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Fatal Augusta County Air Crash Case Reaches Settlement - NBC29 WVIR Charlottesville, VA News, Sports and Weather

Fatal Augusta County Air Crash Case Reaches Settlement

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The $60 million lawsuit over a midair collision that killed two people in Augusta County is coming to an end.  The case is being settled, just days after a federal report assigned blame in the crash.

The suit arose from the December 2010 collision between an AirCare 5 chopper, and a single-engine Cessna near the Shenandoah Valley Regional Airport. The plane lost a wing and plummeted to the ground, killing 19-year-old student pilot Jacob Houston Kiser and 32-year-old instructor Jason Allen Long.

The lawsuit was scheduled to go to trial next May with a jury to hear a full week of expert testimony over flight patterns and collision-avoidance systems.  But the attorney for PHI Incorporated, which owns the AirCare 5 medical helicopter, confirmed Tuesday that a settlement has been reached.

Their families filed suit, claiming that the chopper pilot was negligent and reckless.  But the final federal report on the crash, out just last week, says the plane was on the wrong approach pattern to the airport.

The proposed settlement has not yet been filed in Augusta County Circuit Court.  The defendant's attorney declined to share the terms of the deal, and the plaintiffs' lawyer has not yet replied to a call and email seeking comment.

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