Crime

Lawsuit alleges faulty repairs to blame for fatal 2014 plane crash near Buckley

*Editors note: Narrows Hangars (doing business as Northwest Aviation) filed an answer to this lawsuit that said in part: “Narrows Hangars, LLC, is not a successor entity to Associated Aviation Enterprises, Inc., and can have no liability for the acts or omissions of Associated Aviation Enterprises, Inc.”

Records show that the claims against Narrows Hangars and Vickers were dismissed in January 2017 by agreement of the parties, and that the claims against Associated Aviation and Ben Olson were dismissed in May 2017, also by agreement of the parties.



The family of a man killed in a plane crash in 2014 near Buckley has sued a business that did work on the aircraft before the wreck.

James “Jim” Cawley, 62, and Rodney Richardson, 72, died when the North American AT-6C they were flying in went down June 4, 2014.

Cawley’s wife, Cheri Cawley, filed a lawsuit on behalf of his estate last week in Pierce County Superior Court. She alleges that improper repairs to the plane kept fuel from reaching the engine, causing the plane to crash.

According to the suit, which seeks unspecified damages:

Richardson bought the World War II-era aircraft, a former training plane for the U.S. military, in 1999.

He hired Gig Harbor-based Associated Aviation Enterprises to do repairs on it in 2012.

In the process, Cawley’s family alleges, someone improperly connected the plane’s fuel lines.

It wasn’t flown much after the repairs, until the wreck a couple years later.

Richardson sold Cawley the plane two days before the crash. When they took it up together, the engine lost a lot of power just after take off, and the plane went down in a wooded area nearby.

The suit names Ben Allyn Olson, president of Associated Aviation at the time, and Drew Luther Vickers IV, an owner of the business. The company became Narrows Hangars (doing business as Northwest Aviation), which Vickers took over.

Narrows Hangars is named in the suit as well.

Court records didn’t list attorneys for the businesses or individuals, and none was reachable Monday.

Alexis Krell: 253-597-8268, @amkrell

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