Monday, February 22, 2016

British Aerospace BAe-125-700A, Rais Group International NC LLC -- operated by Execuflight, N237WR: Fatal accident occurred November 10, 2015 near Akron Fulton International Airport (KAKR), Summit County, Ohio

Wife's Plane Crash Death Blamed on Faulty Gauges

(Courthouse News Service) - The widower of a South Florida woman killed in an airplane crash in Ohio claims in court the plane's owner allowed its pilots to operate it with a malfunctioning instrument and control panel.

In a complaint filed in Broward County, Fla., Joel Castillo says that his wife was flying from the Fort Lauderdale Executive Airport to Akron, Ohio on a work related trip when the accident occurred.

Castillo claims that his wife died on November 10, 2015, "when the chartered aircraft, in which she was a passenger, crashed into an apartment building while attempting to land in Akron, Ohio, killing her and all others aboard."

According to local Akron television station Fox10TV, the Ohio State Highway Patrol said that "the plane clipped a telephone wire, hit an apartment building ... then crashed into an embankment behind that building."

The Fox10TV's report said the plane was just two miles from the airport when the crash occurred, and that it had a total of nine passengers.

Defendant Rais Group International owned the British Aerospace 125-700A aircraft, which it leased to defendant Execuflight Inc., operator of an aircraft chartering and maintenance facility in Fort Lauderdale.

The complaint alleges that defendants Oscar Chavez and Renato Marchese worked for Execuflight, and they were in charge of piloting the aircraft and properly maintaining its engines, instruments and control panels while in flight.

Castillo says that Chavez and Marchese operated the aircraft at a dangerously low altitude making it difficult for them to effectuate a safe landing, which could have avoided the death of all the passengers.

He goes on to say that the Execuflight's pilots did not have the proper government licenses to operate the plane, and one of them suffered from a severe health impairment that prevented him from passing his medical examination.

Castillo seeks compensatory damages on claims of negligence and strict liability.

He is represented by Robert Distefano from Distefano & Kennedy in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.

Execuflight Inc. did not respond to email and phone requests for comment on the lawsuit. 

Original article can be found here:

NTSB Identification: CEN16MA036
Nonscheduled 14 CFR Part 135: Air Taxi & Commuter
Accident occurred Tuesday, November 10, 2015 in Akron, OH
Aircraft: BRITISH AEROSPACE HS 125 700A, registration: N237WR
Injuries: 9 Fatal.

This is preliminary information, subject to change, and may contain errors. Any errors in this report will be corrected when the final report has been completed. NTSB investigators traveled in support of this investigation and used data obtained from various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

On November 10, 2015, about 1452 eastern standard time (EST), Execuflight flight 1526, a British Aerospace HS 125-700A, N237WR, departed controlled flight while on approach to landing at Akron Fulton International Airport (AKR) and impacted a 4-plex apartment building in Akron, Ohio. The pilot, copilot, and seven passengers died; no ground injuries were reported. The airplane was destroyed by the crash and a postcrash fire. The airplane was registered to Rais Group International NC LLC and operated by Execuflight under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 135 as an on-demand charter flight. Instrument meteorological conditions prevailed, and an instrument flight rules flight plan was filed. The flight departed from Dayton-Wright Brothers Airport (MGY), Dayton, Ohio, about 1413 EST and was destined for AKR.

The airplane, which was based at Fort Lauderdale Executive Airport, Fort Lauderdale, Florida, departed Cincinnati Municipal Airport-Lunken Field, Cincinnati, Ohio, about 1112 EST on the day of the accident and arrived at MGY about 1125 EST. The airplane remained parked on the ramp at one of the fixed-base operators until departing for AKR.

According to Federal Aviation Administration air traffic control and radar data, about 1438 EST, the Akron-Canton terminal radar approach control facility provided radar vectors to the accident airplane for the localizer runway 25 instrument approach procedure at AKR.

