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Superior Court of Pennsylvania
March 8, 2022, Decided; March 8, 2022, Filed
No. 53 MDA 2021
MEMORANDUM BY OLSON, J.:
Appellant, Patricia B. Grady, as executrix and personal representative of the Estate of Stephen P. Grady, appeals from the order entered on December 22, 2020. The December 22, 2020 order sustained the preliminary objections in the nature of a demurrer that were filed by Aero-Tech Services, Inc. d/b/a Aero-Tech Services ("Aero-Tech"), Zach Hurst, and David Peachey (hereinafter, collectively, "the Defendants") and dismissed Appellant's complaint. We affirm.
On April 4, 2020, Appellant filed a complaint against the Defendants. The trial court thoroughly summarized the factual allegations and averments in Appellant's complaint:
[Appellant,] Patricia Grady[,] is the widow of Stephen Grady[; Stephen Grady] died in an airplane crash on April 19, 2018. The aircraft involved in the accident which is the subject of this litigation was a 2001 Cirrus SR22 G1, registration number N451TD, serial number 0064 ("Cirrus aircraft") owned and piloted by James J. Durkin, the pilot [*2] in charge of the aircraft ("PIC Durkin"). Stephen Grady was the only passenger on board the Cirrus aircraft on April 19, 2018. Stephen Grady was not trained as a pilot, nor did he have experience operating aircraft. The Cirrus aircraft was operated solely by PIC Durkin on April 19, 2018 under the provisions of 14 C.F.R. Part 91 as a personal flight. The Cirrus aircraft departed the Lancaster Airport at 7:34 a.m. with a destination of South Bend, [Indiana]. The Cirrus aircraft crashed in rural central Pennsylvania at approximately 8:44 a.m. Prior to the commencement of the flight, PIC Durkin filed an Instrument Flight Rules ("IFR") flight plan and he had the appropriate certificates and recent instrument flight experience to operate the Cirrus aircraft under IFR on the date of the accident. The Cirrus aircraft was not certified for flight in known icing conditions.
[In 2011, PIC Durkin began taking flight instruction with Defendant Aero-Tech. Defendant Aero-Tech "is in the business of providing initial and recurrent flight training programs[,] as well as classroom training for a variety of general aviation and business aircraft." It employed both Defendant Hurst and Defendant Peachey as Certificated [*3] Flight Instructors ("CFI").]
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2022 Pa. Super. Unpub. LEXIS 582 *
PATRICIA B. GRADY, AS EXECUTRIX AND PERSONAL REPRESENTATIVE OF THE ESTATE OF STEPHEN P. GRADY, Appellant v. AERO-TECH SERVICES, INC. D/B/A AERO-TECH SERVICES AND ZACH HURST & DAVID PEACHEY, INDIVIDUALLY
Notice: NON-PRECEDENTIAL DECISION — SEE SUPERIOR COURT I.O.P. 65.37
Prior History: [*1] Appeal from the Order Entered December 22, 2020. In the Court of Common Pleas of Lancaster County Civil Division at No(s): CI-20-03159.
aircraft, flight, preliminary objection, pilot, training, malpractice, demurrer, pin, trial court, certification, instructors, autopilot, activate, handle