Thursday, March 24, 2016

Wrongful death suit filed against Carlsbad aircraft operator: Cessna 182F Skylane, N5738F, fatal accident occurred August 06, 2015 in Montecito, Santa Barbara County, California

SAN DIEGO - More than six years after David Martz lost his license for in-flight sex acts with a porn star, the local pilot died in a fatal crash that also killed a San Diego father.

Now the passenger's family is hoping a lawsuit will help provide some answers.

“I’m sorry for this event,” said Martz.

Those were the words of an apologetic Martz – known as “Helicopter Dave” back in 2009.

The local pilot told 10News he filmed sex acts with a porn star in a helicopter above San Diego.

The scandal cost him his pilot's license. A year later, he got it back.

Then last August, while flying a Cessna 182 bound for Carlsbad, he crashed in a remote area outside of Santa Barbara, killing himself and Greg Bacino, owner of healthcare company Mutual Alliance.

“It's been very devastating for them to lose their dad,” said lawyer David Casey.

Casey represents two of Bacino's three children.

He says the mayday call from the doomed plane warned of smoke in the cockpit and oil on the windshield, which could point to a mechanical issue, but Casey also calls the pilot's past a giant red flag.

“Given the history that he had, the previous revocations, we think that put the owner of the plane should have been on notice, that he (Martz) should not have been flying,” said Casey.

Casey says Martz's license had been revoked two other times before the infamous flight was made public, including once for landing on a road to pick up rocker Tommy Lee.

But Martz’s problems weren’t over. Casey says Martz was facing yet another revocation hearing before he died for reasons that haven't been released.          

Casey has filed suit against the pilot's estate, the plane’s owner and Pacific Coast Flyers, the flying club that rented the plane.

“For someone to trust him to fly that plane, it's questionable,” said Casey.

Casey says he filed the suit so he can start getting engine records, and find out why he was close to losing his license again.

The final NTSB report on the crash is due out in a few months.

Pacific Coast Flyers declined to comment on the lawsuit.

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NTSB Identification: WPR15FA236
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Thursday, August 06, 2015 in Montecito, CA
Aircraft: CESSNA 182F, registration: N5738F
Injuries: 2 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 either traveled in support of this investigation or conducted a significant amount of investigative work without any travel, and used data obtained from various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

On August 6, 2015, about 2210 Pacific daylight time, a Cessna 182F, N5738F, impacted mountainous terrain about 15 miles northeast of Montecito, California. The pilot operated the rental airplane from Pacific Coast Flyers, under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91, as a business cross-country flight. The pilot and one passenger were fatally injured, and the airplane sustained substantial damage. The flight had departed from the San Luis County Regional Airport (SBP), San Luis Obispo, California, at an undetermined time. The flight was destined for Mc Clellan-Palomar Airport (CRQ), Carlsbad, California. Night visual meteorological conditions prevailed for the cross-country flight, and no flight plan had been filed. 

The pilot radioed a mayday call to an air traffic controller at Point Magu Naval Air Station, and indicated that he had oil on his windscreen and smoke in the cockpit. Subsequently radio and radar contact was lost. An Alert Notification (ALNOT) was issued at 2212. The airplane was located the following morning at 0430 in mountainous terrain by the Ventura County Sheriff's Department.

Santa Barbara County Sheriff's Department and a Search and Rescue crew accessed the site, and reported that the airplane came to rest inverted about 300 feet from the top of the ridgeline. 

The National Transportation Safety Board, Federal Aviation Administration, and Cessna Aircraft responded to the site. The airplane had impacted the mountain about 50 feet above its final resting spot. Oil was observed from the nose of the airplane to the tail cone.

A further inspection of the airplane will take place following its recovery.
FAA Flight Standards District Office: FAA Van Nuys FSDO-01

David Keith Martz

A wrongful death lawsuit was filed Thursday against a Carlsbad-based aircraft owner and its pilot in the death of San Diego resident Birger Greg Bacino last August in a plane crash near Montecito.

San Diego-based law firm CaseyGerry filed the suit in San Diego Superior Court on behalf of the two minor children of 56-year-old Bacino, a health-care executive who was traveling home from a business trip when he, along with the pilot, died in the crash, according to a news release from the firm.

