Survivor of helicopter crash suing flight school, estate of dead pilot
The survivor of a deadly helicopter crash near Region of Waterloo International Airport is suing the estate of the woman killed in the crash and the flight school they belonged to for $1 million.
In a statement of claim filed in court last fall, Scott Puillandre alleges that Tiffany Hanna was not properly trained to operate the helicopter, and did not properly inspect it prior to taking off.
In November 2011, Hanna was piloting the Robinson R22 helicopter with Puillandre in the co-pilot seat.
She was training him through Great Lakes Helicopters.
Shortly after taking off from the airport, they crashed into a drainage swamp.
Hanna was killed in the crash, while Puillandre was left with injuries including a concussion and nerve damage.
Among Puillandre’s claims is that Hanna was “impaired by alcohol, drugs, fatigue, stress or by a combination thereof” and should not have taken off that day.
The Transportation Safety Board investigated the crash, and found that the helicopter’s engine failed during takeoff – with ice accumulation in the carburetor a suspected cause of the failure.
According to the report, Hanna told Puillandre to apply heat to the carburetor – but it’s unclear if Puillandre complied.
The TSB found that the carburetor heat control knob was in the ‘cold’ position at the time of the crash.
A statement of defence filed by the helicopter school alleges that Puillandre did not apply the heat after Hanna instructed him to do so.
Timothy Trembley is representing Great Lakes Helicopters in the case. He doesn’t expect a quick resolution.
“I would be surprised if this case … was at trial in a year,” he said Wednesday.
The lawyer representing Puillandre declined comment to CTV News.