Widow sues Indiana airport worker, city over plane crash
KOKOMO, Ind. (AP) — The widow of a Florida physician who died in an October plane crash is suing a central Indiana city, its airport and an airport employee, alleging that the worker put the wrong fuel in her late husband’s aircraft shortly before it crashed.
Dr. Daniel P. Greenwald, a plastic surgeon from Tampa, died from blunt-force trauma when his twin-engine Piper Aerostar 603P crashed last October, the Kokomo Tribune reported. He was the only person on board.
The complaint filed last week by Julie Robbins Greenwald and her husband’s estate blames the crash on John Yount, who worked at the airport at the time and who the complaint says filled the plane with Jet A fuel instead of Avgas.
A preliminary investigation report by the National Transportation Safety Board in October focused on the type of fuel that was put in the plane. It found a clear liquid “consistent in color and order with that of Jet A fuel” was in the fuel lines and manifolds of both of the plane’s engines.
According to the report, another airport employee told investigators that Dr. Greenwald was asked twice if he wanted jet fuel for his plane and his answer was “yes.” That airport employee had to make an adjustment to the fuel nozzle after having trouble fueling the jet and spilling a gallon of fuel on the ground. The report did not name that employee.
The complaint claims the act of having to adjust the fuel nozzle is proof that the wrong fuel was used since the plane’s tank fillers are designed to make it difficult when filling with the wrong fuel. It also says Dr. Greenwald never instructed anyone to put Jet A fuel in his plane.
The lawsuit contends that Yount was negligent and that the city of Kokomo, the airport and its operators are liable because they did not train Yount adequately enough.
Matthew Melton, an Indianapolis attorney representing the defendants, did not reply to a phone message seeking comment about the case.