Chalks’ Relatives To Settle

 - September 13, 2006, 12:04 PM

Relatives of the 20 passengers and crew killed last year in the December 19 crash of a Grumman Turbo Mallard off Miami Beach will share some $51 million under the terms of a tentative settlement of all related lawsuits against Chalk’s Ocean Airways, according to court documents. The $51 million figure represents the limit of Chalks’ insurance policy.

An NTSB report issued in late June revealed that in 2004 three of Chalks’ six captains quit due to concerns about lax maintenance practices. It also said that the airplane suffered several fuel leaks last year and that pilots wrote nine separate reports describing elevator flutter in the weeks before the crash. All U.S.-registered Mallards, including the remaining four at Chalk’s, will remain grounded until the FAA devises a new inspection procedure.