Angie Gentry, the widow of Montgomery Gentry’s Troy Gentry, has filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the manufacturers of the helicopter that crashed and killed all onboard including her husband on Sept. 8, 2017, in Medford, N.J.
The lawsuit filed on Feb. 14 in the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas lists Sikorsky Aircraft Corporation, Sikorsky Global Helicopters, Inc. and the Keystone Helicopter Corporation as the defendants and claims they failed to make its civilian version of Model 269 helicopter crashworthy, despite their knowledge that a military version of the same aircraft had been updated years earlier.
The lawsuit details the moments leading up to the crash, claiming as soon as the helicopter became airborne, the throttle cable jammed, and the engine went to high speed.
“Because of defects in the engine, the throttle cable attachment and collective control,” the suit reads, “the helicopter did not enter autorotation as expected, it did not disengage smartly from the transmission so the engine rotors slowed to a speed slower than would permit a safe autorotation, thus allowing the helicopter to drop like a stone to the ground below, killing all aboard.”
The lawsuit does not claim responsibility against the pilot, saying, “There was no procedure in the Pilot Operating Handbook to deal with this emergency.”
Gentry is asking for a jury trial and punitive damages in excess of $50,000, “plus interest, costs, attorney’s fees and such other relief as the Court deems appropriate.”
Montgomery Gentry’s latest album, Here’s To You, arrived on Feb. 2. In the days leading up to the accident, Gentry and Eddie Montgomery were putting the finishing touches on the new music.
“You can’t be together 35 years and not have a lot of memories,” Montgomery told CMT.com of his late bandmate. “There are a lot of memories I’d like to tell you that would make you fall over laughing, but you can’t put them out. We lived a lot of life together.”