CRJ200 Flameout Crash Spawns Lawsuit
Former DOT Inspector General Mary Schiavo’s law firm, Motley Rice LLC, has filed suit against Bombardier, General Electric, Honeywell, Northwest Airlines, KGS Electronics and Parker Hannifin on behalf of the families of the pilots who died in the crash of a Pinnacle Airlines Bombardier CRJ200 on Oct. 14, 2004, near Jefferson City, Mo. While on a repositioning flight to Minneapolis, captain Jesse Rhodes and first officer Richard Cesarz took the 50-seat CRJ to its service ceiling of 41,000 feet to, in the words of the captain, “have a little fun.” Moments later the airplane’s GE CF34-3B turbofans quit and failed to restart. The post-crash investigation revealed conditions consistent with engine core lock. Motley Rice charges that the defendants knew of the potential for core lock and subsequent oil pump malfunction, faulty restart instructions and other alleged problems with the aircraft. The NTSB has yet to issue a final report, but information from the FDR and CVR indicated that the pilots changed seats, ignored stick-shaker warnings, failed to declare an emergency immediately and waited too long to request a vector to an alternate airport.