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North Carolina Family Files Wrongful Death Lawsuit After Boy Falls From Plane

Posted on Feb 22, 2011
After their son died while a stowaway on a US Airways flight, a North Carolina family is preparing to file a wrongful death lawsuit.

In 2010, 16-year-old Delvonte Tisdale of Charlotte, North Carolina, ran away from home and went to the Charlotte Douglas International Airport. Authorities have no idea how he passed security or gained access to a plane, but he then snuck into the wheel well of a commercial airline headed to Logan Airport in Boston.

Experts believe that the boy probably lost consciousness during the flight (in which oxygen levels drop and temperatures can plummet to 20 below zero) and then fell from the plane when the landing gear went down in the minutes before landing. His body was found in Milton, Massachusetts, battered from the fall from the plane.

Tisdale’s parents want answers – especially the answer to how their son was able to breach security and put himself in such a deadly situation. They are concerned that the Transportation Security Administration did not look into the incident far enough and that the Charlotte Airport has done nothing to review its current security. They believe that their son would be alive today if the TSA or airport had taken proper measure to keep citizens from putting themselves in danger.

“We intend to seek justice for a child who, although culpable for making irresponsible and immature decisions representative of his age, should never have successfully gained access to that airplane,” the family’s wrongful death attorney said in the press release. “Had airport security been up to par, he would be alive and well with his family today.”

According to the Federal Aviation Administration, 86 people have attempted similar stowaway attempts on airplanes. Only 17 have survived.

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