello from Daniel A. Bernath, lawyer

    www.aspecialdayguide.com/bernathresume.htm
    Hello from Dan Bernath to the Community I am not permitted to speak to.
    If any of you have any warning about fuel starvation when one CTSW tank is empty then please tell me where I, a light sport pilot, could find it.
    I told you about my experience to save lives.

    I told the people at ctflier about my lawsuit after Flight Design refused to negotiate.
    Nobody, but you appears to have actually read the complaint.
    I was flying in strong headwinds. I checked my fuel and from the sight guage had appx 4 gallons of fuel. I landed at a small airport at Sisters WHIPPET.
    I got out of the plane and used my guage to check my fuel levels.
    Left wing had nothing. Right wing had between 3 and 4 gallons.
    Pilot at WHIPPET told me that Sisters had more fuel and was "six minutes" away.
    Flight Design says that with 3 gallons I should at least 20 minutes of flying.
    Then the event occured. I coasted for a few seconds and turned off the key. I then turned the key back on and it roared back but then stopped after about 3 seconds.
    Flight Design knows about this design defect as it has been ordered by the British CAA to place the warning sign (that you see reproduced in my complaint). Flight Design has not warned its American pilots.
    This is called negligence per se.
    CTFlier will allow people to discuss me and this crash but has stopped me from even reading it on my usual computer. That seems rather un american,now doesn't it? Falsely state what I said in the complaint and then attack the straw man that you set up with false information.
    Daniel A. Bernath 503 367 4204 in case you'd like to talk to me directly
     
  16. Jim Logajan

    Jim Logajan En-Route

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2008
    Messages:
    4,003
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    .
    Here is a news article on what appears to be the crash:
    http://www.nuggetnews.com/main.asp?SectionID=5&SubSectionID=5&ArticleID=21444

    I could not get that link to work from my net location.
     
  17. JeffDG

    JeffDG Touchdown! Greaser!

    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2009
    Messages:
    17,510
    Location:
    Oak Ridge, TN
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    JeffDG
    So, you took off with "20 minutes of flying" fuel, for a "six minutes" flight, right?

    So, that means you planned your flight with 14 minutes of reserve fuel, less than half of the minimum required by regulations.
     
  18. Henning

    Henning Ejection Handle Pulled

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2005
    Messages:
    39,482
    Location:
    Ft Lauderdale FL
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    iHenning
    Re: Hello from Daniel A. Bernath, lawyer

    You took off without required reserves, you violated FAR 91.151
    Now you want to sue for your own recklessness which in itself is a violation of FAR 91.13

     
    Last edited: Oct 10, 2013
  19. danielabernath

    danielabernath Pre-Flight

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2013
    Messages:
    84
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    danielabernath
    R.T.F.Complaint

    YOU SAID: Our pilot (lawyer) friend has filed a $10 Million lawsuit against Flight Design, the place he bought his aircraft from, his flight instructor, and several un-named John Doe’s…. for not specifically telling him he shouldn’t fly when you are very low on fuel! He also states the FAA curriculum for Light Sport Pilot doesn’t include that a “Light Sport Pilot know or be trained (on) fuel starvation to the pilot’s engine…”.

    Your statement: " for not specifically telling him he shouldn’t fly when you are very low on fuel!"
    The Truth: Flight Design is liable for products liability, breach of warranty, contract breach, negligence per se, failing to warn and failure to instruct that YOU WILL SUFFER FUEL STARVATION IF ONE TANK IS EMPTY AND THE OTHER TANK HAS 3 TO 4 GALLONS OF FUEL if you fly Flight Design CTSW. (sorry to shout)

    You said, "for not specifically telling him he shouldn’t fly when you are very low on fuel! "
    The Truth: FD is being held liable because it did not warn me and other Flight Design CTSW drivers that if one tank is empty and the other has 3 to 4 gallons of fuel that they may lose engine power.
    Please read the complaint as the British version of the FAA has ordered FD to put these signs in their CTSW's:
    CLASSIFICATION The CAA have classified this bulletin as Mandatory
    COMPLIANCE Read and amend operations as directed, append to manual.
    APPLICABILITY All UK registered CT2K and CTSW aircraft.

