Len Root Wiki – Len Root Biography
Len Root family, including his wife Angela Norris Root, filed a lawsuit against the Commemorative Air Force, the group that organized the Wings Over Dallas Air Show. Kevin Koudelka, the family’s attorney, said: ‘Ms. Root saw what happened and she is not doing very well,’ referring to the fatal accident. ‘We need the lawsuit to clarify what happened and who is responsible for it. The second part is who is responsible? What happened? Who is wrong? And why did this happen? And hold them accountable. Root, 66, was a retired American Airlines pilot who had obtained his pilot’s license when he was 16 years old. The suit alleges negligence, particularly on the part of the air marshal – hired by the CAF – whom Koudelka called the “quarterback calling the plays for the event.”
According to audio recordings released by the FAA several months ago, the air chief gave the pilots the go-ahead just seconds before the crash. In a statement obtained by Fox, CAF said: ‘We are aware of the lawsuit filed against the Commemorative Air Force on August 31 by the family of one of our members who tragically died in the crash at the Wings Over Dallas Airshow in November 2022. “Our attorneys are investigating the request and will respond through the appropriate channels.” The entity added that it will wait to respond formally until the National Transportation Safety Board arrives. Root was among five other men who died in the crash. Also killed were Terry Baker, Curt Rowe, Kevin Michels, Dan Ragan and Craig Hutain. Horrific videos of the fatal crash showed the fighter jet appearing to accelerate directly toward the bomber, creating a huge ball of fire and smoke and sending parts of both planes crashing to the ground.
Len Root was 66 years old.
Family of pilot killed in Texas air show crash sues organizers of Wings Over Dallas
The incident is being investigated by both the Federal Aviation Administration and the NTSB. Although a final report on the accident could still be months away. The preliminary report does not list the cause of the accident, but does note that there was no altitude counseling plan for the pilots before the show. Koudelka said he believes other lawsuits will be filed soon, although his company was the first to file them. Last year’s shocking crash was witnessed by hundreds of people on the ground and captured in sickening detail as air show spectators and photographers captured the event with their cell phones and professional cameras. Both men, Root and Terry Baker, were members of the B-17 crew, who operated and maintained the historic Texas Raiders aircraft, one of five B-17s authorized to fly. Witnesses said debris was strewn across Highway 67 in Texas, where fire officials said an active fire had broken out. The road was closed and traffic diverted.
Images taken after the tragedy showed smoke billowing over tents at the Dallas festival. The event had been part of the Commemorative Air Force show over Veterans Day weekend. Wings Over Dallas is an annual air show hosted by the Commemorative Air Force, an organization dedicated to preserving World War II-era aircraft. The CAF was founded as a nonprofit organization in 1961 and the weekend show was part of its Air Power History Tour, billed as a nationwide tour of World War II-era aircraft. The group advertises that all of its shows include at least one extremely rare aircraft such as a Boeing B-29 Superfortress or a B-24 Liberator. Safety at air shows, especially on older military aircraft, has been a concern for years. In 2011, 11 people were killed in Reno, Nevada, when a P-51 Mustang crashed into spectators. In 2019, a bomber crashed in Hartford, Connecticut, killing seven people. The NTSB said then that it had investigated 21 crashes since 1982 involving World War II bombers, resulting in 23 deaths.