The widow of Montgomery Gentry musician Troy Gentry (above left) has filed suit against the company behind the helicopter he was riding in during the September crash that took his life, Courthouse News Service reports.
In the suit, filed against Sikorsky Aircraft Corporation and Keystone Helicopter Corporation, Angela K. Gentry alleges that there were multiple defects in the craft, which the defendants “made it a point to hide and deny.”
“The dangers from the lack of crashworthiness and defects in the engine, transmission and sprag clutch, throttle cables, engine attachments and absence of crashworthy features were unknown to the average user and consumer of this helicopter but well known to these defendants who made it a point to hide and deny and problems that could and did cause serious personal injury and death,” the suit, filed earlier this week, reads.
“Because of defects in the engine, throttle cable attachment and collective control, the helicopter did not enter autorotation as expected, it did not disengage smartly from the transmission so the engine the rotors slowed to a speed lower than would permit a safe autorotation, thus allowing the helicopter to drop like a stone to the ground below, killing all aboard,” the suit continues.
Gentry died at age 50 on Sept. 8, 2017, in a fatal helicopter crash near a small New Jersey airport. His band had been scheduled to perform at the Flying W Airport & Resort in Medford that night.
According to the suit, the helicopter pilot offered Gentry a sightseeing ride, but the throttle cable jammed as soon as the craft became airborne, and the helicopter’s engine went into high speed.
In a statement to TheWrap, Sikorsky parent company Lockheed Martin said, “We are fully cooperating with the National Transportation Safety Board investigation and cannot comment further due to the status of the investigation.”
Alleging negligence and other counts, the suit seeks unspecified damages.
Pamela Chelin contributed to this report.