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cubastar
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First Officer Survivor Of Comair Flight Sues

Tue Aug 28, 2007 11:41 pm

 
PC12Fan
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RE: First Officer Survivor Of Comair Flight Sues

Tue Aug 28, 2007 11:47 pm

Then he should sue himself as well, makes just about as much sense.
Just when I think you've said the stupidest thing ever, you keep talkin'!
 
lgbga
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RE: First Officer Survivor Of Comair Flight Sues

Tue Aug 28, 2007 11:50 pm

The lawsuit says Polehinke suffered a "traumatic brain injury," neurological injuries, broken bones, "scars and disfigurement, loss of use of parts of his body and an activation or aggravation of a pre-existing disease or physical condition."

But he's alive although he may not have much quality of life. I know this has been discussed before but shouldn't the pilots have known they were on the wrong runway lights or no lights, based on the heading? I'm not a pilot obviously. I'm just a little surprised he's suing.
 
sw733
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RE: First Officer Survivor Of Comair Flight Sues

Tue Aug 28, 2007 11:52 pm

Quoting PC12Fan (Reply 1):
Then he should sue himself as well, makes just about as much sense.

The guy was a first officer on a regional jet airline...not a lot of money to pay for all those medical bills when he is not employable. He might as well take a chance. But yeah, I don't see victory in this one...
 
VgnAtl747
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RE: First Officer Survivor Of Comair Flight Sues

Tue Aug 28, 2007 11:52 pm

I understand that the man's been through a lot, but this sounds like a desperate attempt to drag out the memory and blame even further.

On another note, I thought that the letter that Bornhorst sent to the Mayor of Lexington regarding the first anniversary was a nice gesture and rather well written.
Work Hard. Fly Right. Continental Airlines
 
SkyexRamper
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RE: First Officer Survivor Of Comair Flight Sues

Wed Aug 29, 2007 12:25 am

From the article:

"The National Transportation Safety Board determined last month that the pilots' failure to notice clues that they were turning onto the wrong runway was the primary cause of the crash."

With that in hand, the FO is on good grounds to get something. Also he should be sueing the FAA and the controller personally for him not doing his part to prevent the crash. Since he was half a sleep and not even looking out the window.

He might as well sue Comair too for them not getting the updated airport diagrams to their crews.
Good Luck to all Skyway Pilots! It's been great working with you!
 
NBGSkyGod
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RE: First Officer Survivor Of Comair Flight Sues

Wed Aug 29, 2007 1:45 am

Quoting SkyexRamper (Reply 5):
With that in hand, the FO is on good grounds to get something. Also he should be sueing the FAA and the controller personally for him not doing his part to prevent the crash. Since he was half a sleep and not even looking out the window

There is nothing in the 7110.65 thats states that a controller must observe an aircraft departing. There is only the mention that a controller must scan the departing runway prior to issuing the takeoff clearance to make sure there is nothing the plane will hit.
Pilots are idiots, who at any given moment will attempt to kill themselves or others.
 
TommyBoy
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RE: First Officer Survivor Of Comair Flight Sues

Wed Aug 29, 2007 2:03 am

...this sounds like the good ol' American mentality of ...."No matter what I do, it's not MY fault!"
 
SkyexRamper
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RE: First Officer Survivor Of Comair Flight Sues

Wed Aug 29, 2007 2:04 am

Quoting Nbgskygod (Reply 6):
There is nothing in the 7110.65 thats states that a controller must observe an aircraft departing. There is only the mention that a controller must scan the departing runway prior to issuing the takeoff clearance to make sure there is nothing the plane will hit.

The controller's #1 responsibility is to insure the airplane's safety when under their control. The controller obviously wasn't paying any attention to where the airplane was when he gave the take-off clearance otherwise when he scanned the runway he would have seen the CRJ was about to use the wrong runway.
Good Luck to all Skyway Pilots! It's been great working with you!
 
IADCA
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RE: First Officer Survivor Of Comair Flight Sues

Wed Aug 29, 2007 2:16 am

It seems like this dude's essentially suing the light provider for a negligence tort, which implies that they had a duty to light the runways in a non-confusing manner, they breached that duty, their negligence could have caused injury, and that it actually did. So his case turns on whether AVCON breached some implied duty to not confuse pilots with runway lights.

I'd think if this case had much merit at all, it'd be a class-action, with the families of the victims joining in the tort for their members' deaths.

All AVCON really has to prove is that the runway lights were not confusing (as it seems they weren't, and will be shown by testimony of defense witnesses who flew out of Bluegrass on the same morning that they were not confused by the lights), and the case is a classic case for a directed verdict.