    7) A placard must be attached to the instrument panel as follows:


    MONITOR FUEL SIGHT GAUGES REGULARLY.
    BOTH GAUGES MUST SHOW SOME FUEL.
    LAND IF NO FUEL IS SEEN IN EITHER SIGHT GAUGE.



    You said: "He also states the FAA curriculum for Light Sport Pilot doesn’t include that a “Light Sport Pilot know or be trained (on) fuel starvation to the pilot’s engine…”."
    The truth: Flight Design CTSW specificially sells to light sport pilots. FD is saying that "pilots should know" and "we're going to send out letters to instruct on this fuel starvation issue when one tank is empty but the other is full or has fuel" but Flight Design never did and it is now a deadly issue for current CTSW pilots (thank me for suing them and saving lives)

    Any other questions, you can telephone me at 503 367 4204. And yes. I've had a colorful life. and yes, I never back down. furthermore, I have a duty to you, fellow pilots to warn you of Flight Designs's deadly design flaw, failure to warn and failure to instruct that will likely kill someone someday unless FD takes some responsibility to pilots after they get their money.
    Be a good citizen and print out the warning that the British CTSW pilots have next to their fuel tube and paste it in there. You might save your life or some future pilots life.
     
  20. danielabernath

    danielabernath Pre-Flight

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2013
    Messages:
    84
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    danielabernath
    (1) During the day, to fly after that for at least 30 minutes;

    Sisters Eagle and Sisters Whipple.
    FD says that 5 gallons an hour.
    3.5 gallons means how much minutes?
    2.5 gallons means how much minutes?
     
  21. Matthew

    Matthew Touchdown! Greaser!

    Joined:
    Apr 18, 2005
    Messages:
    13,729
    Location:
    kojc, kixd, k34
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Matthew
    Math is hard.
     
  22. danielabernath

    danielabernath Pre-Flight

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2013
    Messages:
    84
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    danielabernath
    This is what is referred to as an off airport landing. Please note that the plane is sitting on all three wheels. (instead of flipped over as is usual when a Flight Design CTSW crashes).[​IMG]
     
  23. danielabernath

    danielabernath Pre-Flight

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2013
    Messages:
    84
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    danielabernath
    My work is done here

    I've told you. I've showed you. I've explained to you. I have nothing more to say.
    If you own a Flight Design CTSW or know somebody that does, put aside your silly comments, take out your printer and print out the warning that should go on his dashboard if his CTSW was in the UK and tell him he should place it there even though the United States FAA will likely order this in a few days.
     
  24. Henning

    Henning Ejection Handle Pulled

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2005
    Messages:
    39,482
    Location:
    Ft Lauderdale FL
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    iHenning
    What does one empty tank tell you? I'm assuming there is no selector that allows you to differentiate and isolate tanks. If that is correct, what are the inherent risks of flying with an empty tank? Did you consider borrowing a gas can and a hose and moving 2 of those gallons into the empty tank? Why did you chose to land at an airport that had no fuel when it was a fuel issue that caused you to land? Did you consider asking for a ride in ground transport with a gas can to get some fuel to put into that empty tank?
    Do you assume any responsibility for this accident upon yourself, or were you completely wronged?
     
  25. weilke

    weilke Touchdown! Greaser!

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2010
    Messages:
    11,554
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    weilke
    No lawsuit or sticker will be able to keep someone determined to hurt himself from taking off with 3 gallons in his tank :eek: .
     
  26. Henning

    Henning Ejection Handle Pulled

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2005
    Messages:
    39,482
    Location:
    Ft Lauderdale FL
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    iHenning
    Re: My work is done here

    No worries, will do. Please note that we're also trying to help you develop your own ADM, Aeronautical Decision Making, skill set. This is the most critical part of surviving being a pilot. I'm glad you survived, but you will not be so lucky always. Regardless of whomever may be remiss in any situation causing a failure aloft, you will bear the consequences. Fuel starvation is the primary cause of engine failure, poor decision making is the primary cause of death among pilots.
    You started off well by landing for fuel, however you landed at the incorrect airport to get fuel. Do you know how to identify airports with fuel by looking at their symbol on the chart?

