The widow of country singer Troy Gentry has filed suit against aircraft manufacturers she says are responsible for her husband’s fatal helicopter crash in September.
Angela Gentry, 51, filed a lawsuit Feb. 14 against the Sikorsky Aircraft Corporation, Sikorsky Global Helicopters, Inc. and Keystone Helicopter Corporation claiming the companies were aware of flaws in its Model 269 Schweitzer aircraft and failed to make necessary fixes.
“In spite of their knowledge that this model had no modern crashworthy features … the Sikorsky Defendants opted to offer no improvements in crashworthiness so that in the event of an accident, occupants had virtually no chance to survive or be less injured,” the wrongful death suit reads.
Troy Gentry, 50, died Sept. 8 in Marlton, N.J., while in town for a concert at the Flying W Airport in Medford.
The singer — one half of popular country duo Montgomery Gentry — had agreed to take a sightseeing ride at the airport with the helicopter’s pilot, who also died in the crash.
His widow’s suit claims the companies treated the aircraft and its engine “like an unwanted burden,” and were well aware of the engine and throttle defects that eventually caused the crash.
Stars gone too soon
The NTSB issued a preliminary report on the accident in September, which revealed that the pilot reported mechanical problems just several minutes after takeoff.
According to the suit, the pilot tried to perform a routine autorotation, but couldn’t, causing the helicopter to “drop like a stone to the ground below, killing all aboard.”
Gentry is seeking damages in excess of $ 50,000, as well as interest, costs and attorney’s fees.