The suit is against those allegedly responsible for the crash: the plane’s owner, Poddoubnvi Alexandrovich, Carlsbad-based flying club Pacific Coast Flyers Inc., which rented out the aircraft, and the estate of deceased pilot David Martz of San Diego.

David Casey, Jr., the lead attorney on the case, alleges that Martz, a longtime commercial pilot, had a history of suspension and revocation of his pilot’s license.

Bacino was the only passenger in a single-engine Cessna 182F airplane flown by Martz, which took off about 9 p.m. Aug. 6, 2015 from San Luis Obispo Regional Airport and was headed for McClellan-Palomar Airport in Carlsbad.

“The pilot radioed a mayday call to an air traffic controller at Point Magu Naval Air Station stating there was oil on the windscreen of the aircraft and smoke in the cockpit,” Casey Jr. said. “Shortly thereafter, all radio and radar contact was lost.”

The aircraft and the deceased passenger and pilot were discovered the following day in a remote area of Los Padres National Forest.

Original article can be found here:

Birger Greg Bacino

A wrongful death lawsuit was filed on behalf of the two minor children of a San Diego resident killed in a plane crash last summer in Santa Barbara County, the family’s lawyer said Thursday.

Birger Greg Bacino died last August in a remote area of Los Padres National Forest, according to the suit filed in San Diego Superior Court on Wednesday.

The suit names the aircraft’s owner, Poddoubnvi Alexandrovich, Carlsbad- based flying club Pacific Coast Flyers Inc. — which rented out the plane — and the estate of deceased pilot David K. Martz.

Martz, a longtime commercial pilot, had a history of suspension and revocation of his pilot’s license, according to plaintiffs’ attorney David S. Casey Jr.

Bacino, 56, was the only passenger in the single-engine Cessna 182F flown by San Diego-based Martz, which took off from San Luis Obispo Regional Airport and was headed for McClellan-Palomar Airport in Carlsbad.

Bacino, a healthcare executive, was headed home to San Diego following a business trip.

“The pilot radioed a mayday call to an air traffic controller at Point Magu Naval Air Station stating there was oil on the windscreen of the aircraft and smoke in the cockpit,” Casey said. “Shortly thereafter, all radio and radar contact was lost. The aircraft was discovered the following day … both the passenger and pilot were killed.”

Original article can be found here:

The pilot of a small plane that crashed earlier this month in Santa Barbara County, killing him and his passenger, had a long history of discipline by the Federal Aviation Administration and lacked the medical clearances required to fly.

Government records show that David K. Martz, 58, of San Diego lost his pilot's license three times over the years — the latest revocation occurring in 2009 after he had oral sex with an adult film actress while flying a helicopter.

Before the crash Aug. 6, Martz was facing a fourth revocation proceeding on allegations that he falsified his Federal Aviation Administration medical certificate related to two drunken driving convictions in 2013 and 2014. He surrendered the document in June during the agency's investigation.

The Federal Aviation Administration issues medical certifications to pilots after doctors determine they are healthy enough to operate aircraft.

"A person needs a pilot certificate and a current medical certificate to fly legally," said Ian Gregor, an Federal Aviation Administration spokesman in Los Angeles. "Mr. Martz did not have a valid medical certificate when last week's crash occurred."

Martz was at the controls of a Cessna 182F Skylane when it crashed into a steep hillside in a remote area of Los Padres National Forest north of Ojai. He reported engine trouble about 9:45 p.m., authorities said.

The plane was headed from Lompoc to McClellan-Palomar Airport in Carlsbad in north San Diego County. Also killed in the crash was Greg Bacino, 56, of San Diego.

Though Martz had a lengthy disciplinary record, it can be difficult for the Federal Aviation Administration to keep reckless, incompetent or rogue pilots out of the cockpit permanently. Under federal regulations, pilots can lose their licenses for a year and get them back by successfully re-testing after the revocation period expires.

