Man Killed in Riverside Skydiving Accident

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Wojciech Aleszewicz, 29, a British skydiver was killed after he suffered serious personal injury in a skydiving accident in Lake Elsinore, Riverside County, on September 18, 2009. According to a news report in The Press Enterprise, Aleszewicz collided midair with another skydiver shortly after they started their jump. He fell 200 to 300 feet hitting the ground at the east end of Skylark Airport. It is not yet known whether Aleszewicz’s parachute failed during his descent. The other skydiver who was involved in the collision escaped with minor injuries and wasn’t identified.
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Fatal San Diego Aviation Accident Concerns Lawyer

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U.S. Marines caused multiple errors in a December 8, 2008 crash of F/A-18D Hornet into a residential neighborhood in University City that killed 36-year-old Young Mi Moon; her daughters, 15-month-old Grace and 2-month-old Rachel; and her mother Suk Im Kim, 60. According to this Associated Press news report the Marines apparently knew five months before this military jet crash that the aircraft may have problems with the fuel delivery from tanks to its engine. This ignored warning and subsequent bad decisions caused the terrible tragedy.

According to an internal investigation, low oil pressure killed the first engine shortly after takeoff. The jet crashed with about 340 gallons of fuel causing a fiery explosion that burned two homes and came frighteningly close to a high school. Although the Marines received this warning about the defective aircraft months before the catastrophic crash, maintenance personnel became complacent after a series of flights that were successful even after the warning, the investigation found.

Military investigators have placed the blame on officers at Marine Corps Air Station Miramar for clearing the pilot, Lt. Dan Neubauer, to land at the inland base instead of the closest landing at a coastal Navy base, a route that would have avoided flying over homes. The pilot, Neubauer, has also been criticized for neglecting to consult a checklist of emergency procedures and “failing to grasp the severity of his problems.” This investigation ended with disciplinary action against 13 members of the U.S. Marines and Navy for a series of missteps that led to the crash, including four officers who were relieved of their duties. Investigators, however, found no proof of criminal wrongdoing.
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Camp Pendleton Plane Crash In San Diego County

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Three men – Allan Jacobson, 48, of Costa Mesa, David Menne, 50, of Oregon and Scott Jones, 49, of Lake Forest – suffered severe injuries after their Cessna 172 crashed the evening of March 7, 2009 at Camp Pendleton. Jacobson, who was the pilot, is said to be in serious condition. Menne is in critical condition while Jones is said to be in good condition and recovering from his injuries, according to this news report in The Orange County Register. Witnesses told officials that the plane suffered most of its damage on the right side when it crashed close to a helicopter pad near Las Pulgas Road at the U.S. Marine Corps base. Menne, who was the front seat passenger, seems to have suffered the greatest injury.

Both the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) are investigating this Camp Pendleton aviation accident. A preliminary report is expected in about a week. The plane, which was registered to the pilot Jacobson, was on its way from John Wayne Airport in Orange County to Montgomery Field in San Diego when it crashed. Witnesses told investigators that the aircraft seemed to have had engine trouble before it crashed and broke apart at the tail when it came down.
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Wrongful Death Lawsuit Filed in Shasta Helicopter Crash

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The family of 25-year-old firefighter, Scott Charlson, who was killed in an August 5, 2008 helicopter crash while fighting a wildfire in the Shasta-Trinity National Forest, has filed a wrongful death lawsuit against an Oregon-based helicopter company and three other firms. According to a news report in The Oregonian, nine firefighters were killed in this helicopter crash and four survived.

The lawsuit, filed by Richard and Nina Charlson, in California Superior Court in Shasta County, names Carson Helicopters Inc. of Grants Pass, Sikorsky Aircraft Corp. – the manufacturer of the helicopter that crashed, United Technologies Corp. and General Electric. The helicopter reportedly crashed moments after taking off. An investigation by the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) determined that the helicopter lost power to its main rotor as it took off.

Attorneys who have brought lawsuits against Sikorsky Aircraft Corp. in the past say the circumstances of this Shasta crash are similar to four other aviation accidents that recently killed or seriously injured West Coast pilots flying Sikorsky S-61 helicopters. A striking similarity in all crashes is that they happened during take off. All these aviation crashes were caused by a failure of the clutch mechanism, which connects engines to the helicopter’s main rotors.
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