The family of aspiring commercial airline pilot Ray Jefferson will be financially secure for the rest of their lives thanks to a settlement secured by Ellsley Sobol.
The seven-figure settlement also provides for the creation of a charitable foundation named in Jefferson’s honor. It would help fund the education and training of minority pilots.
Ray Jefferson was killed when the pilot of a Piper aircraft – after safely crossing Jefferson’s path over the Everglades – doubled back and put his plane on a collision course with Jefferson’s Cessna. Jefferson apparently banked at the last second to avoid the collision, but it was much too late. His aircraft was hit from the right.
Ellsley Sobol bolstered the family’s case by hiring a top aviation accident reconstruction expert, Kenneth Orloff, Ph.D. Orloff analyzed the flight data and examined the wreckage. Most midair collisions are caused by the inattention of both pilots, but Orloff concluded that the pilot who hit Jefferson had the best view and should have avoided the collision.
Jefferson, 30, lived in Miramar FL. He died two days before he was to take his FAA Instrument Flight Rules exam – a key step in obtaining his commercial license. The fatal flight was his last pre-exam practice run.