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Lawsuit filed in fatal North Myrtle Beach plane crash

A North Myrtle Beach public safety officer prepares to collect three bodies off Toucan Road inside the Creekside Mobile Home Park on Thursday, July 15, 2010.  A private plane slammed into the ground and then crashed into the mobile home shortly before 9 p.m. Wednesday. Three people aboard the plane are dead, a four-year-old child and the child's grandparents. One person from the mobile home has been transferred to a burn treatment facility in Atlanta, Georgia. Investigators from the National Transportation Safety Board and the Federal Aviation Administration are on the scene Thursday. Photo by Janet Blackmon Morgan / jblackmon@thesunnews.com
A North Myrtle Beach public safety officer prepares to collect three bodies off Toucan Road inside the Creekside Mobile Home Park on Thursday, July 15, 2010. A private plane slammed into the ground and then crashed into the mobile home shortly before 9 p.m. Wednesday. Three people aboard the plane are dead, a four-year-old child and the child's grandparents. One person from the mobile home has been transferred to a burn treatment facility in Atlanta, Georgia. Investigators from the National Transportation Safety Board and the Federal Aviation Administration are on the scene Thursday. Photo by Janet Blackmon Morgan / jblackmon@thesunnews.com the sun news

The owner of a home in Creekside Mobile Home Park where a plane crashed in July has sued the estate of the pilot killed in the crash, the owner of the plane and the leasing company that rented it, according to court documents.

Danny Ray Godby, a Logan County, W.Va., resident, filed the lawsuit Tuesday against the estate of Daniel Charles Carroll, the pilot; Robert O’Neale III, the owner of the plane, and Concord Regional Flight Services LLC, the leasing agent for the plane.

In the lawsuit filed in Conway, Godby is seeking $43,985 in damages to the home and loss of rental income, punitive damages to be determined by the court and reimbursement for attorney and court fees.

Godby owned a 1998 Redman mobile home that was located at 1306 Toucan Drive and was destroyed in the crash that occurred about 9 p.m. July 14 in the North Myrtle Beach community.

The crash occurred soon after Carroll took off from the Grand Strand Airport in North Myrtle Beach. Carroll, his wife, Raychel Carroll, 66, and their granddaughter Mallory Fields died in the crash. The three had spent the day with family on vacation in North Myrtle Beach.

A report by the National Transportation Safety Board showed that Carroll was not rated to fly that particular plane at night. The 54-year-old pilot had rented a Piper PA plane earlier on July 14, with the stipulation that he return it by 8:30 p.m., around the time the National Weather Service said the sun set that day.

NTSB investigators said Carroll had flown to North Myrtle Beach during the day with no problems, but around the time of his return flight, the weather turned to thunderstorms and showers. He notified Concord Regional Flight Services to say he would be returning the plane later than planned, citing the weather, according to the report.

Carroll tried for approval to fly the plane at night, two nights before the crash, according to investigators. He was scheduled for a solo flight in the plane on July 12 "to satisfy night currency requirements; however, he canceled that flight due to adverse weather," according to the report.

Carroll held a private pilot certificate and was rated for single-engine land and instrument planes. In March 2009, Carroll received his most recent FAA third-class medical certificate and at that time he reported 640 hours of total flight experience.

In the lawsuit, Godby said Carroll was not current with his night flight requirements and he failed to return the plane, take necessary steps to lane the plane and adhere to instructions given by the air traffic control tower at Grand Strand Airport, according to the court records. The suit also cites that Carroll failed to adequately monitor equipment during flight.

The suit cites Concord Regional Flight Serves for failing to ensure the pilot was properly certified and for not grounding the plane when they knew officials learned Carroll would operate it past the time stipulated to when he leased the plane.

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