NEWARK, N.J.Opening statements are getting under way at the federal trial of three officials from a charter jet company whose plane crashed on takeoff at a New Jersey airport in 2005.
Platinum Jet Management, which was based in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., operated the plane that failed to takeoff in February 2005 at Teterboro Airport, smashing into a warehouse, starting a fire and causing 20 injuries, four of them serious.
A federal indictment charges Platinum co-founders Michael and Paul Brassington and the company's head of maintenance with fraud conspiracy, lying to investigators and endangering the safety of an aircraft.
Three other company officials have already pleaded guilty.
The defendants are accused of illegally running commercial flights and falsifying documents.
The two tires that blew out as an airliner departed Tuesday from Bush Intercontinental Airport - one new and the other newly retreaded - were installed two weeks ago and had undergone fewer than 50...
In all, there have been four such lapses since June 9, and authorities are discussing ways to improve safety at the airport, whose runway layout is particularly cramped.
The airport's contracts with the FAA and Platinum are two separate matters. A jury will determine what damages, if any, Platinum may be entitled to from the airport.
Former head of maintenance had been on trial with company co-founders.