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Orchardist Lawsuit Claims Pilot Was Texting 3/5/2012
A ChelanValley orchardist has filed a lawsuit against Golden Wings Aviation of Brewster, claiming damages as a result of last summer’s fiery helicopter crash in the BoydDistrict.
24 year old Stephen Nelson of Indiana was killed when the helicopter he was piloting last July for Golden Wings Aviation struck power lines as he was flying low to dry cherries after a heavy rain. Rain can cause cherries to split. Dozens of choppers were hired to fly low over the orchards, forcing the water off the trees.
John Marker, owner of Chelan View Orchard Inc., filed the lawsuit alleging Golden Wings Aviation failed to send another helicopter to finish drying his cherries following the crash, resulting in a near complete crop loss. Marker claims the pilot was either talking on the phone, or texting while he was flying which led to the crash.
Wenatchee attorney, Dale Foreman, representing Chelan View Orchards, argues that terrible accident which took the life of the young pilot doesn’t relieve the aviation company from carrying out their contract.
Orchardist John Marker believes the pilot may have been either talking on the phone, or texting while he was flying which led to the crash.
Dennis Hogenson with the National Transportation Safety Board is investigating the July 25th helicopter crash and expects to have a completed report by April.
KOZI will continue to follow this story and bring you updates as they become available and are confirmed.
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