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REDDING: Clay Abajian Killed In Plane Crash While Volunteering For Angel Flight West Headed To Sacramento; Pilot Dick Tak Also Died

Nov 19, 2018

Clay Abajian Plane Crash: Mission Assistant And Pilot Dick Tak Died After Their Single Engine Fixed Wing Plane Crashed After Taking Off From Redding to Sacramento

 REDDING, CALIFORNIA (November 18, 2018) A Sacramento state nursing faculty member identified as Clay Abajian has died in a plane crash along with pilot Dick Tak.

Authorities are saying that Clay Abajian and Dick Tak were on a plane for Angel Flight West headed to Sacramento. The plane crash took place shortly after takeoff on Thursday around 10:00 p.m. from the Redding Municipal Airport.

For reasons that remain under investigation, the single engine plane carrying both men collided with terrain. The Faith Episcopal Church held a vigil for both of the victims.

It remains unclear if the the pilot sent out any distress signals prior to the fatal accident. The FAA as well as the NTSB are continuing to investigate the circumstances of the plane crash.

There was an outpouring of grief on social media following news of the tragedy. Dorothy Davidson said, “One of the best UCDMC nurses :(“

Mandy Case wrote, “This is so sad. I loved professor Abajian 😥 he was an awesome instructor and so kind”

Plane Crashes In Private Aviation

Commercial planes are extremely safe. Pilots are well trained and there are a number of safety features and redundancies to help keep passengers safe. Private aviation typically lacks these redundancies and a number of key safety features. For example, most commercial planes have dual engines and two pilots. Losing an engine on a single engine plane can have lethal consequences. It has even been estimated that private planes are nearly as deadly as cars.

Takeoff and landing are the most dangerous times for any flight. This is when most accidents occur. Pilots can overshoot the runway or crash into terrain while they are taking off or landing. Power lines can be particularly dangerous. They are practically invisible to pilots at night and during fog. The family of a victim that died in a plane crash may have the ability to file a claim for damages. A wrongful death attorney can make sure that key pieces of evidence are being protected and preserved. Most planes contain flight recorders or “black boxes” that offer key insights into what may have gone wrong prior to a crash.

Liability In Plane Crashes

There are a number of entities that could potentially face liability for the tragic plane crash that killed Clay Abajian and Dick Tak. Airlines and air transport companies are considered common carriers under the law. They owe a heightened duty of care to their passengers. There are a number of regulations informing pilots on what they should do before takeoff. As strange as it may seem, a number of crashes take place every year when an aircraft runs out of fuel. Pilot error is a major factor in the majority of crashes, but this is not always the case.

Victims of a plane crash may have the ability to file a product liability claim. The manufacturers of airplanes and their component parts may be held strictly liable if a design error causes a plane to crash. A number of crashes occur every year when a plane’s engine gives out. For example, the TSI0-520-H engine manufactured by Continental Motors Co. is used in a number of planes. Defects in the cylinder heads have caused many plane engines to fail mid-flight. Victims of plane crashes or their family are protected by a number of laws.

Getting Help After A Plane Crash

We at West Coast Trial Lawyers extend our condolences to the family of Clay Abajian and Dick Tak. Angel Flight West does incredible work and has been instrumental in helping families all across California. It is deeply sad to learn that two incredibly giving and compassionate people were lost in this tragedy. It is our sincere hope that the FAA and NTSB will conduct a thorough investigation into what happened. Steps should be put in place to make sure this doesn’t happen again.

If someone that you love has been injured or killed in a plane crash you may have legal recourse. Our team of highly experienced personal injury attorneys can take steps to investigate your claim and make sure that key pieces of evidence are being preserved. We focus exclusively on personal injury law and have been helping families across California for over 40 years. Whether you need an FAA report after an accident or just have questions about your rights we are here for you. You can reach us anytime at (888) 888-9285.


  1. CBS Sacramento. Sacramento State Nursing Faculty Member Among Dead In Double Fatal Plane Crash. November 18, 2018.
  2. Stephanie Pappas. Why Private Planes Are Nearly As Deadly As Cars. 2018
  3. FindLaw. Airplane Crash Liability Overview. 2018

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