The families of at least five people who died in the October 19 crash of Corporate Airlines Flight 5966 have filed lawsuits against Corporate Airlines and American Airlines for unspecified damages. At press time the most recent suit, filed on behalf of a Michigan physician, alleges that the pilots suffered from fatigue after flying six trips over 14 hours and 41 minutes–not above the FAA limit of 16 hours but more than American Airlines’ company limit of 14 hours. Others claim that the pilots failed to follow safe landing practices, tried to land in unsafe conditions and didn’t monitor their altitude during approach.
The 19-seat Jetstream 32 crashed in a wooded area four miles south of Kirksville, Mo., killing 11 passengers and the two pilots. Kirksville ARTCC gave the pilots clearance at 15,000 feet to descend to the airport’s LOC DME approach to Runway 36. The crew had reported no problems by the time ATC lost radio contact at about 7:33 p.m., four minutes before it crashed. Weather reports at the time indicated a 300-foot ceiling, four miles visibility, mist and scattered thunderstorms.