Survivors to sue manufacturers of air crash engine

The company which manufactured the engine of the airplane involved in the fatal air crash at Cork Airport almost two years ago is being sued by a number of survivors and relatives of the victims.

Global energy giant Honeywell International is facing a legal claim that it was liable for defects in the Spanish-registered Fairchild Metro III aircraft which crashed on Feb 10, 2011, as it attempted to land in foggy conditions on a scheduled flight from Belfast City Airport.

The aircraft was operating with a Spanish crew on a flight for the Isle of Man-based carrier, Manx2.

Six people, including the captain and co-pilot, died after the aircraft crashed on its third attempt at landing. Six other passengers survived, including four people who were seriously injured.

It is understood five of the survivors and the estate administrators of four victims are now suing Honeywell and another US-based aviation firm, Woodward, for compensation arising out of the accident.

The crash at Cork Airport was the only fatal commercial air accident in Europe last year and the worst fatal airline accident in Ireland in four decades.

It is still the subject of an investigation by officials from the Department of Transport’s Air Accident Investigation Unit.

An interim statement published by the AAIU last February revealed there was a mismatch between the torques delivered by the airplane’s two engines.

It revealed a sensor in one of the engines was considerably shorter than required by the manufacturer’s specification, which resulted in it giving a temperature value of up to 135°F below the actual temperature.

The AAIU claimed this cold temperature signal resulted in incorrect scheduling of fuel flow to one of the engines which led to a slower engine speed response when it was activated by a lever.

The survivors claim they have suffered serious physical and psychological injuries which will require ongoing medical treatment, with consequent loss of earnings, disability, pain, and emotional distress.

Relatives of the victims are also claiming they have experienced mental anguish and grief as a result of the crash.

The full AAIU report into the accident is expected to be published in 2013.


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