A federal jury has found William Hugh Weygandt, 64, of Granite Bay, Calif., guilty of a conspiracy to commit fraud involving aircraft parts repair. The verdict followed a three-week jury trial before U.S. District Court Eastern District of California. Weygandt is the former owner and president of Weco Aerospace Systems, an FAA FAR Part 145 repair station with facilities in Lincoln and Burbank, Calif. In January 2007, Weygandt sold Weco to Gulfstream Aerospace, which retained Weygandt as president until Feb. 1, 2008.
Pending a judgment against Associated Air Center that could total as much as $49 million, the Dallas Love Field-based company is already planning an appeal. In the suit, brought by Tary Network and Citadella International Group in a Dallas district court, attorneys claimed that Associated and related entities engaged in a breach of contract “that led to tens of millions in losses for the jet owners, including lost profits, out-of-pocket damages and lost value.”
An eight-member jury in Lexington, Ky., has awarded $7.1 million to the family of one of the victims of the 2006 crash of Comair Flight 5191. The widow and two daughters of Bryan Keith Woodward, one of 47 passengers who died in the Aug. 27, 2006 crash at Lexington Blue Grass Airport, stood as the only plaintiffs to take their case to trial after all the other families settled out of court.
Sunday marked the 10th anniversary of the Payne Stewart accident, in which the 42-year-old professional golfer and five others aboard a chartered Learjet 35 lost their lives after the jet suffered a loss of pressurization during a flight from Orlando, Fla., to Dallas. All aboard the Learjet fell unconscious from the effects of hypoxia about 15 minutes after departing Orlando International Airport.
Pilots often wonder what happens if they sign a contract to repay training costs when accepting a flying job that involves expensive simulator training but quit before the contract has expired. Conventional wisdom is that such contracts are not enforceable and the hiring company eventually drops the issue. That was not the case for Allen Miller, who accepted a job with Bombardier Aerospace’s Flexjet fractional operation in July 2000.
Mach 1, a Southern California aircraft broker, and two of its principals, Brian Doherty and John Mouyos, plan to appeal a jury’s decision that they are liable for fraud, according to their attorney. A Southern California Superior Court jury recently ordered the defendants to pay more than $30 million in damages to Jet Source, an FBO and aircraft sales firm at McClellan-Palomar Airport in Carlsbad, Calif.
A jury found Parker Hannifin negligent in the Oct. 16, 2000 crash of a Cessna 335 that killed Gov. Mel Carnahan and his son, and awarded their family $4 million. The family argued that vacuum pumps made by Parker Hannifin failed, causing the recip twin to crash.
A jury in Anchorage, Alaska, reached a verdict in favor of Cessna in a lawsuit arising from the Oct. 10, 2001 crash of a PenAir Caravan near Dillingham, Alaska. The plaintiffs, relatives of the 10 people killed in the crash, claimed the Caravan had design defects that made it dangerous to fly in icing conditions. The jury found that “no defects” of the Caravan contributed to the accident.
In a child-abduction case that has sent a chill through the business aviation industry, a Connecticut jury has ordered Executive Jet Management (EJM) to pay $27 million to a mother whose ex-husband hired an EJM aircraft for the purpose of abducting the couple’s two children.
On December 10, after a three- week trial in Los Angeles Superior Court, a jury awarded pilot Doyle Baker nearly $64 million, in a lawsuit against aircraft management firm PrivatAir and three of its employees. Baker filed suit in July 2004, alleging that Privat-Air had fired him at age 62 due, in part, to age discrimination.