The plane had just taken off from the Holbrook airport after refueling. It was traveling from Santa Rosa California to Lago Vista, Texas. Apparently, David Tuntland of Cedar Park, the pilot and owner of the aircraft, had an upset stomach and had to lie down while the plane was being refueled. The plane crashed and caught fire right after takeoff just a quarter-mile east of the airport. All four of the people on board were killed.
The reason as to why the plane crashed is yet unknown. Pilot error? Mechanical problems? When it comes to airplane crashes, claims for personal injury or death are ususally guided by the legal theories of negligence, product liability, or a combination of both. In this incident, negligence may be found on the part of the owner, pilot, or airline maintenace providers. Product liability may be found on the part of the aircraft manufacturer or the manufacturer of a specific aircraft part.
What was the condition of the pilot? Was he fit to fly? Did he perform all required and recommended pre-flight safety checks before deciding to take off? Did weather play a role? Often, winds and heat in the Holbrook area will have an impact on take-off, climb rates, etc… These issues will all have to be investigated, and no doubt, will be investigated by the NTSB (National Transportation Safety Bureau).
Regardless of cause, four (4) persons lost their lives. Our condolences to their families.
If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to email Chris Zachar directly at Czachar@zacharlaw.com, or visit our website at www.ZacharAssociates.com