USHPA7 wrote: ↑
Sun Aug 12, 2018 8:44 pm
So carry insurance and guarantee that land owners will get sued and in the case of the RRRG it goes belly up. Dan Poynter once told me that the only parachute company in the US that ever got sued was the only one that carried product liability insurance. I found out yesterday that High Energy Sports, maker of HG harnesses for 30 years and now a big business of making many different types of parachutes for commercial and US government, plus amusement ride harnesses, zip line harnesses, etc., doesn't carry liability insurance. There's a reason for that.
The waiver makes it a quick case in favor of the land owner. Another function USHPA should have is a list of volunteer pro bono HG or PG pilot lawyers who will defend any land owner without charge.
Sorry to disagree but there is no valid argument against land owners getting liability waivers. That's why USHPA requires them - duh.
I am aware that many smaller aviation companies do not carry liability, simply because aviation is a relatively small, close-knit industry (especially GA), and most do not own the properties upon which they do business (for good reason). If and when they find themselves summoned, it is reasonably easy to fold up operations and move to a different location. Perhaps change their name, officers, etc. This is what I've been told a few times by different people within the industry.
The big difference with land owners is the obvious one. Yeah, it's the valuable land that can't be folded up and hauled away. It's there for the pickin'. If the owner(s) can't pay the court's ransom, then they have to sell their properties, perhaps more. There is nowhere to hide. This is what the ushpa provides: competent attorney(s) whom are very familiar with HG to provide a solid measure of legal buffer (a strong threat of an outsider having a big hurdle to prove their case), as well as the proper insurance to protect the owner in cases where the defense is thin. Without the promise of financial and legal protection, most owners would not present their lands to the use of HG/PG pilots, rated or not.
Bicyclists typically do not have life-threatening accidents. Nor equestrians, etc. When they do have accidents, these are typically not within the lime-light of all to witness as is the case of most HG/PG accidents.
Most people are strictly land dwellers. They don't fly. They may believe that only air-transport is reasonably safe. People that fly flimsy kites and bags must be nuts. So unless landowners are closely tied to our sports, they most likely will have misgivings without the tangible assurances that help show we are responsible enough for them to trust.
This is where the ushpa is the most valuable. To show that WE are responsible enough to trust as a group. Without a substantial, nation-wide group of pilots and a robust support system to provide us clout, we are merely individuals without much reason for trust. Especially for such a seemingly risky venture as flying manned kites.
Pro Bono attorneys:
Would you want a freebie attorney, likely inexperienced in the matters of defending an owner of real property against families of pilots, defending you and your high-value property? I would not! I'd want the best, the most experienced attorney I could find. This is not just a game you play with someone else's hard-earned property. We have to be a responsible group.