The recommendation of the National Transportation Safety Board to ground Zodiac CH-601XL Special Light Sport Aircraft caught the attention of Lawyer Ladd Sanger, whose law firm describes him as “a leading air crash litigation attorney.” That could be bad news for Zodiac designer Chris Heintz, even though he lives in Canada, and for his U.S.-based sons whose Zenith Aircraft Co. manufacture Zodiac aircraft.
Sanger was quick to describe the NTSB action as a “heroic decision that could save lives if the Federal Aviation Administration acts promptly.The Zodiac is the Corvair of the air,” sniped the Texas-based attorney, who is a licensed commercial pilot and managing partner of the Slack & Davis law firm’s Dallas office.
“This is a poorly designed and tested aircraft that poses a danger to anyone who flies in it. The NTSB’s recommendation to ground the fleet is nothing short of heroic. I am not aware of the NTSB ever taking such an extraordinary step as asking the FAA to ‘prohibit further flight’ of a fleet of aircraft. Unfortunately, I am concerned whether the FAA will follow the NTSB’s wise guidance,” Sanger commented in a widely-circulated news release.
“I am currently representing the family of Dennis Levy, who died as a result of injuries he sustained in an August 14, 2008 Zodiac crash near Farmersville, Texas,” Sanger said, explaining his interest. “Just two weeks ago I inspected the wreckage of this aircraft and was astounded at the numerous poor design features of the aircraft, some of which do not even meet the minimum FAA standards,” he claimed.
“The aircraft’s designer, Zenith Aircraft, attributes the flutter problem to misadjusted control cables, but my inspection found fundamental aerodynamic deficiencies that go far beyond cable adjustments. It is clear this aircraft was not subjected to the appropriate aerodynamic testing,” Sanger insisted.
Sanger is an instrument and multi-engine rated pilot but not an aeronautical engineer, it should be stated. He is, however, “an aviation attorney who has worked on hundreds of plane crash cases,” his news release said.
For information: Teresa Ferguson, Slack & Davis: firstname.lastname@example.org