If he was confused, it wasn't AVCON's fault; it could have been the fault of outdated maps, training, or, most likely his own negligence.
 
bok269
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RE: First Officer Survivor Of Comair Flight Sues

Wed Aug 29, 2007 2:24 am

He's obviously been through a lot, but I think that it may be in his best interest to lay low, and not stir up anger towards himself from the victim's families, who are already attempting to sue him.
"Reality is wrong, dreams are for real." -Tupac
 
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Acey
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RE: First Officer Survivor Of Comair Flight Sues

Wed Aug 29, 2007 2:25 am

Quoting SkyexRamper (Reply 8):
#1 responsibility is to insure the airplane's safety

That sounds like the #1 responsibility of the pilots, as well. They failed.
If a man hasn't discovered something that he will die for, he isn't fit to live. -- Martin Luther King, Jr.
 
KFLLCFII
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RE: First Officer Survivor Of Comair Flight Sues

Wed Aug 29, 2007 2:32 am

Quoting SkyexRamper (Reply 5):

"The National Transportation Safety Board determined last month that the pilots' failure to notice clues that they were turning onto the wrong runway was the primary cause of the crash."

With that in hand, the FO is on good grounds to get something.

I beg to differ.

The fact that they failed to notice clues that they were turning onto the wrong runway is exactly why he is not on good grounds to get anything.


Directly from the NTSB Accident Report:


Adequate cues existed on the airport surface and available resources were present in
the cockpit to allow the flight crew to successfully navigate from the air carrier ramp
to the runway 22 threshold.

The flight crewmembers failed to recognize that they were initiating a takeoff on the
wrong runway because they did not cross-check and confirm the airplane's position
on the runway before takeoff
and they were likely influenced by confirmation bias.



Furthermore, from the CVR:


06:05:17.7 TWR Comair one ninety one, Lexington uh, tower, fly runway heading,
cleared for takeoff.

06:05:21.0 RDO-1 runway heading, cleared for takeoff, one ninety one.

06:05:41.3 HOT-2 transponder's on, packs on, bleeds closed, cleared for takeoff,
runway heading. six grand.

06:05:46.4 HOT-2 anti-ice off, lights set, takeoff config's okay, line-up check's complete.



...Or was it?

I'm sorry, but that's taught at even the Private Pilot level, and especially emphasized during the night flights.

ALWAYS confirm runway heading against aircraft heading.


PS- I don't like talking down about fellow pilots...But he knows the root of the cause, and how rediculous of a claim this really is.
"About the only way to look at it, just a pity you are not POTUS KFLLCFII, seems as if we would all be better off."
 
richierich
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RE: First Officer Survivor Of Comair Flight Sues

Wed Aug 29, 2007 2:32 am

wow - interesting article.
I'm guessing this is lawsuit is about protecting himself rather than actually trying to win money damages. sort of reminds me of a meaningless "Countersuit Filed" by a defendent on the People's Court.

i'm glad that mr. polehinke survived but we all wish the other 49 people could have too - while the Flight Crew is ultimately responsible for the safety of their flight, there are usually other factors too and I'm sure this case is no different. frankly, i would have thought suing the federal gov't (Air Traffic Control) would have made more sense.
None shall pass!!!!
 
ctbarnes
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RE: First Officer Survivor Of Comair Flight Sues

Wed Aug 29, 2007 2:37 am

Quoting Richierich (Reply 13):
frankly, i would have thought suing the federal gov't (Air Traffic Control) would have made more sense.

Stupid question here: Can the FAA be sued, or do they have sovergn immunity?

Charles, SJ
The customer isn't a moron, she is your wife -David Ogilvy
 
Type-Rated
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RE: First Officer Survivor Of Comair Flight Sues

Wed Aug 29, 2007 2:41 am

Quoting Lgbga (Reply 2):
aggravation of a pre-existing disease or physical condition."

And I wonder what pre-existing condition he had?
Fly North Central Airlines..The route of the Northliners!
 
propilotjw
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RE: First Officer Survivor Of Comair Flight Sues

Wed Aug 29, 2007 2:41 am

I hope the FO looses this lawsuit. Other aircraft took off that morning with no problems. The airport said that edge lights were working properly that morning and only the centerline lights were off. He FAILED to do his job as first officer that morning and that failure led to a fatal crash.
 
RDUDDJI
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RE: First Officer Survivor Of Comair Flight Sues

Wed Aug 29, 2007 3:09 am

Quoting SkyexRamper (Reply 5):
lso he should be sueing the FAA and the controller personally for him not doing his part to prevent the crash.

