San Diego Mid-Air Victim's Family Sues ATC

Wrongful death lawsuit claims tower controllers mismanaged crashed aircraft.

San Diego Brown Field Municipal Airport Map
Brown Field Municipal AirportGoogle Maps/Satellite

The family of Michael Copeland, a Qualcomm executive who died when the Cessna 172 Skyhawk he piloted crashed as a result of a midair collision with a Sabreliner 60 last August, has filed a wrongful death lawsuit against New Jersey-based Serco Inc., the private air traffic control company that contracts with the government to provide services to San Diego's Brown Field Municipal Airport (KSDM).

The lawsuit claims the Serco Inc. controller did not properly manage the distance between the two airplanes, which collided and crashed, killing Copeland along with four people on board the Sabreliner.

According to an NBC News report, the suit claimed the Sabreliner pilot was cleared to land while Copeland was cleared for touch and goes. The suit also names the company that operated the Sabreliner 60, BAE Systems Technology Solutions and Services, claiming the pilots of the jet should have seen the Skyhawk and been able to avoid the collision.