The family of a passenger killed in a helicopter crash during the production of the documentary “DeepSea Challenge” has filed a wrongful death suit against James Cameron’s Lightstorm Entertainment as well as the manufacturer of the helicopter, Robinson Helicopter Company.
Michael deGruy was killed in the February, 2012 crash near Jasper’s Brush, Australia, along with the pilot of the helicopter, Andrew Wight.
The helicopter crashed shortly after liftoff, and it was a post-impact fire that caused deBruy’s death, the suit contends. DeGruy was hired to provide aerial and underwater photography for the project.
The suit claims that Wight, as he lifted off, just 10 feet above ground, he noticed that his side door was open and reached with his hand to close it. It was then that he lost control of the aircraft.
The suit contends that the manufacturer had long known of the “propensity of its helicopters’ aluminum fuel tanks to rupture on impact,” yet failed to correct or repair the defects.
The suit also contends that the defendants should have known that Wight “was incompetent or unfit to fly the subject helicopter.”
Also named in the suit were Wight’s production company and his estate, Earthship Prods. And Cameron Pace Group.