First rule of lawsuits: Go for the deep pockets. Suing the controller won't get you much...go after the FAA if you really want $. Either way you're highly unlikely to win a jury trial, after your (in)actions just killed 50 peeps.
Sometimes we don't realize the good times when we're in them
 
greasespot
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RE: First Officer Survivor Of Comair Flight Sues

Wed Aug 29, 2007 3:12 am

It could be his insurance suing and not him.......I know that there was a country star in the 80's who was in a vehicle accident and killed someone...she sued the family and it turned out that it was actually the insurance suing on behalf of her....she had no choice if she wanted the insurance pay-out...could be same thing as well...

GS
Sometimes all you can do is look them in the eye and ask " how much did your mom drink when she was pregnant with you?"
 
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kc135topboom
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RE: First Officer Survivor Of Comair Flight Sues

Wed Aug 29, 2007 3:17 am

Quoting SW733 (Reply 3):
The guy was a first officer on a regional jet airline...not a lot of money to pay for all those medical bills when he is not employable. He might as well take a chance. But yeah, I don't see victory in this one...



Quoting SkyexRamper (Reply 5):
"The National Transportation Safety Board determined last month that the pilots' failure to notice clues that they were turning onto the wrong runway was the primary cause of the crash."

With that in hand, the FO is on good grounds to get something. Also he should be sueing the FAA and the controller personally for him not doing his part to prevent the crash. Since he was half a sleep and not even looking out the window.

First, the Controller cannot be sued, even if thge entire cause was his fault, which it was not. The Controller was doing "other duties", he was not half asleep.

This ex-pilot is nuts, it was his T/O, he was controlling the airplane, not the Captain. This accident was nothing but PILOT ERROR. Why? Because neither pilot was paying any attention to the airplane. No instrument cross check, no looking out the window, no questioning the ATCT why the lights weren't on, etc.
 
RDUDDJI
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RE: First Officer Survivor Of Comair Flight Sues

Wed Aug 29, 2007 3:20 am

Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 20):
First, the Controller cannot be sued, even if thge entire cause was his fault, which it was not. The Controller was doing "other duties", he was not half asleep.

Anybody *can* be sued. Of course, the odds of winning may be astronomical.
Sometimes we don't realize the good times when we're in them
 
tdscanuck
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RE: First Officer Survivor Of Comair Flight Sues

Wed Aug 29, 2007 3:31 am

Quoting Ctbarnes (Reply 14):
Can the FAA be sued, or do they have sovergn immunity?

FAA is out. It wasn't their fault anyway...doesn't mean they can't be sued, but it does mean they should win the suit.

Tom.m
 
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N2111J
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RE: First Officer Survivor Of Comair Flight Sues

Wed Aug 29, 2007 3:32 am

Quoting Acey (Reply 11):
That sounds like the #1 responsibility of the pilots, as well. They failed.

They failed catastrophically, and the fact that this pilot is suing others for something in which he, along with the Captain, were mostly at fault just goes to show what a 'blame anyone else but me' society we live in today. The sad thing is, juries often reward this thinking.

Quoting SkyexRamper (Reply 5):
With that in hand, the FO is on good grounds to get something. Also he should be sueing the FAA and the controller personally for him not doing his part to prevent the crash. Since he was half a sleep and not even looking out the window.

Riiiiight.............the F/O is on good grounds to get something because of juries loaded with clueless people like this who believe that something always has to be somebody elses fault. And just for your info, the controller was not half asleep. He was working combined radar up in the tower, and was vectoring 3 aircraft inbound to the field. I'd suggest you quit posting unfounded lies as fact on here.
 
rfields5421
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RE: First Officer Survivor Of Comair Flight Sues

Wed Aug 29, 2007 3:36 am

You can file a suit - but the first motion will throw it out because government employees acting in official capacity have immunity.

Though it's quite frequent in the regular world to sue an employee and his employer - going for the employer pockets.

Quoting Ctbarnes (Reply 14):
Can the FAA be sued, or do they have sovergn immunity?

The FAA is frequently sued over crashes - and several law suits have been filed in this case over the FAA and it's 'understaffed' airport. Including ComAir suing the FAA as noted on a recent thread on this forum.
Not all who wander are lost.
 
atlaaron
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RE: First Officer Survivor Of Comair Flight Sues

Wed Aug 29, 2007 3:47 am

Quoting Greasespot (Reply 18):
It could be his insurance suing and not him.......I know that there was a country star in the 80's who was in a vehicle accident and killed someone...she sued the family and it turned out that it was actually the insurance suing on behalf of her....she had no choice if she wanted the insurance pay-out...could be same thing as well...

