Lawsuits Pending In Fatal Crash

Amid Central Flying Service’s 75-year celebration, public legal battles have impacted operations in 2014.

Central Flying is defending itself in three lawsuits filed following a Jan. 24, 2013, incident that killed a pilot and his three passengers near Monroe, Louisiana.

Mason Mauldin, 31, an employee of Central Flying Service, was flying a 1998 Beechcraft Bonanza A36. He was returning the Louisiana businessmen on board — Dean Hart Sr. of West Monroe, Don Thompson of Monroe and Max Larche of Bastrop — to Monroe from a meeting in Beaumont, Texas.

The estates of all four victims filed lawsuits against Central Flying late last year.

According to a National Transportation Safety Board report, Mauldin did not have the medical certification needed to fly the aircraft. In the report, the NTSB ruled that “the flight was illegal” and determined that Mauldin had a medical certificate dating to 2008 that had lapsed.

The NTSB classified the accident cause as a “failure to maintain control of the airplane during a missed approach in instrument meteorological conditions.”

Central Flying denies any negligence and disputes the FAA’s finding that the flight was illegal.