    Accidents always have a chain of factors in them, pretty much 6. It's your responsibility as PIC to identify those factors and break the chain through ADM. You almost did, but you failed with a final bad decision to take back off with one tank empty.
     
  27. Henning

    Henning Ejection Handle Pulled

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2005
    Messages:
    39,482
    Location:
    Ft Lauderdale FL
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    iHenning
    Oh yeah, I advise that if you do get a 44709 ride from the FAA (I don't know how they handle this with SP, but I believe it's within their purview) that you display an attitude of introspection into your own faults into this accident. I can assure you, if you maintain this "It was all other people's fault" attitude, things will not go well.
     
  28. vintage cessna

    vintage cessna Cleared for Takeoff

    Joined:
    Jun 4, 2011
    Messages:
    1,076
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    retro
    The Skycatcher has sight tubes with "min fuel take off " markings for each sight gauge , anyone know if the CT has similar markings?
     
  29. ssadiver

    ssadiver Filing Flight Plan

    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2013
    Messages:
    10
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    ssadiver
    I do own a CTSW and this subject has been discussed at nauseaum for 7 years. It has been on both old and new CT websites and has been discussed on several other forums. It used to be posted on the FD website. Just because you failed to read and learn more about your aircraft doesn't make it a flaw. This same flaw as you call it is in other GA aircraft as well. If you have no fuel in one tank and fly slightly out of trim you can move the low amount of fuel left in that one wing to the outboard side of a tank and make it unusable. You should have never left the ground when you had no fuel in the sight tubes. With all this posted on several sites for 7 years you should have known this and just being an educated pilot will tell you that out of trim forces will not always be in your favor. You admittedly flew and took off with less than the FAA required minimum fuel reserve and I'm sure they are going to have a chat about that, flew too slow at or below stall, flew using a ground speed as an approach reference with an IPAD non the less. You are also on the hook with the FAA for not knowing everything about that flight including the head wind factor and once you determined you had low fuel and then failed to recognize the possible out of fuel scenario , you should have taken the appropriate action to mitigate the situation.

    Bottom line is you flew your aircraft day to day, but didn't take the time to learn everything about it. I would bet many will be in line to volunteer to testify that everyone else knew, but you and that will make it hard to prove a case beyond a preponderance especially when these items will show up in all the old CT website post.
     
  30. ssadiver

    ssadiver Filing Flight Plan

    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2013
    Messages:
    10
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    ssadiver
    Hi Retro,

    The CT has fuel site tubes and makings on the side to indicate fuel quantity. He should never have left the ground with no fuel in one site tube and minimal in the other.
     
  31. vintage cessna

    vintage cessna Cleared for Takeoff

    Joined:
    Jun 4, 2011
    Messages:
    1,076
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    retro
    The C162 POH prohibits take off unless there is at least 1/4 tank (3 gals) in each tank, which equates to the min t/o mark on the site gauge.

    Just curious, does the CT POH also specify a minimum amount of fuel for takeoff?
     
  32. douglas393

    douglas393 Pattern Altitude

    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2011
    Messages:
    1,814
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    douglas
    It seems that the plaintiff has deluded himself into believing his lack of operating the plane in accordance with what is considered reasonable is due to the fact that he did not receive adequate training, and that flight design misdesigned their plane. For the moment let us assume there is an issue with the amount of fuel the flight design plane indicates, and from the plaintiff it seems he knew this before hand. He lands at a diversion airport because he was worried he did not have enough fuel to make it to his final destination because of greater than expected headwinds. This suggests to me that his training in terms of fuel management was quite successful, and thus his contention he was not trained about fuel management is a blatant lie. He finds out when he lands he has 5 gallons, and not no gallons as he expected. In cruise he burns 5 gallons an hour. However, lets assume it takes a gallon for taxi and takeoff and that now gives him four gallons. He has a 6 minute flight to the next airport, but we still have those pesky headwinds, and time in the pattern to land, and I would say that should mean that we can add another 10 minutes so we now have a fifteen minute flight. So now from his four gallons he is down to 2+ gallons, or possibly 30 minutes if you stretch it. However, he said at the beginning he did not trust the gauges so ... well do I have to say more.
     