As soon as I began reading this article I thought of the same thing. I suspect you are correct. The insurer is probably either suing or making him sue first with the notion that "we will paid if your lawsuit fails." This could be another sign of our corrupt healthcare system.
 
jbmitt
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RE: First Officer Survivor Of Comair Flight Sues

Wed Aug 29, 2007 3:50 am

Quoting Type-Rated (Reply 15):
aggravation of a pre-existing disease or physical condition."

And I wonder what pre-existing condition he had?

As I recall reading... James Polehinke had nearly been killed by his estranged wife. He suffered several gunshots and surviving the crash led several news outlets to report that he was "a cat with multiple lives" (paraphrased)
 
ThePinnacleKid
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RE: First Officer Survivor Of Comair Flight Sues

Wed Aug 29, 2007 4:17 am

Quoting KFLLCFII (Reply 12):
Furthermore, from the CVR:


06:05:17.7 TWR Comair one ninety one, Lexington uh, tower, fly runway heading,
cleared for takeoff.

06:05:21.0 RDO-1 runway heading, cleared for takeoff, one ninety one.

06:05:41.3 HOT-2 transponder's on, packs on, bleeds closed, cleared for takeoff,
runway heading. six grand.

06:05:46.4 HOT-2 anti-ice off, lights set, takeoff config's okay, line-up check's complete.


...Or was it?

I'm sorry, but that's taught at even the Private Pilot level, and especially emphasized during the night flights.

ALWAYS confirm runway heading against aircraft heading.

While I COMPLETELY agree that it is taught to confirm runway heading prior to take off you need to be careful what you are trying to make a point with here putting text into "bold"... the recording has the Tower issuing a take off clearance to 1) take off and 2) to fly runway heading upon departure (i.e. no turns to a different heading... just take off straight out)..... the following that is overheard is RDO-1 is the acknowledgment from the crew to tower confirming the take off clearance and the further departure instructions to fly the runway heading.... After that.. what's picked up on the hot mike "HOT-2" is the internal completion of a checklist... at my carrier it is the "Before Take-off Checklist" evidently at Comair it looks from the transcript to be called the "line-up" Checklist... during the running of this checklist by the Comair crew it appears that after the "bleeds closed" they are not checking where they are at.. but merely confirming/verbalizing their take off instructions which are that they are 1) cleared to take off (2) to climb on runway heading after departure and (3) they are going to level off at 6,000.... the mike then records the final part of that checklist which at most airlines, including the one I fly for... ends with stating the checklist that is being run.. and the status... in this case it would be the "Line-up checks complete"

at the airline level/professional level... most checklists are run differently than in training for private pilot and single pilot operations... because of the crew coordination and CRM that is involved... all checklists are typically run by first the checklist being called for.. then the person to Run the checklist will verbally state the name of the checklist they are about to run... the checklist is then "run" in the manner it is intended either silently, challenge-response, or say-do... and then upon completion of all the items the person "running" the list again states the checklist that has been run and what the status is... this can often range at my carrier from "complete," "complete, minus the ******," or "****** checklist TO THE LINE - complete" which anytime there is a checklist that has a "line" to it... means that some string of items up to a marked point can be run and completed prior to the final items after the line... in this case the checklist could be run either fully, or partially.. "to the line"... and it is stated which is to be run when the list is called for... if the person calling for the checklist does not say "to the line" when they call for it.. then that implies they want the entire checklist including items after the line to be run... You typically run into this type of checklist on the before takeoff where some items can be accomplished prior to an actual take off clearance being received but some items happen after being cleared... such as the external lights coming on... so while holding short the checklist might be run to the line and acknowledge to be "to the line - complete" and then when cleared for takeoff the final few items are run and the checklist is then said to be "complete"

Hope that clarifies things a little bit and what is going on as far as airline checklists and how they would sound on an audio file or in this case a transcript....
"Sonny, did we land? or were we shot down?"
 
drewwright
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RE: First Officer Survivor Of Comair Flight Sues

Wed Aug 29, 2007 4:24 am

As much as I sympathize with the guy, it was ultimately pilot error. Now if there were a history of aircraft lining up on the wrong runway at LEX, maybe he would have a case. Hopefully we can all learn from the mistakes of this ill-fated flight and verify runway heading prior to starting the takeoff roll.
 
ATCGOD
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RE: First Officer Survivor Of Comair Flight Sues

Wed Aug 29, 2007 4:53 am

Quoting SkyexRamper (Reply 5):
With that in hand, the FO is on good grounds to get something. Also he should be sueing the FAA and the controller personally for him not doing his part to prevent the crash. Since he was half a sleep and not even looking out the window.

