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Lawsuits settled for East Palo Alto plane crash

Original post made on Oct 20, 2012

More than 2.5 years after a small plane slammed into an East Palo Alto neighborhood and cut power to Palo Alto, three lawsuits stemming from the fatal, Feb. 17, 2010, crash have been settled, according to court papers filed in San Mateo County Superior Court.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Friday, October 19, 2012, 10:27 PM

Comments (10)

Posted by resident, a resident of Downtown North
on Oct 20, 2012 at 9:29 am

How are the East Palo Alto families doing? Have they rebuilt their homes and businesses? Or are they stuck in limbo for years as the insurance company stalls on their payments?


Posted by Sue Dremann, a resident of another community
on Oct 20, 2012 at 9:51 am

Most of the families said last year that they have repaired their homes through insurance payments.


Posted by Sally, a resident of Greater Miranda
on Oct 20, 2012 at 9:59 am

It's great to hear that everyone is on the mend and this horrible event is coming to a close.

Too much is made of the "own risk" comment by the tower. The flight is always at the pilot's own risk whether it's foggy or a nice clear day.


Posted by resident, a resident of Downtown North
on Oct 20, 2012 at 10:58 am

Sue says "most" families have rebuilt, meaning that some have not. Sally says everyone is on the mend. Who is correct?

Have all the EPA families recovered from this tragedy? Is the neighborhood whole again?


Posted by neighbor, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Oct 20, 2012 at 6:09 pm

I wish after tragedies like this, there was an entity monitoring the devastation of the lawyers and other post-tragedy disasters. Often, the loss is only amplified by all the sharks. Usually there's an insurance company pulling the strings behind the scenes


Posted by Resident, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Oct 20, 2012 at 6:54 pm

It would also be interesting to know what changes have been made to our power supply and what has been learned from this accident.

Sadness aside(and we do have sympathy) for those involved in the crash, on the ground and in the air, those of us who live and work in Palo Alto had our lives disrupted due to this. Obviously we don't want another similar accident, but we don't want anything to interrupt our power supply either.


Posted by village fool, a resident of another community
on Oct 21, 2012 at 7:45 am

I did not understand, please - Were all East Palo alto homes damages fixed?


Posted by Shut-It-Down, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Oct 22, 2012 at 9:31 am

> Investigators ruled out mechanical failure as the cause of the crash.
> Pilot error was the probable cause, the National Transportation Safety
> Board (NTSB) determined in November 2011.

So it looks like this pilot will have ended up killing himself, and two others, done hundreds of thousands of dollars of direct damage at the crash location, and millions of dollars of damage to the residents/businesses of Palo Alto from lost productivity—and will end up being "not responsible" for any monetary compensation (at least from the estate's assets).

This pilot paid for his mistake with his life. But if he had survived he would have not only claimed that he should not be responsible, but that he should be allowed to continue flying out of this airport—continuing to put himself, and others, at risk of his incompetence.

This airport—and the pilots—are a clear and present danger to Palo Alto, and the neighboring cities.


Posted by The_punnisher, a resident of Mountain View
on Oct 22, 2012 at 12:20 pm

The_punnisher is a registered user.

As a pilot AND a former resident of Garden Street ( next to Beech Street ) I have a few more facts to offer:

1 It was VERY IMPORTANT to follow the proper takeoff recommendations ( a control tower can only make recommendations; it's the pilot's job to follow them )

2 When I was a kid living on Garden Street, PILOTS OFTEN " BUZZED " East Palo Alto. This is a direct violation of FAA rules! The takeoff pattern was well known to the pilots who used the P.A. Airport. However, MANY pilots " buzz " East Palo Alto, especially the ones who have houses there. The NORMAL SAFE DISTANCE HEIGHT IS 1500' AGL ( ASL is the same in this case ).

3 As a kid living in East Palo Alto, I often went to the berm that housed the " pump house " and had the High Voltage Transmission Towers. We often got muddy searching the tidal mud flats looking for aquatic life when the tide was out.
It was obvious to me that the East Palo Alto resident asked to " buzz " the house. That would explain the FAA violations ( 3 at this point ) and WHY the FAA HAS THESE REQUIREMENTS!

It's fairly obvious that this was a ME generation pilot. His lack of judgement killed the others under his care and responsibility, and literally cost $Millions in damages by not following the rules.

" There are OLD pilots and BOLD pilots, never any OLD, BOLD pilots "

If the pilot had followed the rules and proper procedures, this " incident would never have happened. " Rules are for other people, not me " was what was going through the pilot's head until they hit the power lines...

The pilot never should have taken off in the first place...


Posted by Brattle, a resident of Evergreen Park
on Oct 22, 2012 at 4:42 pm

You can make mistakes in a car, have an accident, and survive. But planes are much more unforgiving. They're no place to disregard the rules.


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