Suit Seeks $60M over Falcon 900 Overrun

 - July 21, 2009, 10:43 AM

Temporary staffing firm Select Staffing filed a $60 million lawsuit against Dassault Falcon in a Los Angeles federal court, alleging that “misleading and inaccurate information” in the OEM’s flight manuals led to a June 20, 2007 overrun of Select Staffing’s Falcon 900 (N914DD) at Santa Barbara (Calif.) Airport. The 15 people aboard were uninjured in the accident, but the Falcon suffered $9 million in damage, the lawsuit said. The suit also seeks to recover $6 million in leasing costs until repairs are made and nearly $50 million in punitive damages. According to the NTSB, the pilot aborted the takeoff shortly after the aircraft’s nose would not rotate at Vr. The airplane came to rest 580 feet after the end of the runway, where it hit a berm. The NTSB’s final report said the pilots didn’t calculate the Falcon’s center of gravity location and thus didn’t set the trim to the proper -7.5-degree setting for that c.g. location; instead it was set at -5.5 degrees. In its final report, the NTSB listed the probable cause as “the erroneous gross weight calculation and improper trim setting by the captain, which resulted in the airplane’s failure to rotate at Vr as expected and the captain’s decision to perform a high speed aborted takeoff.” A Dassault Falcon spokesman told AIN, “We’re confident in the merits of our position and plan to vigorously defend the case.”