Mum wins suit against flight school over son's death

KUALA LUMPUR - A trainee pilot's mother cried after she won a lawsuit against a flight school and an instructor over the death of her son in an airplane crash six years ago.

"Even if I get the money, can I get back my son?" Nowran Begam Mohamed Saliff, 55, sobbed as her family members consoled her outside the High Court yesterday.

She won RM169,711 (S$55,000) in her lawsuit against the Royal Selangor Flying Club (RSFC) and flight instructor S. Nantha Kumar Devar over the death of her son Mohamad Ihsan Saiyed Abu Thahirin in the crash.

Justice Vazeer Alam Mydin Meera held that both defendants owed a duty of care to the deceased as the student had a contractual arrangement to receive flight training.

He awarded RM127,872 to Nowran Begam for loss of future earnings and support while he granted RM30,000 in general damages.

She was also awarded RM11,839.40 in special damages which included the student's funeral expenses.

"The first defendant (flight instructor) instructed and authorised the deceased's solo flight when he was aware of the adverse weather conditions that the deceased's flight would be encountering," he added.

He said that the deceased was not trained to enter clouds in such circumstances.

Justice Vazeer Alam said there was evidence that the flight school had not adhered strictly to the lesson plan before the deceased was allowed on the solo flight.

"The second defendant (flight school) had not followed the black-letter of the syllabus and ensured that the deceased completed all his lessons prior to being allowed to fly solo," he added.

He said the exclusion clause in the contract does not apply to absolve the defendants of their liability to the plaintiff or the deceased in the circumstance of the facts of the case.

Nowran Begam sued RSFC and Nantha Kumar for the loss of her son, who died when his aircraft crashed on Oct 29, 2009.

Her son died after his light plane crashed in Lembah Beringin, Hulu Selangor.

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