Although the controller was not controlling multiple aircraft at the moment you can't honestly think that we are responsible for something like this. Do you think a ground controller watches every single aircraft under his control at all times to ensure they are not taxiing onto a runway or unauthorized movement area? All we can do is issue instructions and ensure a pilot reads back those instructions to ensure they understand where to go. We can't watch every plane at all moments.

Quoting SkyexRamper (Reply 8):
The controller obviously wasn't paying any attention to where the airplane was when he gave the take-off clearance otherwise when he scanned the runway he would have seen the CRJ was about to use the wrong runway.

Who cares, it's not his responsibility to ensure that a closed runway is clear of obstacles is it? He issued a takeoff clearance for the correct runway and went back to his administrative duties. What's wrong with that?

Quoting Acey (Reply 11):
That sounds like the #1 responsibility of the pilots, as well. They failed.

Check mate. The pilot is responsible for all actions of the aircraft. We can't fly the plane for them.

Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 20):
First, the Controller cannot be sued, even if thge entire cause was his fault, which it was not.

Actually, a controller can be sued if found negligent. There was some discussion not that long ago about controllers issuing weather to pilots because they could be found liable if a pilot entered weather and crashed. It's since been found that a controller can't be found liable for that stuff.
 
tcfc424
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RE: First Officer Survivor Of Comair Flight Sues

Wed Aug 29, 2007 9:36 am

Who's responsibility is it to provide each crew/aircraft with the correct "plates" of an airport and the correct and updated notams, etc regarding construction and such...THAT is who the pilot should sue IF ANYONE.

I don't sympathize with the pilot, I empathize with him...I have never been in that situation and hope to never be in that situation. It must be hard though...

Mike S. in AUS
 
workflyer
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RE: First Officer Survivor Of Comair Flight Sues

Wed Aug 29, 2007 9:40 am

The pilot should not have a leg to stand on as far as litigation is concerned (no pun intended) It is the pilot's responsibility to ensure the plane is lined up on the correct runway. The PIC and the non flying pilot should/would have both been briefed on the airport layout and the plate should also have been open for takeoff. Therefore they would both have been aware of the multiple runway layout of the field. That would place extra emphasis on what all pilots are taught (as I was on day one of my flying training) that you ensure the compass is lined up with the runway you are taking off from (The one the tower cleared them onto).

Failure to line up with the correct runway is not an error of the runway light company or the tower controller. Neither of these parties were flying the plane the PIC was. It was HIS responsibility to ensure the aircraft was correctly aligned on the correct runway. Good CRM would/should have picked up (From the non flying pilot) that the plane was incorrectly aligned. It did not. Therefore I do not think that the Co-pilot should be pursing this action (even if it is his insurance company insisting upon this) as it may be proven in court that he was responsible (in part as part of the flight crew) for the crash as he did not ensure the plane was on the right runway, or at least he did not advise the PIC that he was on the wrong runway. The action if it gets as far as the courts will open a can of worms for him and his insurance company that he may have wished was kept firmly closed.
 
Rbgso
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RE: First Officer Survivor Of Comair Flight Sues

Wed Aug 29, 2007 9:49 am

Quoting TommyBoy (Reply 7):
...this sounds like the good ol' American mentality of ...."No matter what I do, it's not MY fault!"

 checkmark 
 
freshlove1
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RE: First Officer Survivor Of Comair Flight Sues

Wed Aug 29, 2007 10:00 am

Quoting TCFC424 (Reply 31):
Who's responsibility is it to provide each crew/aircraft with the correct "plates" of an airport and the correct and updated notams, etc regarding construction and such...THAT is who the pilot should sue IF ANYONE.

I don't sympathize with the pilot, I empathize with him...I have never been in that situation and hope to never be in that situation. It must be hard though...

Mike S. in AUS

Jeppesen (may be spelled wrong) is the company that provides the updated plates. When I first started out as a CSA/Ramper we used to get a box of updated ones every once in a while for our crews that were based at that station. I remember the trash can overflowing with the old ones as the pilots sat there and replaced them with the new ones.
 
777STL
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RE: First Officer Survivor Of Comair Flight Sues

Wed Aug 29, 2007 10:12 am

Quoting RDUDDJI (Reply 17):
First rule of lawsuits: Go for the deep pockets. Suing the controller won't get you much...go after the FAA if you really want $. Either way you're highly unlikely to win a jury trial, after your (in)actions just killed 50 peeps.

Second rule of lawsuits: Sue everyone and everything remotely related with the incident in question.
PHX based
 
ftrguy
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RE: First Officer Survivor Of Comair Flight Sues

Wed Aug 29, 2007 10:14 am

Looks like the lawyer who is representing him is an Aviation Accident Attorney. I'll bet you some $$$ that the lawyer contacted Mr. Polehinke and talked him in to suing them. I'll bet he's working pro bono as well.
 
