Pilot Error Upon Landing Results in Private & Small Plane Crash Lawsuit

Case Title: Swies v.

On May 22, 2018, a Gulfstream G200 with registration number N813WM crashed on approach to an airport in Tegucigalpa, Honduras. The flight originated in Austin, Texas. It held two crew members and four passengers. There were no fatalities, and weather was not considered a factor in the accident.

On approach to the runway at Toncontin International Airport, the copilot told the pilot that the approach speed was too high. The pilot tried to slow the plane but landed too far down the runway. The plane’s speed was 142 knots as it landed, at least 14 knots above the proper speed for a plane of its size and weight under these conditions. The plane overran the runway, down an embankment, across a road and came to rest on a second embankment, where it broke in half. All the occupants suffered some injuries. A Honduran Aviation organization determined the probable cause of the accident to be pilot error when landing, namely that the plane was going too fast, he had too little knowledge of the runway length, and that he activated the reverse thrusters too late to slow the airplane.

After the Gulfstream G200 came to a stop down the embankment, passengers tried to evacuate the plane, but the exit doors were blocked. Witnesses to the accident began tearing away parts of the fuselage to help the passengers escape. The bystanders helped to pull and guide passengers out and away from the plane as they sprayed the plane down with handheld fire extinguishers. In addition to the danger of threat of fire in the plane, several major powerlines were downed by the crash and were sparking dangerously. Eventually, the survivors were helped into the back of a truck that had to be driven over the broken wings of the airplane to get them to a hospital.

Surrounded by mountains and with a very short runway, the Toncontin airport is considered one of the world’s most dangerous. In 2008, another plane crashed in nearly the same spot, and five people died in that accident. Most notably, a Boeing 727 crashed there in 1989, killing 146 passengers and crew when the plane impacted a mountain on descent.

Slack Davis Sanger represented one of the passengers who was injured during the crash. Our client suffered neck injuries and other trauma. Her job was impacted by the constant pain and panic she felt. Slack Davis Sanger secured a settlement to pay for medical bill, lost wages, and compensate for other damages.

Mike Slack has been practicing law for over 36 years and has litigated hundreds of lawsuits. His experience as a licensed pilot and former NASA aerospace engineer gives him unique insight into aviation accident lawsuits.

Date of Incident

May 22, 2018

Location of Incident

Tegucigalpa, Honduras

Represented By:

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