Chicago-Area Firm Files Lawsuits in Afghanistan Flight 1102 Aviation Disaster

Posted By Power Rogers & Smith, P.C. || 18-Jun-2012

On May 17, 2010, Pamir Airways flight 1102 crashed in a remote area of the Parwan Province, approximately 20 nautical miles outside of Kabul International Airport. The flight, which had 43 people on board, was traveling from Kunduz in northern Afghanistan to the capital of Kabul. All 43 passengers died when the plane crashed into a mountain while descending for approach and landing at the airport.

Reports compiled by the Ministry of Transport and Civil Aviation determined that the cause of the aviation disaster was the failure of the captain to maintain adequate vertical and horizontal clearance while under controlled flight. Another causal factor indicated by the Ministry was the Flight Safety Department’s failure to oversee the plane’s unsafe altitude and notify the captain in a timely matter.

On May 14, 2012, the Chicago law firm of Power Rogers & Smith filed 25 Complaints at Law against Midwest Air Traffic Control, Honeywell International, Inc., Jeppesen Sanderson, Inc. and the Boeing Company. The complaints include causes of action for negligence and strict products liability against each defendant. Specifically, the Plaintiffs’ Estates allege that Midwest Air Traffic Control was negligent in failing to monitor the flight altitude of the plane and failing to provide any warnings to the captain of Flight 1102 that he was descending below the minimum safe altitude for the mountainous area near Kabul.

The Plaintiffs further allege that Honeywell, Jeppesen and Boeing were negligent and strictly liable for their roles in designing, manufacturing and installing faulty Enhanced Ground Proximity Warning System (“EPGWS”) technology. EPGWS is used to provide ground proximity warnings to pilots by using the aircraft’s position information, speed and terrain/obstacle databases. These warnings enable a pilot to assess a plane’s positioning and, when necessary, adjust a plane’s altitude in order to avoid any hazards.

The case is being handled by partner Todd A. Smith and associates Brian LaCien and Jonathan M. Thomas. “It’s a tragedy,” said Mr. Thomas. “Had the flight center adequately monitored the altitude of the flight, this disaster could have been avoided and 43 lives could have been saved.” Mr. Smith added, “Pilots and passengers alike rely on the abilities of safety control companies and manufacturers of safety control technology. When one of both of these safeguards fail, pilots and airline passengers are in a perilous situation.”

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