MCOflyer
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RE: First Officer Survivor Of Comair Flight Sues

Wed Aug 29, 2007 11:01 am

Quoting Ftrguy (Reply 36):
Looks like the lawyer who is representing him is an Aviation Accident Attorney.

I had a feeling this might lead to this. Oh great. I hope Mr. P is ok but this is ridiculous. I hope he withdraws. It would be in his best interest.

Hunter
Never be afraid to stand up for who you are.
 
SPREE34
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RE: First Officer Survivor Of Comair Flight Sues

Wed Aug 29, 2007 11:09 am

Quoting SkyexRamper (Reply 5):
Also he should be sueing the FAA and the controller personally for him not doing his part to prevent the crash. Since he was half a sleep and not even looking out the window.

Wow. Arrogance and ignorance all in one statement. What you think you know about Air Traffic Control wouldn't fill a piss ant's thimble.
Ok mouth, quote to us the specific duties and responsibilities of the controller in question while operating Combined Operational Positions. Then explain to us, with quotes from the regs/orders/pubs, where he did not do his part.

Don't expect me to get off of your back anytime soon. When this kind of mindless arrogant crap is spewed from one's mouth it needs to be challenged.

Quoting SkyexRamper (Reply 8):
The controller's #1 responsibility is to insure the airplane's safety when under their control. The controller obviously wasn't paying any attention to where the airplane was when he gave the take-off clearance otherwise when he scanned the runway he would have seen the CRJ was about to use the wrong runway.

Wrong again Sport. The Controllers #1 priority is separation, and that is only trumped by an emergency. Since you are now referring to the appropriate publications you know the remaining priorities. Right?

You mention "where the airplane was when he gave the take-off clearance". What exaclty are the approved locations on the field for issuing take off clearance. As a pilot and former controller, I'm not familiar with that rule. Educate me.
I don't understand everything I don't know about this.
 
zvezda
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RE: First Officer Survivor Of Comair Flight Sues

Wed Aug 29, 2007 11:21 am

This case seems analogous to a postal worker who shot to death everyone in his post office suing the holster maker because his gun worked correctly. "Your honor, I figured that the holster would have known that I was about to use the gun that had earlier been in it to kill people and should have prevented me from doing so."
 
CF188A
Posts: 680
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RE: First Officer Survivor Of Comair Flight Sues

Wed Aug 29, 2007 11:34 am

why not sue God as well ? Why not sue Iraq... i mean it makes just as much sense. They were the idiots not doing their job correctly. A mistake was made due to carelessness....
Dream as if you'll live forever. Live as if you'll die tomorrow~ RIP ... LJFM
 
Mir
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RE: First Officer Survivor Of Comair Flight Sues

Wed Aug 29, 2007 11:51 am

Quoting SkyexRamper (Reply 5):
He might as well sue Comair too for them not getting the updated airport diagrams to their crews.

Yeah, he could. They definitely should have had the updated diagrams.

Quoting SkyexRamper (Reply 8):
The controller's #1 responsibility is to insure the airplane's safety when under their control.

False. The first serious section of the "Controllers Bible", the 7110.65, begins with the words "The primary purpose of the ATC system is to prevent a collision between aircraft operating in the [national airspace] system and to organize and expedite the flow of traffic."

The tower controller fulfilled that duty. ATC is not responsible for pilots flying safely - something that many non-pilots (and a few pilots) do not realize.

-Mir
7 billion, one nation, imagination...it's a beautiful day
 
christiaan
Posts: 68
Joined: Sat May 15, 2004 3:17 am

RE: First Officer Survivor Of Comair Flight Sues

Wed Aug 29, 2007 12:02 pm

Lets also remember that the controller was performing other duties at the time because the FAA didn't staff enough people on the mid-shift (they admited this after the accident), he was not "sleeping" as someone has suggested.
"Give me the luxuries of life and I will willingly do without the necessities" Frank Lloyd Wright 1932
 
SPREE34
Posts: 1750
Joined: Tue Jun 29, 2004 6:09 am

RE: First Officer Survivor Of Comair Flight Sues

Wed Aug 29, 2007 12:33 pm

Quoting Christiaan (Reply 42):
Lets also remember that the controller was performing other duties at the time because the FAA didn't staff enough people on the mid-shift (they admited this after the accident), he was not "sleeping" as someone has suggested.

One (1) person responsible for: Local Control, Ground Control, Clearance Delivery, and Approach/Departure RADAR. It amazes me FAA hasn't bought more culpability because of this. People need to realize this lack of staffing is happening everyday across the system, and getting worse. Who knows if a second pair of eyes in the cab would have prevented the incident? We do know a second controller was supposed to be there, and FAA management chose to short the safety system.
I don't understand everything I don't know about this.
 
