Troy Gentry's widow sues helicopter company over fatal crash

Taste of Country

Angie Gentry, the widow of Montgomery Gentry's Troy Gentry, has filed suit against the companies manufacturing the helicopter he was riding in during the September crash that took his life at the age of 50.

Courthouse News Service reports Gentry is targeting Sikorsky Aircraft Corporation and Keystone Helicopter Corporation, alleging that there were multiple defects in the craft that the defendants chose to overlook.

As the suit, which was filed Feb. 14, reads: “The dangers from the lack of crashworthiness and defects in the engine, transmission and sprag clutch, throttle cables, engine attachments and absence of crashworthy features were unknown to the average user and consumer of this helicopter but well known to these defendants who made it a point to hide and deny and problems that could and did cause serious personal injury and death.

Eddie Montgomery (2nd L) and Troy Gentry of country music duo Montgomery Gentry arrive with their wives Tracy Montgomery (L) and Angie Gentry (R) at the 40th annual Academy of Country Music Awards at the Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas, Nevada May 17, 2005.  (Reuters)

“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 suit continues.

Gentry is seeking unspecified damages. A spokesperson for Sikorsky declined to respond to the allegations, saying only, "We are fully cooperating with the National Transportation Safety Board and cannot comment further due to the investigation."

Troy Gentry died on Sept. 8, 2017, on his way to a planned Montgomery Gentry show. The crash also killed 30-year-old pilot James Evan Robinson.

Montgomery Gentry's ninth studio album, "Here's to You," was released Feb. 2. The duo finished the recording just two days prior to Gentry's death. Eddie Montgomery is currently on the "Here's to You" Tour, which runs through Sept. 15.

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