Atlas Air and Amazon face lawsuit over tragic B767 accident

This photo, taken on March 3, 2019, shows the recovered flight data recorder of the Atlas Air Flight 3591, a Boeing 767-300 cargo jet, that crashed in the muddy marshland of Trinity Bay Feb. 23, 2019, about 30 miles from Houston's George Bush Intercontinental Airport. (NTSB photo)

Atlas Air and Services are among the companies named in a lawsuit filed by the brother of a pilot killed in the tragic B767 freighter accident earlier this year.

Atlas Air pilots captain Ricky Blakely, first officer Conrad Jules Aska and Mesa Airlines captain Sean Archuleta, who was in the jump seat, died in February this year when an Atlas Air 767 freighter operated on behalf of Amazon Air crashed near the city of Anahuac Texas, in the Trinity Bay.

Flight 3591 was flying from Miami to Houston when the incident occurred. The aircraft was carrying cargo for Amazon and the US Postal Service.

Elliott Aska, the brother of Jules Aska, is suing the two companies along with Atlas Air Worldwide Holdings, Amazon Fulfillment Services, F&E Aircraft Maintenance and Flightstar Aircraft Services for alleged negligence.

Court papers seen by Air Cargo News allege that the airworthiness of the aircraft was not ensured and was also not properly maintained or upgraded, amongst other complaints.

The court papers also quote a Business Insider report that allege Atlas pilots are overworked.

An Atlas spokesperson said: “We remain heartbroken by the loss of Flight 3591 that claimed the lives of two Atlas Air pilots, and a third pilot from another airline that was a passenger.

“Their families continue to be our top priority. We do not comment on any pending or potential litigation.”

The lawsuit comes before the US National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) has published the findings of its investigation into the accident.

In a March update, the NTSB said that before crashing the airplane had entered a rapid descent.




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Damian Brett

Damian Brett
I have been writing about the freight and logistics industry since 2007 when I joined International Freighting Weekly to cover the shipping sector.After a stint in PR, I have gone on to work for Containerisation International and Lloyds List - where I was editor of container shipping - before joining Air Cargo News in 2015.Contact me on [email protected]