Brother of woman fatally hurt in Eldersburg plane crash sues He claims manufacturer of an aircraft part is to blame in accident

April 18, 1997|By Jackie Powder | Jackie Powder,SUN STAFF

An article that appeared Friday in the Carroll County edition incorrectly stated that a small plane that crashed in Eldersburg in 1995 was trying to land at Wolf Airport. Witnesses said the pilot did not appear to be attempting a landing.

The Sun regrets the error.

The brother of a Hampstead woman who died from injuries suffered in a plane crash in Eldersburg two years ago, claims that the aircraft's defective carburetor was responsible for the accident that killed four, according to a lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court in Baltimore.

John H. Pettie Jr., whose sister Angela A. Pownell, 29, survived the crash but later died from her injuries, is seeking unspecified damages against several companies involved in the manufacture and sale of the carburetor.


James and Amelia Thomas of Laurel, whose daughter, Nancy Thomas, 19, was killed in the crash, are also plaintiffs in the lawsuit filed last week.

"There were things that were wrong with the plane and had they not been wrong, it's more than likely that my sister would still be around," Pettie said.

Pownell, a nursing student at the University of Maryland, was one of four people aboard the Cessna 172 when it crashed in the yard of an Eldersburg house while trying to land at Wolf Airport.

The pilot, Jeffrey Burbridge, 44, and Thomas, who was a front-seat passenger, died immediately in the crash. Passenger Robert Woods, 43, of Baltimore died from his injuries several hours later.

Pownell was critically injured in the crash, and died six months later at a nursing home.

In his lawsuit, Pettie claims that a defective carburetor caused the Cessna engine to malfunction. Named as defendants in the lawsuit are nine companies in Washington, Virginia, Oklahoma and Illinois that are identified as being involved in the design, sale and repair of the carburetor.

At Facet International in Tulsa, Okla., a spokesman said that defendant Facet Enterprises had been sold several years ago. At Borg Warner Automotive, a Chicago company named as a defendant, a spokeswoman said that the carburetor manufacturing division was sold in 1982. Attempts to reach the other defendants named in the lawsuit were unsuccessful.

The suit alleges that the defendants knew before the April 7, 1995, plane crash that the carburetor on the aircraft was defective and that the accompanying maintenance and repair instructions were inadequate.

Pub Date: 4/18/97

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