By Marcia Moore
The Daily Item
SELINSGROVE — Two Valley residents injured in an Oct. 4 plane crash while taking off at Penn Valley Airport in Selinsgrove have hired a Philadelphia attorney to investigate the accident.
Jim Beasley Jr. said Tuesday that pilot Doug Cromley, of Lewisburg, and his uncle, Todd Cromley, of Winfield, hired his firm shortly after both were seriously injured when the single-engine Piper Pacer they were flying crashed shortly after takeoff.
A preliminary report issued by the National Transportation Safety Board in November said it was the aircraft’s first flight following an inspection. The investigation continues and the NTSB doesn’t expect to issue a final report for several months.
Investigation reported to be thorough
Meanwhile, Beasley said his firm is taking a separate look and examining the maintenance provided by Heritage Aviation, based at the airport.
“We are doing a thorough investigation to ensure it was all appropriate,” he said.
Heritage Aviation Manager Jon Trainor said Heritage has cooperated with the Federal Aviation Administration and Beasley as they work separately to determine what happened.
“We’re certainly helping with whatever is requested,” Trainor said.
Since the October crash, there has been a complete turnover in management and maintenance staff that was unrelated to the incident, Trainor said.
The two mechanics employed at Heritage Aviation in October have left and been replaced by four mechanics. One former mechanic returned home to Texas and the second took another job in the aviation industry, Trainor said.
Before Trainor’s predecessor, Jim Taylor, left to take a similar job in Williamsport, he spoke or provided information to investigators, Trainor said.
Firm: Most crashes not commercial planes
According to The Beasley Firm website, it has been litigating airplane crashes since 1958.
“The smallest error can often lead to disastrous repercussions. In 2010, there were 831 deaths and thousands of catastrophic injuries attributed to aviation accidents,” the firm’s website states.
According to Beasley, there were 2,033 aviation accidents reported by the Aviation Safety Network in 2010 and only 27 involved commercial aircraft.
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