The Herald, Sharon, Pa.

Local News

December 30, 2011

Winner Aviation appealing jury award

TRUMBULL COUNTY — Winner Aviation is appealing a recent Philadelphia jury verdict that it must pay two Ohio residents $11.358 million in damages after they were severely burned in a 2007 plane crash.

Rick Hale, president and chief executive officer of the fixed-base operator at the Youngstown-Warren Regional Airport, said Thursday, “There’s a lot of room for us to do an appeal.”

Earlier this month the aviation maintenance company lost a case filed by Akron-area plaintiffs Robert E. Marsico Jr. and his fiancee Heather Moran. Marsico, a physician, and Ms. Moran, a pilot, sued and said Winner Aviation was negligent in its maintenance of Marsico’s Cessna 337 Skymaster twin-engine aircraft.

Ms. Moran was piloting the plane when it took off from an airport in Georgia, and she and Marsico maintained that the plane’s first engine failed shortly after takeoff and that the second engine also experienced problems and was unable to power the plane.

Ms. Moran tried to return to Dekalb-Peachtree Airport, but crash landed at a water treatment plant. According to the National Transportation Safety Board report, the plane hit a concrete structure, then the ground and erupted into flames. Ms. Moran and Marsico suffered third-degree burns to 40 percent of their bodies.

Hale, a Sharon resident, said Ms. Moran’s decision to return to the airport where the flight began is just one issue, and one reason he believes she is partly responsible for the crash.

The jury determined that her $6.458 million in damages should be reduced by 20 percent to coincide with her responsibility for the crash. Ms. Moran has been unable to return to work as a pilot since the crash due to her injuries.

Marsico has been able to return to work, and was awarded $4.9 million.

The NTSB said Ms. Moran’s failure to use “all of the power available following an engine failure,” contributed to the crash, as did the failure of the rear engine.

Once Ms. Moran detected problems in the air, she estimated the plane was about 1,000 or 1,500 feet above ground. She decided not to land at the closest airport, about 6 miles away, instead opting to try to return to the original airport 10 miles away, thinking it was better prepared for an emergency. The farther-away airport also had a control tower.

Marsico registered the plane in June 2005, and Hale said Winner Aviation had performed the maintenance work on the aircraft since that time.

“We did everything per the maintenance manuals for the aircraft and the engines,” Hale said. “We’re just keeping our plotted course in defending this. We’re not interested in settling. We’re taking it to the appeal court.”

Hale added, “We’re sorry for the injuries that the two plaintiffs went through, but we find ourselves to be no way negligible for what has happened.”

1
Text Only
Local News
  • Community thanks its first-responders

    Sharpsville honored its emergency responders Sunday at an event that included Mertz Towers residents as special guests.

    July 28, 2014

  • Drilling boom challenges state inspectors

    The state’s 83 well inspectors face a daunting enough challenge keeping tabs on 120,000 active oil and gas wells that have been drilled over the last century.

    July 28, 2014

  • Kidds Mill Covered Bridge A span of time

    Four generations of the Cadman family have enjoyed the Kidds Mill Covered Bridge, which is in Pymatuning Township near where the family’s ancestral farm is located.

    July 28, 2014 3 Photos

  • Intruder hurts woman, takes $5

    A home invasion in Hermitage Friday night sent an elderly woman to the hospital and netted the robber $5.

    July 27, 2014

  • national night out March against crime set for Aug. 5

    At the last Southwest Mercer County Regional Police Commission meeting, Chief Riley Smoot Jr. presented the number of incidents for each of the four communities in May.

    Farrell topped out at 819.

    July 27, 2014 1 Photo

  • high street trail Peaceful pathways

    History buffs and picnickers in the Shenango Valley won’t have to drive to Sharpsville to hang out at the old Erie Canal extension lock. They’ll soon have the option to walk or roll in on bicycles and even powered chairs to visit Canal Park near the outflow of Shenango Dam.

    July 27, 2014 1 Photo

  • balloonquest1 Balloon Quest celebrates 25 years

    Today is the final day of the 25th annual Western Pennsylvania Balloon Quest at Scotland Meadows Park.

    July 27, 2014 1 Photo

  • News briefs from July 26, 2014

    Man faces bomb threat charges

    June building tops $4 million in Hermitage

    July 26, 2014

  • Elderly man survives plane crash

    An elderly man survived wrecking his plane into a bank, then landing into a wetland, about 200 feet south of Runway 28 at Grove City Regional Airport in Springfield Township on Friday.

    July 26, 2014

  • Dontae Rashad Pinkins Man arrested for April gunfight

    Federal marshals and local police arrested Dontae Rashad Pinkins Thursday on a warrant accusing him of involvement in an April gunfight with another man in a Sharon alley.

    July 26, 2014 1 Photo

  • Hearing changed in starving case

    The time and place for the preliminary hearing of a Greenville mom accused of starving and beating her 7-year-old young son has been changed.

    July 26, 2014

  • Schell working on mural Drawn to Mexico

    Jason Schell probably is not exaggerating when he says that millions of people have seen his art.

    July 26, 2014 4 Photos

  • Farrell man, 24, arrested on warrant in connection with April shooting

    Federal marshals and local police arrested Dontae Rashad Pinkins Thursday on a warrant accusing him of involvement in an April shootout in Sharon.


    Pinkins, 24, of Farrell, is in Mercer County Jail after failing to post bond on gun charges.

    Additional details to follow.
     

    July 25, 2014

  • Firm will study timing of traffic signals

    Hermitage commissioners on Wednesday hired Whitman, Requardt and Associates LLP to study the timing scheme of traffic signals along parts of Hermitage Road and East State Street.

    July 25, 2014

  • 3 area fire depts. awarded grants

    Three area fire departments will share in more than $590,000 in grants meant to help Pennsylvania’s rural communities guard against the threat of fires in forests and other undeveloped areas, Department of Conservation and Natural Resources Secretary Ellen Ferretti announced.

    July 25, 2014