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Family of Teen Stowaway Who Allegedly Fell From Plane Wheel Well Blames Lax Security, Plans to Sue

Posted Jan 19, 2011 12:23 PM CDT
By Martha Neil

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While Delvonte Tisdale didn't make a good decision when he reportedly stowed away in the wheel well of a USAirways plane at the Charlotte, N.C., airport, the 16-year-old high school student wouldn't be dead but for the lax security that allowed him access to the flight last year, his family says.

Hence, they plan to sue, with the help of a Florida law firm, reports the Boston Globe.

“The evidence in this case makes it quite clear which party is at fault, and the family has every intention of pursuing legal action of the highest order,’’ says attorney Christopher Chestnut in a written statement.

The article doesn't make clear exactly what entity the planned litigation might be directed against. The airport is owned by the city of Charlotte, which is working with the Federal Aviation Administration and the Transportation Security Administration to determine exactly how Tisdale managed to sneak into the plane.

His battered body was found in November in a Boston suburb after apparently falling from the plane, according to the newspaper.

A December article in the Charlotte Observer says aviation grease on Tisdale's pants may have helped authorities figure out what apparently happened. Pilots say he likely would have passed out or died soon after takeoff from a combination of cold and low air pressure. Observers speculate his body fell out of the wheel well when the plane lowered its landing gear as it approached its Boston destination.

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