A Piper PA-28-161 airplane performing flight training at the airport completed the localizer runway 25 instrument approach procedure at AKR before the accident airplane began its approach. According to the flight instructor on board the Piper PA-28-161, the airplane "broke out at minimums" on the localizer runway 25 approach and landed on runway 25. After the Piper PA-28-161 exited the runway, the flight instructor reported that he heard one of the pilots of the accident airplane state "Hawker Jet on a 10 mile final localizer 25" over the Unicom frequency. Subsequently, the flight instructor radioed to the accident airplane and stated "we broke out right at minimums." According to the flight instructor, one of the pilots of the accident airplane acknowledged this transmission with "thanks for the update."

About 1452 EST, a motion-activated security camera located about 900 ft to the southeast of the accident site captured the airplane as it came in over the surrounding trees in a left-wing-down attitude about 1.8 nautical miles from the approach end of runway 25 at AKR. An explosion and postcrash fire were observed on the video just after the airplane flew out of the security camera's view.

The postcrash fire consumed most of the airplane; however, the airframe, engines, primary flight controls, and landing gear were all accounted for at the accident site. The airplane was equipped with a Fairchild GA-100 tape unit cockpit voice recorder, which was recovered and sent to the National Transportation Safety Board's Vehicle Recorders Laboratory for examination.

About 1450 EST, the surface weather observation at AKR was wind from 240 degrees at 7 knots; visibility 1 3/4 statute mile in mist; ceiling broken at 600 ft above ground level (agl); overcast ceiling at 900 ft agl; temperature 11 degrees C (52 degrees F); dew point 9 degrees C (48 degrees F); and altimeter 29.95 inches of mercury.

Rais Group International NC LLC - operated by Execuflight

FAA  Flight Standards District Office:  FAA Cleveland FSDO-25

AKRON, Ohio — The widower of one of nine people who died in a November plane crash here is suing the plane's owner, according to a report by Courthouse News Service.

The complaint — filed by Joe Castillo, the husband of Diana Suriel, 32— accuses Fort Lauderdale, Florida-based Rais Group International of allowing the flight knowing the plane had a malfunctioning instrument and control panel, according to the news outlet.

The company leased the Hawker 125-700A twin-engine jet to Execuflight, which leased the plane to Pebb Enterprises, where Suriel worked. The complaint was filed in Broward County, Florida.

Execuflight was in charge of providing pilots and properly maintaining the plane. The lawsuit also claims the two pilots — Oscar Chavez, 40, of North Bay Village, Florida and co-pilot Renato Marchese, 50, of Boynton Beach— flew negligently, according to Courthouse News Service.

The lawsuit says they flew too low, which caused them to be unable to safely land. The suit also claims one of the pilots suffered from a severe health impairment that prevented him from passing a medical examination for his license.

The pilots had a combined 10,000 hours of flying experience.

The plane, carrying seven Pebb Enterprises employees on a cross-country trip to scout retail shopping space to buy, crashed Nov. 10 into an apartment building in Ellet. No one was in the building at the time of the crash and no one on the ground was injured.

The National Transportation Safety Board said in a preliminary report that the pilots had been warned by the pilot of a different plane that visibility was poor as the plane approached Akron Fulton International Airport.

The clouds allowed for the pilots to the see the ground after they descended to 600 feet from the ground.

The NTSB hasn't determined exactly what caused the crash. Attorneys for Execuflight and Rais did not comment on the lawsuit, according to the news service.

Original article can be found here:

Diane Smoot, 2nd from left, plane crash victim. 

Andres Chavez

ExecuFlight CEO Augusto "Danny" Lewkowicz 

Dennis Dirkmaat, Ph.D. and his team from the Department of Applied Forensic Sciences at Mercyhurst University which handles nearly 100 forensic cases a year has been called into the Akron crash by the Summit County Medical Examiner s Office. 


Missy McMullen is escorted to her apartment to retrieve personal items, which is next to the plane crash site on Mogadore Road in Akron, OH, Wednesday, November 11, 2015. A charter plane heading to Akron-Fulton airport crashed into an apartment yesterday, and there were no survivors aboard.

Personnel from the Summit County Medical Examiner prepare to head to the plane crash scene from Forest Park Blvd., in Akron, OH, Wednesday, November 11, 2015.


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