EMBQA
Posts: 7858
Joined: Sat Oct 25, 2003 3:52 am

RE: First Officer Survivor Of Comair Flight Sues

Wed Aug 29, 2007 12:33 pm

Quoting SkyexRamper (Reply 8):
The controller's #1 responsibility is to insure the airplane's safety when under their control.

Wrong...... Its the flight crews responsability to ensure the safety of the airplane. All that crew had to do when they lined up for take off was to look down at their HSI and they would have seen their error. Period.. end of story
"It's not the size of the dog in the fight, but the size of the fight in the dog"
 
pmurr
Posts: 28
Joined: Tue Mar 15, 2005 2:12 pm

RE: First Officer Survivor Of Comair Flight Sues

Wed Aug 29, 2007 1:39 pm

The first officer was working at the time ofthe accident andis surely due something by way of workers compensation insurance or the like.
 
wukka
Posts: 884
Joined: Wed Jan 26, 2005 1:08 pm

RE: First Officer Survivor Of Comair Flight Sues

Wed Aug 29, 2007 1:58 pm

Ok, so here's how it looks from outside the fishbowl:

Polehinke, as an F/O treed an aircraft killing all PAX minus himself. He has been a broken shell of a person since the accident with all kinds of medical problems.

It was stated in many, many, many reports of this accident that he had *no* recollection of the events leading to the crash, or anything thereafter, since he experienced brain damage, psychological trauma, physical disability, etc. The list of his pain goes on and on. I used to sympathize with the guy a bit.

So...

Here's this guy that remembers nothing about the crash suing a lighting company while probably still sitting in a wheelchair after the NTSB has even gone so far to say that he was one of, if not the major contributor to dumping some families loved ones into trees even after a recorder shows that he was questioning his situation, position, and if I recall correctly, the shitty state of the runway, while still banging on the throttles in darkness.

I find some serious problems with this.

If he didn't remember anything of the crash then, and has been publicly diagnosed with brain damage among the other 50 things on his chart, how does he all of a sudden remember that the lighting was fucked up and he was just performing his job?

Either an ambulance chasing lawyer got his claws into this guy that still doesn't remember shit but will put pen to paper for any legalities that may arise from the incident, or he's nowhere near as messed up as the reports say he is and he's covering his ass and reaching for the money tree.

My sympathy for this PF is waning very rapidly.

---

Best case scenario for this guy, he wins millions upon millions of dollars in compensation from the lighting folks (which would probably, and unfortunately put them out of business), and every cent that he is awarded, and then some, gets awarded to the families of the poor folks that he killed in individually filed civil lawsuits.

He's apparently completely incompetent as a witness, unless he straight lied to the FAA and NTSB about memory loss prior to this lawsuit (especially according to the post-accident reports where the media paints him nothing short of brain-trashed after the crash), and the lawyers that are probably conniving him into this suit should find themselves in the inner circles of hell.

If he's actually filing this suit on his own... Well, there's another tumbleweed drifting across an unlit, unused runway that he can take off from with his selective memory that suddenly returned.

If this makes it to court, and if there's a higher power, this will be on C-SPAN and we'll actually get to witness the idiocy of the system in action and these POS lawyers will eat more than just crow.

When it comes to this suit, I blame the chase lawyers that have had over a year to brainwash this guy into what he thinks that he thought may have possibly happened.

The whole thing stinks of blame-game, and I really hope that this guy loses (not that he's already lost).
We can agree to disagree.
 
D L X
Posts: 12719
Joined: Thu May 27, 1999 3:30 am

RE: First Officer Survivor Of Comair Flight Sues

Wed Aug 29, 2007 2:09 pm

Quoting SW733 (Reply 3):
not a lot of money to pay for all those medical bills when he is not employable. He might as well take a chance. But yeah, I don't see victory in this one...

Well, I think you hit the nail on the head about why he's suing: his medical bills are probably killing what the crash didn't. (And you thought lawyers were expensive!)

I think there's a good chance he'll get something though. Even if he is primarily at fault, if the FAA is 10% at fault, they might have to pay 10% of his damages. Depends on the laws of Kentucky, which I don't know.

Quoting TommyBoy (Reply 7):
...this sounds like the good ol' American mentality of ...."No matter what I do, it's not MY fault!"

I'd normally agree with this, but not in this case, because the copilot's bills are probably hundreds of times beyond his means.

Quoting Ctbarnes (Reply 14):
Can the FAA be sued, or do they have sovergn immunity?

