Families Sue Over Deaths Of Jet Pilots

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The families of two pilots who died in the crash of a Pinnacle Airlines CJR-200 regional jet after both engines failed shortly after it attained 41,000 feet filed suit last week in Florida. The suit alleges that heat damage in the engine caused by a faulty oil pump was one factor that made it impossible for the pilots to restart the engines. Named in the suit are the aircraft manufacturer, an airline, three part makers and a maintenance company, The Associated Press reported last week. The two pilots took the airplane up to FL410 during a repositioning flight in October 2004. A controller who questioned the jet's model and altitude told the pilots, "I've never seen you guys up at 41 there." The crew responded, "Yeah, we're actually ... we don't have any passengers on board, so we decided to have a little fun and come up here." Minutes later, the pilots told controllers that first one and then both engines had failed. Efforts to restart the engines on descent were unsuccessful. Though airports were initially within gliding distance, the crew apparently focused on other courses of action until there were none. The NTSB has not yet released its final report on the crash.