The families of nine young skydivers who died last October when a Cessna 208B Grand Caravan crashed in Washington state have sued Cessna, the Seattle Post-Intelligencer reported on Monday. "They [Cessna] had the numbers of each plane that had a miscalibrated warning system on it and did not contact the owners of those planes," lawyer Dean Brett told the P-I. "Our goal is to have the 208B decertified from flying in icing conditions." The pilot also died when the airplane hit a mountain. Cessna declined comment to AVweb. Spokesman Doug Oliver said the company does not comment on pending litigation.
According to the NTSB preliminary report, instrument meteorological conditions prevailed at the accident site. The FAA reported that no FAA or FAA contract facility provided service to the pilot, and they had no record of a pilot preflight weather briefing. Their report noted that VFR conditions generally prevailed along the route of flight except for IFR conditions in the Cascades Mountains and the western foothills. AIRMETs were in effect for icing, low-level turbulence, and mountain obscuration. Questions about the safety of the Caravan in icing conditions have been raised in the past. In December, Aviation Safety editor Jeb Burnside interviewed Suburban Air Freight's Geoffrey Gallup to learn more about the issue. Click here to listen to the podcast.