Piper Lance victim’s heirs awarded €288,000 compensation
The heirs of a victim of the Piper Lance tragedy which occurred in December 1995 were today awarded €288,000. Philip Farrugia was a passenger on board the aircraft when it disappeared. He was returning from his work on an oil rig.
The Piper Lance was carrying five passengers when it vanished between Djerba, in Tunisia, and Malta. It was piloted by Carmel Bartolo who was also the proprietor of the company Sun Aviation Limited on which the aircraft was registered.
A Board of Inquiry had found that the accident could have been caused by the bad weather conditions, pilot fatigue and anxiety and lack of aircraft airworthiness. There was no conclusive evidence to what had caused the crash.
Passengers who had travelled on the flight to Djerba said that the plane was not in good condition and the alternator belt could be noticed frayed and loose. Moreover, on the day of the accident a weather alert had been issued to all aircraft but the pilot decided to fly back to Malta.
The court held the pilot and owner of the company responsible for the accident and since he perished too in the same accident his heirs were ordered to pay compensation to the family of Philip Farrugia who at the time earned a salary of $2,000 a month.