Troy Gentry’s Wife Files Lawsuit Over His Death
Filed in the Philadelphia, Pa., Court of Common Pleas on Wednesday (Feb. 14), Angie Gentry's lawsuit, Courthouse News Service reports, claims that Sikorsky Aircraft Corporation, Sikorsky Global Helicopters, Inc. and the Keystone Helicopter Corporation failed to make the Model 269 helicopter crashworthy, leaving its occupants no chance of survival.
“The dangers from the lack of crashworthiness and defects in the engine, transmission and sprag clutch, throttle cables, engine attachments and absence of crashworthy features were unknown to the average user and consumer of this helicopter but well known to these defendants who made it a point to hide and deny and problems that could and did cause serious personal injury and death,” Angie Gentry's lawsuit states. The manufacturers' choices "treated the helicopter and its engine like an unwanted burden, while creating a serious and regular risk of serious injury or death as a result."
Country Music's Nastiest Lawsuits
The helicopter crash that killed Gentry took place in Medford, N.J., on Sept. 8; he and Montgomery Gentry duo partner Eddie Montgomery were scheduled to perform there that evening. Gentry was removed from the helicopter crash wreckage at the scene but was pronounced dead at a nearby hospital. In addition to Gentry, the helicopter’s pilot, James Evan Robinson, died in the crash; crews worked for hours to remove his body from the wreck.
According to the lawsuit, the helicopter's handbook did not offer Robinson a guide for how to deal with the mechanical issues he experienced. The pilot elected to shut down the helicopter's engine and attempt to autorotate to the ground; however, "[b]ecause of defects in the engine, throttle cable attachment and collective control, the helicopter did not enter autorotation as expected, [and] it did not disengage smartly from the transmission so the engine the rotors slowed to a speed lower than would permit a safe autorotation, thus allowing the helicopter to drop like a stone to the ground below, killing all aboard," reads the lawsuit.
The National Transportation Safety Board has issued its preliminary report on the crash, which expands upon initial reports that the helicopter pilot experienced mechanical issues prior to crashing. Callie Ferrari, a spokesperson for the Sikorsky corporation, tells Courthouse News Service that the company is "fully cooperating with the NTSB" on its continuing investigation "and cannot comment further" on the lawsuit.
Troy Gentry was 50 years old when he died. On Feb. 2, Montgomery released Here's to You, Montgomery Gentry's final album, finished just days before Gentry's death. He is celebrating the new record and the duo's 20th anniversary with a 2018 tour.
Montgomery Gentry Through the Years: 15 Memorable Moments