Pilot's sordid past questioned after fatal crash

Posted at 7:23 PM, Mar 24, 2016
and last updated 2016-03-24 22:25:40-04

More than six years after David Martz lost his license for in-flight sex acts with a porn star, the local pilot died in a fatal crash that also killed a San Diego father.

Now the passenger's family is hoping a lawsuit will help provide some answers.

“I’m sorry for this event,” said Martz.

Those were the words of an apologetic Martz – known as “Helicopter Dave” back in 2009.

The local pilot told 10News he filmed sex acts with a porn star in a helicopter above San Diego.

The scandal cost him his pilot's license. A year later, he got it back.

Then last August, while flying a Cessna 182 bound for Carlsbad, he crashed in a remote area outside of Santa Barbara, killing himself and Greg Bacino, owner of healthcare company Mutual Alliance.

“It's been very devastating for them to lose their dad,” said lawyer David Casey.

Casey represents two of Bacino's three children.

He says the mayday call from the doomed plane warned of smoke in the cockpit and oil on the windshield, which could point to a mechanical issue, but Casey also calls the pilot's past a giant red flag.

“Given the history that he had, the previous revocations, we think that put the owner of the plane should have been on notice, that he (Martz) should not have been flying,” said Casey.

Casey says Martz's license had been revoked two other times before the infamous flight was made public, including once for landing on a road to pick up rocker Tommy Lee.

But Martz’s problems weren’t over. Casey says Martz was facing yet another revocation hearing before he died for reasons that haven't been released.          

Casey has filed suit against the pilot's estate, the plane’s owner and Pacific Coast Flyers, the flying club that rented the plane.

“For someone to trust him to fly that plane, it's questionable,” said Casey.

Casey says he filed the suit so he can start getting engine records, and find out why he was close to losing his license again.

The final NTSB report on the crash is due out in a few months.

Pacific Coast Flyers declined to comment on the lawsuit.