Troy Gentry’s Wife Sues Helicopter Manufacturer After Fatal Crash

Troy Gentry
Sara Kauss / Getty Images
– Troy Gentry

Almost six months after Troy Gentry, one half of country duo Montgomery Gentry, died in a helicopter crash, his wife has filed a lawsuit against the aircraft’s manufacturer.

Angela Gentry filed the suit Feb. 14 against Sikorsky Aircraft Corp., Sikorsky Global Helicopters and Keystone Helicopter Corp., blaming them for the “dangerous defects which caused” the death of her husband, according court documents obtained by PEOPLE.

All companies are attributed to the Model 269 Schweitzer helicopter, which is the aircraft Troy Gentry was riding in when it crashed Sept. 8 near Medford, N.J., killing the country star and the pilot. A preliminary incident report by the National Transportation Safety Board found that the crash was caused by engine failure that happened shortly after the helicopter took off.  

According to the suit, the pilot offered Troy Gentry a sightseeing ride before he was scheduled to play a show at Medford’s Flying W Airport & Resort.    

“Just as soon as the helicopter became airborne, the throttle cable jumped, and the engine went full speed,” the suit says. “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 defect in the engine, throttle cable attachment and collective control, the helicopter did not enter autorotation as expected.

According to the suit, the engine problem caused “the helicopter to drop like a stone to the ground below, killing all on board.”

A military version of the same helicopter was equipped with “modern crashworthy features” that the civilian version did not have, according to the documents. “In the event of an accident, occupants had virtually no chance to survive or be less injured,” the suit said.

Angela Gentry seeks “damages of more than $50,000,” plus interest and legal costs.