  33. ssadiver

    ssadiver Filing Flight Plan

    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2013
    Messages:
    10
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    ssadiver
    The FAA may also want to know why you didn't know everything about your flight as required by the FAA. Like not knowing you were landing at an airport that didn't have fuel and why you didn't have an alternate planned as you were taught in pilot training and published in most books.
     
  34. douglas393

    douglas393 Pattern Altitude

    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2011
    Messages:
    1,814
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    douglas
    Re: My work is done here

    Henning you are right. There is only one possible explanation. Peter Flemming is back and now we know his real name. Good pick up, you old scroundel you.
     
  35. Old Geek

    Old Geek Pattern Altitude

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2011
    Messages:
    1,885
    Location:
    Northern California
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Old Geek
    If it were me, and I do fly a CTSW, I'd be rushing to file a NASA form, not a lawsuit.
     
  36. Jim Logajan

    Jim Logajan En-Route

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2008
    Messages:
    4,003
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    .
    I do not know if this is the template for POH for the airplane he flew, but I can't find any mention of any minimum t/o amount - just unusable amount:

    http://documents.flightdesignusa.com/SW-POH.pdf

    The copy I have of the 1982 Cessna 152 Information Manual (template for their POH) does explicitly say in the fuel system section that the usable (24.5) is valid for all flight conditions. However it also says takeoffs had not been demonstrated with less than 1 gallon usable total. No equivalent discussion or qualifiers appear in the above linked POH.
     
  37. weilke

    weilke Touchdown! Greaser!

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2010
    Messages:
    11,554
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    weilke
    You are incorrect. The CTSW has 1 gal unusable fuel. You took off with 2.5 gallons of useable fuel. Your leg was 20 minutes, your required reserve 30 minutes. Your required fuel to take off was 5.2gallons.

    Yes, you violated 14 CFR 91.151.

    (a) No person may begin a flight in an airplane under VFR conditions unless (considering wind and forecast weather conditions) there is enough fuel to fly to the first point of intended landing and, assuming normal cruising speed—
    (1) During the day, to fly after that for at least 30 minutes; or
    (2) At night, to fly after that for at least 45 minutes.
    .
    .
     
  38. murphey

    murphey Final Approach

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2008
    Messages:
    7,708
    Location:
    Colorado
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    murphey
    Re: R.T.F.Complaint

    Daniel - you're not going to get much sympathy around here. As noted by Henning, you violated at least 2 FARs and common sense. You admit you checked and were low on fuel and decided "to h*ll with it" and continued the flight.

    More important, do you really think a placard will solve the problem?
     
  39. wanttaja

    wanttaja En-Route

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2008
    Messages:
    2,502
    Location:
    Seattle
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Ron Wanttaja
    Five gallons an hour at cruise... how much of your short flight was at full power (e.g., takeoff)?

    Half-gallon unusable in each tank, according to the manual. So you're down to 2 gallons at takeoff. 14 CFR Part 91 requires a half-hour reserve AT ARRIVAL, not at time of takeoff.

    I am also curious as to how you established you had 3-4 gallons of fuel remaining before takeoff. You mention "your gauge," does this mean you used an unapproved tool to measure the fuel?

    Ron Wanttaja
     
  40. murphey

    murphey Final Approach

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2008
    Messages:
    7,708
    Location:
    Colorado
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    murphey
    Re: My work is done here

    No it won't. The FAA & the CAA are not close personal friends. What one does not not incumbent on the other.

    You screwed up. It was a learning experience. Deal with it. And learn better fuel management and personal responsibility.
     
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.