I Peter Lava a resident of Port Vila do make oath and state as follows:
- THAT I am a volcanologist by trade
- THAT On 09/22/2011, I chartered a private plane owned by the 1st Respondent and flown by the Second Respondent to fly me to from Vila to Ambryn to observe a volcano.
- THAT on 09/29/2011, the Second Respondent came to pick back from Ambryn.
- THAT mid flight, the Second Respondent told me that the plain was running low on fuel
- THAT when I inquired why the Second Respondent informed me that the plane had used more fuel than he expected because of the windy weather
- THAT the Second Respondent also told me that he had looked at the fuel chart for the smaller Cessna, which might have caused confusion.
- THAT the Second Respondent told me that we would instead fly to an airstrip once used during the Second World War at a place known as Takara on the north of the island.
THAT from there the Second Respondent said I would take a truck and spend an extra hour getting to Vila.
- THAT the Second Respondent assured me his employer would pay the cost of the truck from Takara to Vila.
- THAT I was very nervous as we approached landing and the Second Respondent re-assured me to stay calm.
- THAT the airstrip was totally covered in long grass and lined by huts on both sides; it was a busy village. People and animals roamed around.
- THAT he Second Respondent swung across once to warn the people to keep away then came back for the landing; he hit a pig. We had a crash landing.
- THAT my volcanic spectrometer worth $50, 000 US was completely smashed. I annex a certified copy of the receipt marked as “PL1”
- THAT I had to take a truck to Vila at an extra cost of $100 US from my pocket.
15. THAT on the way back I missed my flight to Fiji and had to spend an extra $100 US to switch flights.
16. THAT I also had to stay in a hotel for two nights at $100 US. I annex a certified copy of the receipt marked as “PL2”
17. THAT I state under penalty of perjury that the above is true.
We refer to the matter above in which our client Peter Lava has instructed us to address you as follows:
On 29 September 2011, our client hired one of your planes a Cessna X23 flown by your employee, Dashing Dave Dorito to fly him from Ambrym to Vila. Dashing, so negligently flew the plane that, he caused a negligent crash landing.
Particulars of Negligence
- Flying the plane without adequate fuel
- Failing to check the fuel chart before the flight
- Heading to Takara instead of Vila
- Flying on low fuel to an airstrip last heard of during World War 2
- Attempting to land the plane on a field with people and animals
- Failing to look out for possible objects on the ‘runway’
- Landing in the tall grass
- Hitting a pig as he landed
- Causing the accident
Our client’s equipment was damaged, and he took an extra truck, missed his flight and spent money on a hotel. As a result, our client suffered loss for which he seeks to claim recompense.
Particulars of Loss
- Damages to the Medic volcanic spectrometer $50,000 US
- Truck from Takara to Vila $100 US
- Cost of changing flights $ 100 US
- Hotel for two nights $ 100 US
We therefore demand that you pay our client $53, 000 US within 7 days of this letter. If you fail to pay, we file appropriate suits against you at your enhanced costs. We hope to hear from you.