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Wisner Baum Files Lawsuit Alleging Cessna Broke Apart Mid-Flight

Nathan Precup pictured in the snow at the South Pole.

“Wings should not come off in flight,” the crash lawsuit alleges.

Wisner Baum filed a wrongful death lawsuit today on behalf of a widow who lost her husband in a 2022 Cessna plane crash in Snohomish County, Washington. Filed by attorneys Ari S. Friedman and Timothy A. Loranger, the lawsuit alleges a catastrophic mechanical failure caused the Cessna’s wing to fall off mid-flight, prompting a horrific crash that killed aerospace engineer Nathan Precup and three others on the plane.

“Companies that manufacture and maintain aircraft that fly over our communities must ensure the aircraft can withstand normal flight operations,” Friedman said. “When that failure costs lives, those companies must take responsibility for the devastation they cause.”

Mr. Precup’s widow, Danielle Martin, filed the lawsuit against the companies that designed, manufactured, and maintained the Cessna 208B EX Caravan plane that crashed. The lawsuit seeks justice and accountability against the following defendants:

  • Textron Aviation Inc., Cessna's parent company
  • Ace Aviation, Inc., a maintenance company
  • Mistequay Group, Ltd., an aircraft component manufacturer
  • Raisbeck Engineering, Inc., an aerodynamics equipment design firm

The complaint was filed in King County Superior Court, Washington State (Case No. 24-2-02236-8 SEA). Wisner Baum is litigating this case with co-counsel Stritmatter Kessler Koehler Moore, based in Seattle, Washington.

Background on Fatal Cessna Crash in Snohomish County, Washington

On November 18th, 2022, Nathan Precup, two pilots, and the test director were flying a Cessna 208B EX Caravan plane to conduct a series of baseline flight tests. At approximately 10:19 a.m. local time, witnesses saw the plane break apart and corkscrew nose-first toward the ground, emitting white smoke as it fell from the sky. Officials from the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) said the plane’s right wing separated mid-flight and landed about 200 yards from the site of the crash.

In addition to Mr. Precup, the crash killed 49-year-old Nate Lachendro of Gig Harbor, Washington; 67-year-old David Newton of Wichita, Kansas, and 52-year-old Scott Brenneman of Roy, Washington.

About Nathan Precup

Nathan Precup was a dedicated and passionate person who passed away doing what he loved – working on a flight test airplane. Born on June 10th, 1989, in Seattle, Nathan spent his formative years in Sammamish, Washington. He had a thirst for knowledge and obtained a BSAA in 2011 and an MSAA in 2018, both from the University of Washington.

While earning his graduate degree, Nathan served as the operations manager at the University of Washington Kirsten Wind Tunnel. His passion for aviation led him to join Quicksilver Aerospace as an instrumentation engineer, a job he cherished. In 2018, he embarked on a new adventure, working on the BICEP Array telescope at the University of Minnesota, which would be deployed to the Amundsen-Scott South Pole Station. A year later, he traveled to the Pole and remained there for 14 months. Despite the challenging environment, Nathan found contentment and happiness in the darkness of the Antarctic winter. Whether it was taking breathtaking photographs, stargazing, reading, or spending time with his fellow "Winterovers," Nathan made the most of his adventure at the Pole.

On September 11th, 2021, Nathan married the love of his life, Danielle Martin, in a small sunrise ceremony at Deception Pass's Light House Point. Sharing a passion for water and sailing, they purchased a sailboat in March and resided onboard at Shilshole Bay.

Nathan Precup and his wife Danielle Martin
Nathan Precup and his wife Danielle Martin.

Nathan's passing is mourned by his beloved wife Danielle, his parents Ann and Steve, his older sister Samantha and her husband Jason, his younger sister Katharine and her husband Mikk, along with their two children Baker and Banks. He is also survived by his grandparents Frances Precup, and Martha and Richard Crawford, as well as many extended family members scattered across the miles.

About Wisner Baum

The aviation accident attorneys at Wisner Baum have been in practice for over 40 years. The firm has earned over half a billion for clients harmed in plane and helicopter crashes, including cases involving Cessna aircraft. Across all areas of practice, the firm has won more than $4 billion in verdicts and settlements.


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