A lawsuit has been filed after a father and son were killed while flying their Cessna. Their family has filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the federal government after their loved ones died as a result of an Air Force jet cleaving their plane while flying. The suit alleges “the Federal Aviation Administration personnel responsible for air traffic control that day failed to react appropriately to the situation.” The plaintiffs’ attorneys claim that the FAA did not take any precautionary actions until the crash was inevitable.
Jim Brauchle, the lead attorney representing the family, claims that the family feels forgotten. They have been negotiating with the federal government for the past six months but have not had any luck. Brauchle explained, “The families are very disappointed and feel the government hasn’t taken responsibility for this accident.”
Michael Johnson, 68, and his son, Joseph Johnson, 30, were headed to an airport and were hit only four minutes after they took off from Berkeley. At 11 a.m. the air traffic control center received a warning showing by radar that the airplanes were only two miles apart and were close to collision. The controller then sent an alert to the F-16 pilot, explaining that a plane was straight ahead, two miles away. An order was then sent saying, “If you don’t have that traffic in sight, turn left heading one eight zero immediately.” The pilot of the F-16 then began to turn his aircraft. Moments later, the F-16 cut through the Cessna and had a control crash aimed towards a nearby river. The Air Force pilot parachuted to safety.
Brauchle, “said given that a crash was imminent, the controller should have had more urgency.” A deadline has been set to July 3, 2017, for a response from the government.
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