WEST PALM BEACH, FL  The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) is investigating three domestic airliner incidents this week causing many to wonder if our airport runways are safe. NBC Nightly News and The Today Show are recently reporting that there are more than 350 close calls and mistakes made on runways each year. Incidents stem from carelessness, mistakes and lack of safety devices such as 1000 foot buffers and arrestor beds.

A Tampa widow, Amber Rene Murphy, knows this too well. On July 2, 2002, Amber’s husband John M. Murphy was a passenger in a 1992 Beechcraft 58P aircraft on a flight from Tampa, Florida to the Memphis International Airport in Memphis, Tennessee. He was flying with two of his colleagues and Dr. David W. Cahill a renowned neurosurgeon to a business meeting.

As the aircraft approached the Memphis, Tennessee terminal area, the air traffic controllers vectored the aircraft for an Instrument Landing System approach for Runway 36R at the Memphis International Airport. On landing, the aircraft rolled inverted and collided with the ground where John Murphy and the Dr. Cahill suffered fatal injuries in the crash.

Attorney Scott C. Murray of Murray & Guari stated, “The FAA and its Air Traffic Controllers had a duty to use reasonable care in maintaining and assuring the safe operation and movement of the aircraft in navigable airspace and particularly within the terminal area near Memphis, Tennessee.”

“The FAA and the Air Traffic Controllers failed to provide minimum safe separation between the aircraft Mr. Murphy was in and other aircraft operating in close proximity to it,” said, Attorney Jason J. Guari of Murray and Guari. “This created wake turbulence (jet wash) which forms behind an aircraft as it passes through the air. If an oncoming plane runs into this during take-off or landing, due to the aircrafts proximity to the ground, it makes a timely recovery unlikely.

“Had the Air Traffic Controllers followed their own procedures, John Murphy would be here today,” added Murray

The case against The United States of America (FAA) was filed in the Middle District Court of Tampa in December, 2005. A copy of the complaint is available upon request.


Scott Murray is a partner in the law firm of Murray & Guari Trial Attorneys PL. The firm was founded in 2005 and is headquartered in West Palm Beach, Florida, at 319 8th Street. Mr. Guari can be contacted at (561) 366-9099. Additional information about Murray & Guari Trial Attorneys PL may be obtained from the firm’s website at www.murrayguari.com.