Wrongful death suits filed against Cirrus

Cirrus Design Corp. is being sued by the estates of two Michigan men who were killed in the crash of an SR22 in January 2003.

The cause of the crash, according to the National Transportation Safety Board, was a non-instrument rated pilot continuing VFR flight into night IFR conditions.

According to the NTSB report, the pilot went through the Cirrus Design required training program in 2002 when he took delivery of his plane. The program, administered by the University of North Dakota, consisted of four flights for a total of 12.5 hours of dual flight instruction and 5.3 hours of ground instruction. The training is intended for pilots who fly by visual flight rules only.

The NTSB report states that on the day of the accident the pilot launched into marginal VFR weather and that the weather continued to deteriorate along the route.

A trustee for the pilot’s next-of-kin filed a wrongful death suit against Cirrus, as did the estate of the passenger. The passenger’s estate also filed suit against the estate of the pilot, alleging negligence on the part of the pilot because he should have known he did not posses enough flight training to pilot his SR22 safely during the marginal VFR and deteriorating weather on the day of the flight.

Officials for Cirrus declined to comment on the pending litigation.

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