Aviation Center denies Negligence in death of pilot and passenger

The Teton Aviation Center has filed its answer in a lawsuit stating they are not responsible for the 2018 deaths of a pilot and customer. On June 9, 2018, a pilot and one passenger were on a scenic trip of Grand Teton National Park when the aircraft crashed above Icefloe Lake. The complaint states that Teton Aviation Center failed to properly maintain their aircrafts and the company hires incompetent pilots.

Both the pilot and the customer left from the Teton Aviation Center in Driggs, ID on June 9th, 2018. Around noon after not returning and multiple failed radio attempts from dispatch it became concerning. Both the pilot and customer died in the wreck. In an accident report it was noted that a cellphone was recovered from the wreckage. On the passenger’s phone was a video which was reviewed. It was observed that the footage showed the Middle Teton in front of the aircraft, but they were nearly level with the mountain. On the video footage the pilot could be heard stating “this is not good.” The last thing the video caught was the pilot stating “I am in trouble” before the video recording abruptly ends.

The Teton Aviation Center is stating that the passenger signed a preinjury release before the flight, therefore in their response eliminating them from the wrongful death lawsuit.

The son of the passenger who sadly died in the accident is the one filing the wrongful death lawsuit and is asking for punitive damages. The Teton Aviation Center states that they did not act with malice, reckless indifference, or reckless disregard towards the safety of others.

Moving forward it will be interesting to see what comes from this case as one party is stating the other is negligent, but the other is saying they followed rules and a waiver was signed by the passenger before going up for a scenic tour.