Passengers sue pilots and jet operator for crash

Steve Gonzalez Nov. 15, 2005, 3:30am

Passengers in a charter jet that crashed shortly after take off from Cahokia airport two years ago filed suit against the Learjet operator and its two pilots.

Claiming the pilots failed to keep a proper lookout for birds, Gerald Schneller and Eric Holland claim they suffered physical injuries, psychological trauma and emotional distress when the aircraft, piloted by Ivan Storz and Michael Walden, crashed shortly after take off on Nov. 12, 2003.

A conflict with birds caused a compression stall in the second engine.

Storz and Walden are both employees of Multi-Aero Avionics.

According to the complaint filed in St. Clair County, the defendants failed to keep the Learjet under proper control, failed to perform a proper lift-off and failed to monitor fuel quality and quantity before take-off.

The plaintiffs are each seeking damages in excess of $150,000 for injuries. They are represented by Joseph Bartholomew of Belleville.

05 L 645 (20th Circuit)

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