The wife and parents of a flight instructor killed in a collision over the North Las Vegas Airport (LAS) on July 17, 2022 filed a lawsuit against the other pilot involved.
The family of Chiaramonti is seeking damages from the other pilot’s estate. The lawsuit alleges that he was negligent in his duties and responsibilities as a pilot in command when he failed to properly line up his aircraft with 30L and failed to see the Skyhawk, according to 8 News Now.
Last summer, a Piper PA-46 Malibu Mirage (N97CX), flown by Donald Goldberg and carrying his wife Carol Ann Scanlon, collided with a Cessna 172N Skyhawk (N160RA), with flight instructor Anthony Chiaramonti and student pilot Zachary Rainey on board. The NTSB preliminary report found that the Malibu had lined up on the wrong runway. Both planes were maneuvering to land at North Las Vegas Airport with the Malibu instructed to fly left traffic for runway 30L and the Skyhawk instructed to fly right traffic for runway 30R. The planes then collided 0.25 nautical miles from the approach end of 30R.
Daniel Rose, an attorney representing the Chiaramonti family told the Review Journal that the case was relatively straightforward.
“One of the fundamental responsibilities of a pilot is to see and avoid other planes,” Rose said to Review Journal in an email. “Mr. Goldberg utterly failed to do so when he lined up his plane to land on the wrong runway and flew into the rear of Tony Chiaramonti’s plane, who was landing on the correct runway.”
The Skyhawk was cleared for 30R and the ATC had been given a response of acknowledgment from the pilot. The Malibu had been cleared for 30L and Goldberg had acknowledged the ATC, but the AOPA Early Analysis infers the plane might have begun to drift since a second transmission from the ATC followed to clarify the clearance, to which Goldberg said, “Yeah affirmative runway three zero left, that’s what I heard, nine seven Charlie x-ray.”
The early analysis found the collision was a result of a wrong-surface event. Parallel runways like 30R and 30L can provide incorrect visual cues to confuse a pilot. It is likely that Goldberg believed he had his aircraft lined up along 30L, but was instead headed to 30R. This collision unfortunately highlights the importance of situational awareness and conducting a visual check of the final approach segment before landing, according to the AOPA Early Analysis.
The airport has not been found negligent and is not involved in the case. No case date has been scheduled at this time and the lawsuit is just one side of the story. The case is ongoing and accusations are allegations until determined otherwise.