Four Lost When Learjet 60 Overran Runway
A new lawsuit has been filed in the September 2008 takeoff
crash of a Learjet 60, alleging the layout of the Columbia
Metropolitan Airport (CAE) in South Carolina was culpable for the
accident that killed four people.
The Associated Press reports Irvine, CA-based Inter Travel &
Services Inc., owner of the aircraft, joined with operator Global
Exec Aviation of Long Beach in seeking over $12 million in damages
from CAE, as well as Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co and Bombardier
As ANN reported, the two year-old Learjet
crashed on takeoff at 2353 EDT the night of September 19. The jet
skidded off Runway 11 and impacted a berm across a road from the
runway end, the plane's fuselage splitting in two just forward of
That circumstance likely saved the lives of former Blink 182
drummer Travis Barker, and Hollywood party DJ Adam Goldberg, who
were able to escape through the cracked fuselage but were both
severely burned. The four fatalities in the accident were pilot
Sarah Lemmon, 31 ; co-pilot James Bland, 52; and Charles Monroe
Still Jr. and Chris Baker, associates of Barker and Goldstein.
It's still too soon to say what caused the accident, though the
National Transportation Safety Board noted in its preliminary
report the aircraft's crew thought a tire had blown on takeoff, and
attempted to abort the takeoff at close to V1, based on tapes from
the Lear's cockpit voice recorder. Investigators also recovered
pieces of tire at about 2,800 feet down from where the Lear started
its takeoff roll.
Barker, Goldstein, and relatives of Baker and Still have already
filed at least four lawsuits related to the crash. The latest
lawsuit contends CAE did not have proper overrun areas at the
runway end, and that an airport security fence and other items
damaged the jet's fuel tanks, causing fuel to spill which later
The lawsuit also asserts had the adjacent roadway not been lower
than the ground surrounding it, the jet may not have crashed
nose-down into the embankment on the other side.
Officials at CAE denied the allegations levied against their
airport, while a spokesman for Bombardier declined to comment on
the pending litigation.
"While the tires may have been involved, it is still too early
to speculate on a cause," said Goodyear spokesman Ed Markey. "The
performance of a tire is dependent upon how the tire was used, if
it was properly maintained and whether it was damaged before the