There are exceptions, however. Air transport, commercial and private pilot licenses as well as medical certificates can be revoked permanently because of drug or alcohol dependencies, serious health issues, psychological problems, lack of good moral character, criminal convictions for narcotics trafficking or knowingly installing parts in aircraft that are not Federal Aviation Administration-certified.

According to Federal Aviation Administration records, Martz first lost his commercial pilot's license for a year in 1986 for flying an aircraft without a valid registration and possessing a false medical certificate — the same charge he was facing before the Santa Barbara crash.

His flight privileges were revoked again in 2004 for operating an aircraft while his pilot's license was suspended and flying within 50 feet of people and property at the Miramar Marine Corps Air Station in San Diego.

The third revocation occurred in 2009 for recklessly operating a four-passenger Bell helicopter Martz had lent to an adult film company. While at the controls and hovering over San Diego, he was captured on videotape receiving oral sex from a Swedish porn star.

The Federal Aviation Administration also has suspended Martz's license several times starting in 2002, when he lost his flight privileges for 30 days for performing aerobatics below an altitude of 1,500 feet over a populated area. A 230-day suspension followed in 2005 after he flew passengers in a helicopter he knew was damaged.

The Federal Aviation Administration also investigated Martz in 2006 for landing a helicopter on Wattles Drive in the Hollywood Hills to pick up Motley Crue drummer Tommy Lee, who wanted to go to a Nine Inch Nails concert.

No disciplinary action resulted, but the Los Angeles city attorney's office charged Martz with reckless operation of an aircraft, landing an aircraft on a public road and landing an aircraft without a permit, all misdemeanors. Frank Mateljan, a city attorney spokesman, said Martz was placed on 36 months' probation and fined $1,000 after pleading guilty to a lesser charge.

Three years later while transporting Lee again, Martz was forced to land his helicopter at Van Nuys Airport after he reportedly flew very close to a Los Angeles police chopper. Authorities said Martz took a Breathalyzer test to determine if he was intoxicated, but it was inconclusive.

Original article can be found here:

David Keith Martz

SANTA BARBARA — The bodies of two San Diego men were found Friday in a plane that crashed in a remote area of the Los Padres National Forest in Santa Barbara County en route to Carlsbad.

Santa Barbara County authorities identified the pilot as David Keith Martz, 58, with passenger Birger Greg Bacino, 56. Martz, a long-time fixed wing and helicopter pilot in San Diego, has a record of having his pilot's license revoked or suspended.

Bacino had hired Martz, a commercial pilot, to fly him to a business meeting in San Luis Obispo and they were in a plane rented in San Diego, authorities said.

They were flying from Lompoc to McClellan-Palomar Airport in Carlsbad when they ran into trouble, authorities said.

The single-engine Cessna 182 reported losing engine power about 18 miles northeast of Santa Barbara about 9:45 p.m. Thursday, said Ian Gregor, spokesman for the Federal Aviation Administration.

A Mayday call was received, Hoover said.

The Civil Air Patrol reported in a statement that the plane left San Luis Obispo County Regional Airport at 8:30 p.m. Thursday.

The wreckage was spotted from the air about 4:30 a.m. Friday, said Kelly Hoover, spokeswoman for the Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Office. Because of the rugged terrain, search and rescue crews could not reach the plane until about 7 a.m., she said.

Initially, only the pilot’s body was found in the plane. The second victim was located in the wreckage later Friday, she said.

The FAA and the National Transportation Safety Board are investigating the cause of the crash.

According to public records, Martz had his pilot’s license either revoked or suspended at least four times since 1986. He made headlines for stunts that included landing a helicopter in front of rocker Tommy Lee’s home in the Hollywood Hills, and filming himself engaging in a sex act with a woman while flying a helicopter over San Diego.

Original article can be found here:

Plane crash victims’ questionable pasts:

Cal Coast News
August 9, 2015

The two men identified in a plane crash in the backcountry of Santa Barbara have been identified as a San Diego pilot and a businessman, both of whom have questionable backgrounds.

The pilot, David Keith Martz, 58, and his passenger, 56-year-old Birger Greg Bacino died in the Thursday night crash. Officials said Bacino had hired Martz, a commercial pilot, to fly him to a business meeting in San Luis Obispo in a plane rented in San Diego.

