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Jonathan Dietch
General Member

There is nothing new about the exclusions in the USHPA liability policy and there are still some loopholes in it that cover pilots who should be excluded from coverage. When a pilot commits bodily injury or property damage to someone who has not waived their rights, the injured party simply asks the pilot for compensation for their loss. If the pilot is a responsible human being then they pay out of their own pocket. and the matter is settled. Yes, the USHPA SOPs mandate that the pilot file a report. Whether or not these are filed is a separate matter. Assuming the pilot fails to own up to the costs of their error then the injured party files suit against the pilot and not USHPA, CSS or RRRG. If the pilot is lucky the RRRG will supply an attorney to represent or defend the pilot in pre-trial and trial proceedings. If RRRG fails to represent the pilot and the pilot is found liable then the pilot may turn around and sue RRRG for breach of contract or other malfeasance.

When I fly X/C and land on someone’s crops and damage their produce or fence, etc. I offer to pay out of pocket for the injury they suffered from my unintended accident. Let’s say I’m landing out somewhere and a freak gust sends me through a windshield or living room window they may be covered by their auto or homeowners insurance policy and I may be off the hook other than for their deductible. As long as I pay their out of pocket from my pocket and make peace, everyone’s happy. But this is abnormal behavior in this country where people of all walks of life shirk their responsibility.

The RRRG is for unforeseeable accidents and not a cushion for intentional stupidity. We are each ultimately  self-insured and the RRRG is going to do everything in its power not to pay out unless our accident was in strict compliance with  the SOPs and FAR103. In other words, the accident needs to be an act of G-d and not a dumb-ass stunt gone awry or other fool’s errand. It is in everyone’s best interest to be on friendly terms with everyone we encounter whether we like the other person or not.

We operate in the Wild West and that’s the way it should be. This means get along with your neighbor for gosh sake.  Say “Howdy” and get to know one another. Don’t be adversarial. you will lose and we all will lose. Their are no posses or lynching parties. Any pissed off pilot can ruin it for everyone else and then go fly some other place leaving a mess behind. Get to know you neighbor even if it’s just for one minute. It can make all the difference.