January 22, 2016
Rapoport Weisberg & Sims P.C. recently filed suit in the Philadelphia County Court of Common Pleas against US Airways and other defendants including the pilots of US Airways Flight 1702, which crashed in Philadelphia after the pilot aborted the takeoff after leaving the ground. The lawsuit alleges that the pilots failed to enter necessary takeoff data into the computer and did not realize this until they were lined up for takeoff. The pilots proceeded with the takeoff anyway and when the plane accelerated through 80 knots it began to issue an aural alert to the pilots. Instead of rejecting the takeoff using takeoff rejection procedures, the pilots continued accelerating to takeoff speed. After the plane had already lifted off, the captain suddenly and without warning cut all forward thrust from the engines and nosed the plane down towards the ground. The aircraft crashed into the runway at approximately 175 knots, leaving the runway and coming to stop in a field. The left engine caught fire and the passengers evacuated the plane. The injured passengers are seeking damages for pain, suffering, loss of a normal life, disfigurement, medical expenses, and lost earnings. The lawsuit also seeks punitive damages as a result of the pilots’ willful and wanton conduct, including amongst other things, the pilots’ decision to go forward with the takeoff even after they had realized they had failed to input the proper data necessary for takeoff and then, when a safe takeoff remained possible, violating airline procedures and federal law by abandoning the takeoff after the aircraft left the ground.