Widow sues pilot’s estate over helicopter crash in Georgia

ATLANTA (AP) — The widow of a passenger killed in a helicopter crash in Georgia is suing the pilot’s estate and two helicopter companies, saying the aircraft should never have been flying in poor weather.

All three people on board were killed when the helicopter went down Sept. 15 in the Oconee National Forest, including passenger Charles Ogilvie, whose widow filed the lawsuit Thursday. The suit filed by Stephy Ogilvie identifies the pilot as Alister Pereira and accuses him of failing to properly monitor the weather and not stopping the flight when he knew of low clouds, low visibility and rain in the area.

The Robinson R66 helicopter had taken off from Thomasville, Georgia, about 180 miles (290 kilometers) south of the crash site, said Aaron McCarter, an air safety investigator with the National Transportation Safety Board.

At a briefing shortly after the crash, McCarter said weather during the flight was rainy with low clouds and reduced visibility. The NTSB’s investigation will look at the weather conditions, as well as the credentials and experience of the pilot and evidence collected about the helicopter itself and its maintenance history, he said.

Defendants include the pilot’s estate and two companies: Atlanta Helicopters LLC and North Atlanta Executive Air LLC. Neither company immediately responded to messages left Thursday by The Associated Press.

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