VIRGINIA AIRPLANE CRASH KILLING 23 YEAR OLD FLIGHT INSTRUCTOR HAS EERIE SIMILARITY TO SO MANY OTHER SEAT SLIP ON TAKEOFF ACCIDENTS.
Witnesses describe the takeoff as a sudden pitch up, the airplane stalled and then crashed to the ground killing young flight instructor Viktoria Ljungman and injuring her student.
This has happened time after time in single engine Cessna’s when either the pilot’s or front passenger seat slides suddenly rearward while the pilot is holding onto the flight controls.
The grasping reflex causes the person in the pilot’s seat to hang on for dear life as the nose of the airplane pitches up too steeply to recover before stalling.
The surprise makes it impossible for even a flight instructor to wrest the controls away from the student in time to save themselves.
The Wolk Law Firm obtained the largest aviation verdict of all time against Cessna for just such an accident. We are litigating another such crash that occurred in West Virginia under similar circumstances. In that accident the flight instructor’s seat slipped rearward on takeoff and the student was seriously injured though the flight instructor perished.
The Wolk Law Firm provided Cessna with a fix for this problem back in 1984 to no avail and again in the 1990’s again to no avail. There are still thousands of Cessna single engine airplanes out there with legacy seats that run the risk of similar accidents. The problem is the steel pins used to restrain the seats ride on aluminum rails which rapidly become worn such that the seat can slip. It happens on takeoff because the seat bends and ratchets out of the seat attachment hole as it is a flimsy design.
So long as Cessna makes no necessary changes these accidents will continue to happen and young pilots and student pilots will be killed and injured needlessly.
May the memory of Viktoria Ljungman be a blessing to her family and hopefully her student will fully recover from his injuries.
Arthur Alan Wolk
October 10, 2022
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