Amazon and Atlas Air face lawsuit for Flight 3591 crash

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In this photo, NTSB investigators on shoreline of Trinity Bay examining wreckage from the Feb. 23, 2019 cargo jet crash in Texas. (NTSB Photo)

The brother of the first officer killed in Flight 3591, which crashed near Houston in February is suing Atlas Air and Amazon for negligence.

Atlas Air Flight 3591 a Boeing 767-300 Boeing Converted Freighter crashed on 23 February when it rapidly descended from 6,000 feet and hit a marshy bay about 40 miles southeast of George Bush Intercontinental Airport in Houston, Texas.

It was flying from Miami International Airport, carrying cargo for Amazon and the US Postal Service.

Elliott Aska of Miami, Florida, a relative of First Officer Conrad Jules Aska is seeking in excess of $15,000 excluding attorneys’ fees and costs.

Bringing the action on behalf of Conrad’s estate, Conrad’s daughter Kayla and any other individual entitled to recover as a matter of law, the plaintiff is pursuing Atlas Air, Amazon and maintenance suppliers F&E Aircraft Maintenance Miami and Flightstar Aircraft Services under the Wrongful Death Act.

Atlas Air is facing counts of negligence failing to maintain the aircraft with further allegation that the airline had not properly trained pilots and were overworking them.

Amazon is also facing action for negligence for leasing an aircraft that was not maintained properly, saying: “Amazon knew or reasonably should have foreseen that the failure to exercise reasonable care in the maintenance and use of the aircraft, including ensuring its airworthiness, created a broad zone of risk that posed a general threat of harm to occupants of the subject aircraft.”

The lawsuit also says Amazon should have known Atlas Air’s history of overworking pilots and forcing them to fly with little rest time would create “an unreasonable risk of harm or death to persons, like decedent, aboard the aircraft”.

F&E is accused of breaching its duties by failing to service, maintain, repair, modify, test and inspect the aircraft and make sure it was safe to fly.

Flightstar is facing action, with the lawsuit saying it should have known that if the aircraft was not properly maintained, there would be an “unreasonable risk of harm to persons operation, flying, and/or being flown aboard the subject aircraft”.