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USAF To Change Aircraft Rescue And Fire Fighting (ARFF) Standards

Settles Lawsuit With Airshow Pilot's Family For $1.4 Million

The U.S. Air Force has settled a lawsuit with the family of Aerobatic Hall of Fame pilot Eddie Andreini who was fatally injured during a performance at Travis Air Force Base in 2014.

The Aviation Law Monitor recount the accident, in which Andreini (pictured) was attempting an inverted ribbon cut, but impacted the runway and became trapped in the cockpit of his Stearman biplane. He was fatally injured in the post-accident fire.

Records show that it took nearly five minutes for firetrucks to arrive at the accident scene, and by that time, Andreini had already succumbed. The USAF denied liability, saying the firefighters had acted "by the book" and that the fire spread so fast that it would have been impossible to safe Andreini no matter how fast they would have arrived.

But the ALM reports that attorneys representing the family proved the the USAF did not meet its AARF standards. The trucks were more than a mile from the runway, and firefighters were not suited up and ready to respond during the show. The showed that the Air Force was not entitled to immunity from a lawsuit under the Federal Tort Claims Act.

As a result of the legal proceedings, the USAF says it will as standard operating procedure position fire trucks to have immediate access to the show line during air shows. Firefighters will also be dressed and ready to go whenever a performer is in the air.

The settlement with the family was reported to be in the amount of $1.4 million.

FMI: Original report

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