ATC Held Mostly Responsible for Fatal Crash

 - January 31, 2007, 7:09 AM

In a rare decision, a federal judge in Jacksonville, Fla., ruled last month that the FAA was more responsible for a fatal accident than the pilot. All four people on board a Piper Cherokee Six were killed on Dec. 12, 2001, when the piston single crashed in heavy fog. At the end of a non-jury trial, federal judge Timothy Corrigan ruled that the FAA was 65-percent responsible for the accident because ATC failed to give the pilot current weather information. The judge assessed 35 percent of the blame on the pilot for failing to consider other options after executing missed approaches at both his destination, St. Augustine, and his alternate, Craig Airport in Jacksonville. A separate federal court proceeding will determine whether damages are appropriate.