Pioneer Aviatrix Wang Zheng Lands Another Victory in Lawsuit to…

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In 2016, airline captain Julie Wang made international headlines when she became the first Asian woman to circumnavigate Earth in an airplane, flying solo over a route that was mostly open ocean.

The rulings clear the way for the record-setting pilot’s lawsuit to proceed in Los Angeles Superior Court against Wei Chen’s estate.

The Los Angeles Superior Court has granted an application by pilot Zheng (Julie) Wang to have the executor of the estate of Wei Chen, the promoter of a 2016 global flight event, substituted as the proper party defendant in the lawsuit arising from Chen’s refusal to pay Wang the one million Chinese yuan cash prize he awarded her in November 2016, according to court documents. (Wang et al. v. Chen, L.A.S.C. (BC696119)).

The Executor, Zhaohui Xu, immediately appealed the ruling by filing a Petition for Writ of Mandamus, which writ the Court of Appeals summarily denied.

The rulings clear the way for the lawsuit to proceed in Los Angeles Superior Court against Wei Chen’s estate.

Defendant Chen, Chairman of Los Angeles-based Sun Capital, died on December 20, 2018, when he crashed his Cessna Citation V jet shortly after takeoff from Atlanta's Fulton County Airport, with three senior employees on board. There were no survivors.

In a written decision, Superior Court Judge Dennis Landin rejected the Executor’s argument that the lawsuit should be moved to China as “not pertinent” to continuing the action against Chen's estate. The ruling reiterated that Chen's motion to transfer the case to China had been denied on November 7, 2018. The ruling also rejected the Executor’s argument that plaintiff first submit her claim to probate in California where there is no probate action pending.

On September 19, 2016, Wang Zheng, a regional airline captain and FAA-certified instructor pilot with 3,500 logged flight hours, made international headlines when she became the first Asian woman to complete a global circumnavigation in an aircraft, flying solo around-the-world in a single piston-engine propeller airplane. The West Palm Beach resident is the first Chinese person, and only the eighth woman ever, to fly solo around the world in an airplane.

On November 1, 2016, at an official ceremony and press conference conducted by Wei Chen and AOPA China, Chen conferred upon Wang the title "first Chinese woman to fly around the world," presented her with a giant replica check for one million Chinese yuan ($158,000) and a trophy inscribed, "The Chen Wei Award, One Million Yuan.”

After the publicity subsided, according to court documents, Chen refused to pay the prize, citing a host of excuses, including his inability to receive a tax deduction for his donation.

Jason Wallach of Gipson Hoffman & Pancione, APC, Los Angeles, CA, represented plaintiffs Zheng Wang and China General Aviation LLC.

James Frechter, (347) 681-6688 or

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