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Oregon Family Sues After Home Built Airplane Kit Results in Child’s Death

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Frank Hoffman2 years ago

The Oregon family of a 4-year-old girl who died in a crash involving a home built airplane is suing the airplane kit’s makers, alleging inadequate instructions and warnings, Reuters reports.

Details of the Accident  

4-year-old, Zoey Wahl and her grandfather, Douglas Nebert, were flying in a home built airplane he constructed when the plane’s engine failed.

Mr. Nebert attempted a forced landing but both he and his granddaughter died in the resulting crash. The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) investigation concluded that the accident occurred due to engine failure caused by a blocked fuel line.

This fuel line blockage was determined by the NTSB to have been caused by “improper maintenance practices” on the part of the pilot.

Overview of the Resulting Accident

The company named in the lawsuit, Van’s Aircraft, sells kits which allow consumers to construct fully functional aircraft in a ‘do-it-yourself’ manner.

The lawsuit argues that the kit does not provide comprehensive enough instructions for installing the fuel, and, additionally, the kit is marketed in such a way as to lead consumers to believe that they can build a safe and functioning aircraft without any mechanical experience or training.

Scott Risan, the president of Van’s aircraft stands by his company’s product and stated that it is “It's up to the builder to use good judgment when they are building and maintaining the airplane.”.


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