Since 1986, Martz license has been revoked or suspended four times, once for having sex while piloting a helicopter. Martz made headlines in 2009 for filming porn star Puma Swede performing oral sex on him as they flew over San Diego.

In 2010, Bacino plead guilty to workers compensation fraud, according to the Claims Journal.

According to court records, Bacino had been a successful trial lawyer when he decided to change occupations and became a real estate developer heavily involved in health care management. After several years, Bacino plead guilty to a criminal charge of capping (capping is illegal ambulance chasing).

In 2014, La Jolla Bank contested Bacino’s bankruptcy filing seeking relief of more than $14 million owed to the bank. The bank claimed Bacino’s bankruptcy filing should not result in discharging his debt because of Bacino’s false statements or fraud, according to a 2014 court decision in which a judge ruled in favor of the bank.

In 2015, Bacino started Ftlb LLC, a medical management company.

Last week, Martz flew Bacino to San Luis Obispo for a business meeting. On their return flight, Martz left the San Luis Obispo airport at about 9 p.m. and reported engine trouble shortly before their plane crashed in the Los Padres National Forest.

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UPDATE 5:00 p.m.: The Santa Barbara County Sheriff's Office says two men were killed in the plane crash in rural Santa Barbara County on Thursday night.

The second victim was found with the help of Sheriff's Search and Rescue team members and County Air Support personnel in a remote area near Don Victor Trail. 

Both men are believed to be in their 50s or 60s. Their names have not yet been released.

UPDATE 10:30 a.m.: The Federal Aviation Administration has released preliminary information about the plane crash north of Ojai Thursday night.

The pilot of a single-engine Cessna 182 was flying from Lompoc to McClellan-Palomar Airport in Carlsbad. At approximately 9:45 p.m. Thursday, the pilot reported a loss of engine power about 18 miles northeast of Santa Barbara, according to the FAA's Lynn Lunsford.

The Santa Barbara County Sheriff's Office confirmed the pilot, who was the only person on board, was killed earlier this morning. Ventura County Fire says the crash site is in a remote area north of Jameson Lake, which is 30-40 miles north of Ojai.

As of now the identity of the pilot is still unknown as crews are dealing with steep, rugged terrain and working to retrieve the deceased to make a positive identification, according to the Santa Barbara County Sheriff's Office. A name will be released as soon as next of kin is notified.

The FAA and NTSB will investigate the crash.

UPDATE 8:30 a.m.: More information is being released about a plane crash in Santa Barbara County Thursday night.

The Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Office confirms a pilot was killed when a small aircraft, which Ventura County Fire says is a Cessna 182, crashed north of Jameson Lake, which is 30-40 miles north of Ojai.

Multiple agencies were initially called out to assist in the search after the Mayday report came in at around 10:00 p.m. of the plane experiencing engine trouble. It was unknown for hours what county the plane was in or if it had crashed into the ocean.

The Sheriff’s Office says emergency locator transmissions were used to locate the plane on land in a remote area near the Don Victor Trail. The wreckage was spotted at around 4:30 a.m. Friday.

Crews were unable to access the crash site until close to 7:00 a.m. due to the rugged terrain, officials say. Once they were on scene, they say the pilot’s body was discovered.

The identity of the pilot was unknown as of 8:00 a.m. and the NTSB is being called out to handle the crash investigation.

UPDATE: 6:45 a.m.: Emergency crews responded to a report of a small plane that went down in Santa Barbara County late Thursday night. Officials said at least one person was on the Cessna 182 when it crashed.

The plane was found Friday morning by Ventura County Fire near the Don Victor campground just north of Jameson Lake. This area is about 30 to 40 miles north of Ojai.

Capt. Mike Lindbery with Ventura County Fire said the plane is a Cessna 182.

According to air traffic control, the plane was en route to San Diego.

Search crews from both Santa Barbara and Ventura counties combed the area surrounding Mono Creek in the Los Padres National Forest all night. It's a rugged area, so Santa Barbara County Fire said it searched from New Cuyama to Summerland.

The U.S. Coast Guard is no longer involved in the search.

Original article can be found here:

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