Attorney Mark Pierce with Slack & Davis, airplane accident attorneys representing victims of aviation crashes, filed a lawsuit against Southwest Aviation, Inc, Elite Medical Air Transport, LLC, and Amigos Aviation, Inc. on behalf of Frederick Green, one of three passengers killed in the air ambulance accident on August 27, 2014 in Las Cruces, New Mexico. The crash also killed the pilot and two crew members onboard.
“Prior to departure, the Cessna 421C was misfueled with Jet A fuel at Southwest Aviation’s facility in Las Cruces instead of the required 100LL aviation gasoline,” said Mr. Pierce, also a licensed pilot. “Numerous safeguards should have been in place to prevent the introduction of jet fuel into the plane, and putting the wrong fuel in the airplane was a direct cause of the engine failure and subsequent crash.”
On August 27, 2014, Mr. Green was a patient being transported on the airplane from Las Cruces to Phoenix, Arizona for medical treatment. The plane arrived for pickup around 6:30 pm at Las Cruces International Airport.
The pilot gave Southwest’s line service technician a verbal order to fill up a total of 40 gallons of fuel. The line service technician drove the fuel truck to the front of the airplane and refueled the airplane putting 20 gallons in each wing.
The pilot then assisted the line service technician with replacing both fuel caps. They both walked into the office and the pilot signed the machine-printed fuel ticket.
The airplane then departed from the Las Cruces Airport, and after it was airborne began trailing smoke. One or both engines failed because it had been fueled with Jet A fuel that had been dispensed at Southwest’s facility in Las Cruces instead of the required 100LL aviation gasoline. The engine failure caused the airplane to crash, killing all four persons onboard.