The FAA can be sued. (What a very intelligent question though!!  Smile )
 
wukka
Posts: 884
Joined: Wed Jan 26, 2005 1:08 pm

RE: First Officer Survivor Of Comair Flight Sues

Wed Aug 29, 2007 2:16 pm

Quoting Pmurr (Reply 45):
The first officer was working at the time ofthe accident andis surely due something by way of workers compensation insurance or the like.

If you're proven negligent in a court of law, you have absolutely nothing due to you. In fact, often times you owe somebody something.

We'll see how this turns out.

Frankly, based on the NTSB report, his medical insurance company may have the right to sue (not too sure how airline carrier insurance works if negligence is proven against you).

His medical insurance *may* have the complete right to deny any future claims and challenge any past claims depending on a ruling... everyone wants in on the dime, and they'll be happy to take it away from you.

Worker's Comp would be an interesting claim after the Fed reports.
We can agree to disagree.
 
workflyer
Posts: 166
Joined: Wed Dec 06, 2006 7:49 am

RE: First Officer Survivor Of Comair Flight Sues

Wed Aug 29, 2007 2:19 pm

Quoting D L X (Reply 47):
I'd normally agree with this, but not in this case, because the copilot's bills are probably hundreds of times beyond his means

So his medical bills are up in the thousands. He goes searching for a party with (seemingly) deep pockets, the company that installs runway lighting. His lack ( or his employers lack) of foresight to get adequate insurance should not be a reason to sue a party that had nothing to do with the crash. He only has to look in the mirror to get a picture of that. If he thinks that suing will in some way remove some of the guilt he is feeling about the accident or in some way mitigate his actions (or lack of them) I think he is mistaken.

They lined up on the wrong runway because they made a mistake, not the tower controller not the runway lighting company, the pilots. End of story, forget the lawsuit.
 
NAV20
Posts: 8453
Joined: Thu Nov 27, 2003 3:25 pm

RE: First Officer Survivor Of Comair Flight Sues

Wed Aug 29, 2007 2:20 pm

Every airliner crash (like any other major transportation accident) results in hundreds of lawsuits. For a start, the relatives of all the dead passengers will likely file suits or participate in a class action. Initally the suits will cite everyone who MAY have shared the responsibility - obviously the airline, but also the airport authorities, the licensing authorities, the contractor responsible for the runway works, probably also the manufacturers of the aeroplane, the lighting - in short, everyone who MAY have contributed.

It is the duty of the courts to consider the evidence (ALL the evidence) and make a judgment on the apportionment of the blame. There is no other way of doing this; obviously, NONE of the parties is going to admit 100% liability without a hearing, and most are going to start off by denying any liability at all. In all cases the court proceedings will largely be controlled by their respective insurance companies.

Most people on here seem to be attributing 100% blame to the First Officer. In practical terms, that would mean the airline's insurance company paying every penny of the many millions of dollars of compensation due to the relatives. The insurance people and the airline itself have a duty to their shareholders to put forward the best possible case for avoiding some at least of that liability; and they have a right to a fair hearing in court. So does the First Officer.

From the First Officer's point of view, he would have to be raving mad not to engage a lawyer to act on his behalf. And, having done that, he would be equally crazy not to follow that lawyer's advice; and certainly so to admit any liability at this early stage. All the F/O is saying, in 'legalese' terms, is that others may well have shared some of the responsibility.

Like all the other parties to the case, he is entitled to a fair hearing before anyone 'passes judgment' on him. That's all that the court process is about. And as I've said, there is no other way of fairly resolving the question of responsibility, other than the formal legal process of suit and counter-suit.
"Once you have flown, you will walk the earth with your eyes turned skywards.." - Leonardo da Vinci
 
D L X
Posts: 12719
Joined: Thu May 27, 1999 3:30 am

RE: First Officer Survivor Of Comair Flight Sues

Wed Aug 29, 2007 3:28 pm

Quoting Ftrguy (Reply 36):
I'll bet you some $$$ that the lawyer contacted Mr. Polehinke and talked him in to suing them. I'll bet he's working pro bono as well.

And I'd bet you don't know too much about the legal system. Do you know what pro bono is?

Quoting WorkFlyer (Reply 49):
So his medical bills are up in the thousands.

More like hundreds of thousands, perhaps even millions. I think you need to take of your "I hate lawyers" hat and show a little compassion for a man that is probably thinking he would be better off dead.

Quoting WorkFlyer (Reply 49):
His lack ( or his employers lack) of foresight to get adequate insurance should not be a reason to sue a party that had nothing to do with the crash.

Spoken like a man who has never been seriously ill.  Yeah sure

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