SAN MATEO, Calif., July 8 /PRNewswire/ — On June 23, a jury found that
the crash of an MD-369 helicopter minutes after take off on March 20, 2000,
was caused by a faulty overhaul by Standard Aero, Inc., a large Canadian firm.
In October 1999, the helicopter belonging to Fred and Audrey Young, owners
of a small helicopter flying service, A&P Helicopters in Yuba City,
California, gave the aircraft to Standard Aero to overhaul the helicopter’s
turbine module. A short time later, Young delivered the aircraft to Platinum
Aviation, based in Reno, for refurbishment of the aircraft’s interior and
airframe. Platinum Aviation also performed the FAA required annual
On the day of the crash, Young was piloting the helicopter from Reno back
to his home base in Yuba City. Approximately 20 minutes into the flight, oil
pressure was lost and the motor seized. The helicopter crashed into a tree,
hit the ground and rolled over, destroying the craft worth $561,000 and
causing significant personal injuries to Mr. Young resulting in $500,000
worth of medical bills and lost earnings and $1.6 million in pain and
According to Mike Danko, lead attorney in this case, a team of experienced
investigators determined that the cause of the engine failure was attributed
to defendant Standard Aero when one of its mechanics did not properly install
a bearing retaining nut, which became loose during engine operation, causing
the engine to seize.
The case, SACV 03-481 JVS (SHx) was tried in the United States District
Court for the Central District of California. The San Mateo-based law firm of
O’Reilly, Collins & Danko represented the plaintiff in this action. Plaintiff
claimed there was both negligence and breach of warranty during the engine
overhaul. The jury found Standard Aero 100% liable for the accident and
exonerated the pilot and Platinum Aviation.
O’Reilly, Collins & Danko, based in San Mateo, specializes in representing
plaintiffs in personal injury, product liability, aviation and business torts.
The firm has won many multi-million dollar settlements and verdicts on behalf
of its clients.