Settlement Reached in 1996 Gulfstream IV Accident

 - September 4, 2008, 11:15 AM

Years of litigation over a Gulfstream IV fatal crash at Palwaukee (Ill.) Municipal Airport (since renamed Chicago Executive Airport) in October 1996 finally ended yesterday after Alberto-Culver, the airplane’s owner, and local municipalities that operate the airport reached a $6 million settlement. The litigation was complicated by the fact that the GIV was operated under an interchange agreement with Aon and was being flown by an Aon-employed pilot and Alberto-Culver-employed copilot. While about a third of the way into its takeoff run on Runway 34, N23AC veered left and traversed a shallow ditch that paralleled the runway, tearing away both main landing gear, the left and right flaps and a piece of the left aileron control cable. The airplane became airborne after striking a small berm at the upwind end of the runway before crossing a highway outside the airport boundary and coming to rest on the banks of Buffalo Creek and in the parking lot of an apartment complex. The two pilots, flight attendant and Aon executive aboard the GIV were killed in the accident. The NTSB cited the probable cause as “failure of the pilot-in-command to maintain directional control of the airplane during the takeoff roll in a gusty crosswind, his failure to abort the takeoff, and failure of the copilot to adequately monitor and/or take sufficient remedial action to help avoid the occurrence.”