(CMR) Chief pilot of the Royal Cayman Islands Police Service Nigel Pitt is one of two Air Operations Unit employees that have filed lawsuits against helicopter manufacturing company Airbus Helicopters SAS after being injured during a hard landing incident at the Owen Roberts International Airport. The lawsuit comes on the heel of the three-year anniversary of the accident that destroyed the only police helicopter at the time.
Airbus Helicopters SAS (formerly Eurocopter Group) is the helicopter manufacturing division of French-based Airbus head office is located at Marseille Provence Airport in Marignane, France, near Marseille.
According to documents filed in the Cayman Islands Grand Court last month, Pitt (57) and passenger Gregory Banks (29) are claiming damages arising out of personal injury occurring on the 26th February 2019. Nigel Pitt and Gregory Banks were on the same flight together when the hard landing occurred which destroyed the helicopter and put it out of commission.
CMR reported on the accident on February 26, 2019:
Just before 4:30 pm, 26 February, the police helicopter suffered an uncontrolled command failure while lifting off at ORIA on a routine deployment. The sudden aborted takeoff caused the tail of the helicopter to strike the ground, causing damage.
At the time of the incident, it was said that Airbus engineers had arrived on island to investigate the cause of the “technical failure”. At the time, the police said that no one was injured.
The RCIPS also had to get a new helicopter following damages caused by the forced landing.
Both men who are represented by KSG Attorneys said their injuries were caused when the helicopter Pitt was operating and in which Banks was a passenger made a hard landing due to a defect or other failing in its manufacture.
They have filed lawsuits for personal injury, pain, suffering, and loss of amenity. Airbus Helicopters 14 days to file the relevant legal documents indicating an intent to contest the lawsuit.
According to court documents, if Airbus Helicopters fails to serve its defense within the appropriate time, the plaintiffs may enter judgment without further notice. Also, a Stay of Execution against the defendant's goods may be applied where the defendant is unable to pay the money for which any judgment is entered.
According to Linkedin, Pitt has served as chief pilot with the Royal Cayman Islands Police Service for the past nine years. The former army pilot was one of the lead pilots to deliver aid from Cayman to the Bahamas following Hurricane Dorian in 2019.