Tragic Mid-Air Collision Between Cessna and Sabreliner Kills Five in San Diego Airspace

CaseyGerry’s client, a Qualcomm marketing executive, was piloting a single-engine Cessna 172M in 2016 when it was struck by a twin-engine jet near San Diego’s Brown Field Municipal Airport. Four people in the Sabereliner jet, on a military mission for BAE Systems Inc., also died.

The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) investigation determined the ‘probable cause(s)’ of the incident to be:

The local controller’s (LC) failure to properly identify the aircraft in the pattern and to ensure control instructions provided to the intended Cessna on downwind were being performed before turning Eagle1 into its path for landing. Contributing to the LC’s actions was his incomplete situational awareness when he took over communications from the LC trainee due to the high workload at the time of the accident. Contributing to the accident were the inherent limitations of the see-and-avoid concept, resulting in the inability of the pilots involved to take evasive action in time to avert the collision.

CaseyGerry’s David S. Casey Jr., Scott Cummins, Robert Francavilla and Jason Evans represented the pilot of the Cessna’s widow and children in the case against a corporation that had contracted with the federal government to be responsible for Brown Field’s air traffic control.

Award: Confidential settlement

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