Singer Troy Gentry was one half of the country music duo Montgomery Gentry.
Sadly, on September 8, 2017, Gentry was killed after the helicopter in which he was flying malfunctioned and crashed in a Medford, New Jersey, field. As Dearly reported at the time of the accident, Gentry was expected to play a show that night at the Flying W Airport and Resort. He was 50 years old.Montgomery Gentry/Instagram
His musical partner, Eddie Montgomery, was not in the same helicopter.
Now, according to Rolling Stone, Gentry’s wife of 18 years, Angie Gentry, has filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the manufacturers of the aircraft, Sikorsky Aircraft Corporation, Sikorsky Global Helicopters, Inc. and the Keystone Helicopter Corporation.
The lawsuit was filed on February 14 and claims that the manufacturers failed “to make the civilian version of the Model 269 helicopter crashworthy, despite their knowledge that a military version of the same helicopter had been updated years earlier.”
According to Rolling Stone, the lawsuit states that Gentry was in the helicopter because the pilot, who also passed away in the crash, offered to give him a tour.Rick Diamond/Getty Images
During takeoff, the helicopter’s throttle jammed, “causing the engine to rev up to high speed.” The lawsuit states:
The decision was made to shut down the engine with the mixture control (i.e., cutting off the gas) at an altitude of 959 feet, or about 850 feet above ground level, and perform a routine autorotation safely to the ground. Because of defects in the engine, throttle cable attachment and collective control, the helicopter did not enter autorotation as expected. It did not disengage smartly from the transmission so the engine the rotors slowed to a speed lower than would permit a safe autorotation, thus allowing the helicopter to drop like a stone to the ground below, killing all aboard.
The lawsuit does not name the pilot as a defendant because “there was no procedure in the Pilot Operating Handbook (POH) to deal with this emergency, and no recommendations to afford the pilot any way out of the predicament in which he found himself.”
In the complaint, Gentry’s family has asked for a jury trial and unspecified damages “in excess of $50,000 plus interest, costs, attorney’s fees, and such other relief as the court deems appropriate.”
The crash investigation is still ongoing.Montgomery Gentry/Instagram
Angie and their girls honored the singer’s memory by walking the red carpet last year at the CMA Awards, just two months after his passing.
Montgomery Gentry’s newest album, which was completed just two days before Gentry’s death, was released on February 2.