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Mom Sues over Young Son's Death in Helicopter Crash

On August 16, a Virginia mother filed suit over a July helicopter crash in northeastern Pennsylvania that killed her three-year old son as well as four other people. In her suit, she alleges that a charter company “negligently and recklessly” allowed an improperly trained pilot to fly the helicopter that killed her son, the boy’s father and two other people on the flight.

Crystal McKain filed the wrongful-death lawsuit in Wyoming County over the death of Noah McKain Woodland. She sued Hampton Roads Charter Service over the lack of training it provided for pilot David Jenny Jr.

According to the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) investigation into the crash, Jenny wasn’t certified for instrument-only flights and hadn’t gotten a weather briefing before the flight that was supposed to travel from Endicott, N.Y., to Lehighton. When he flew in cloud cover, the adverse conditions coupled with his inexperience very likely contributed to the deadly crash.

“This was a tragic helicopter crash because it was so utterly preventable,” said McKain’s lawyer. “Given his limited training, this pilot never should have left the ground in these weather conditions, knowing that he was incapable of flying the helicopter in any kind of cloud cover.” The young victim’s mother is seeking more than $550,000 in damages.