Student Pilot having a fatal crash?

MVSW

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One of my best friends who fly's corporate, was in Waukesha WI (UES) yesterday. He said that he heard the folks in the fbo talking about a student pilot that was on his 3rd SOLO flight, had a fatal crash. Just wanted to know if anyone knows anything about this? This is very sad to the family and the CFI. I wonder if the CFI will get sued or lose in ratings.
 
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UnAnswerd

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I've always wondered about the potential liability of the CFI. Just because a student is involved in an accident, doesn't by any means indicate that he received sub-standard training. It would only be logical to point to the CFI, but there are other factors. Can you really place blame if a student crashes?
 

Bongo

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I guess you could go back through training files and the like and see if there was a consistent problem that may have possibly led to the crash. Although this would be based on speculation only.

In theory the CFI could be held responsible if the conditions were far outside the realm of any reasonable student pilot. Additionally, if there was a company or insurance restriction someone could be held responsible.
 

FN FAL

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UnAnswerd said:
I've always wondered about the potential liability of the CFI. Just because a student is involved in an accident, doesn't by any means indicate that he received sub-standard training. It would only be logical to point to the CFI, but there are other factors. Can you really place blame if a student crashes?
Greg Gorak has a great log book for CFI's to use when teaching students. For me to describe it, would be foolish, but suffice to say that it is basically a CFI checklist for training, with a white copy and a yellow copy. The student signs each page with the instructor and is given the yellow copy for his records, the CFI keeps the white copy for his records.

http://www.pilotstore.com/store/item.asp?ITEM_ID=1058

Greg Gorak also hosts Gaits Aviation Seminars for CFI refresher clinics...He is the "proverbial" Mac Daddy, of CFI's.
 

Crimson03

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The Fellow who taught my last firc used to do basically the same thing but using a PTS. He would initial and have the student initial after everything he taught and then kept the PTS.
 

HMR

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Keep Good Records

I had a student (and very good friend) who died in a crash. I got him his private, instrument and multi-comm. He had about 500TT. Against my advice, he bought a C421. I refused to fly it with him until he went to SimCom or FSI. Instead, he found a "highly experienced" 421 instructor and spent 100hrs flying CAVU x/country's to meet the insurance mins. He once told me the plane was so comfortable "the instructor sleeps in back".:rolleyes: Without going into detail, the crash was a direct result of poor aircraft-specific training.

After the accident, there was a brief period when the sleepy instructor tried to direct the Feds toward me. That idea fizzled when I was able to produce thorough, very detailed records of every lesson we ever flew and signed by my student.
 

BD King

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FN FAL said:
Greg Gorak has a great log book for CFI's to use when teaching students. For me to describe it, would be foolish, but suffice to say that it is basically a CFI checklist for training, with a white copy and a yellow copy. The student signs each page with the instructor and is given the yellow copy for his records, the CFI keeps the white copy for his records.

http://www.pilotstore.com/store/item.asp?ITEM_ID=1058

Greg Gorak also hosts Gaits Aviation Seminars for CFI refresher clinics...He is the "proverbial" Mac Daddy, of CFI's.

Good stuff. I have more than I want to admit, time as a CFI. Let's just say it is over 6000 hours. I think I may have set a record one day as I soled seven students. ( If anyone else as soled more in one day, I would like to hear) But that is another story. Time progressed and I became squirilley with the liability crap, did the corporate stuff and now only do the instrument comp and bfr stuff.

www.bdkingpress.com
 

Tarzan

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HMR said:
He once told me the plane was so comfortable "the instructor sleeps in back".:rolleyes: Without going into detail, the crash was a direct result of poor aircraft-specific training.

After the accident, there was a brief period when the sleepy instructor tried to direct the Feds toward me. That idea fizzled when I was able to produce thorough, very detailed records of every lesson we ever flew and signed by my student.

I hope the guy that slept while giving instruction to circumnavigate insurance regs, got fragged. Sleeps and tries to pin it on someone else. Dirt.
 

midlifeflyer

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FN FAL said:
Greg Gorak has a great log book for CFI's to use when teaching students. For me to describe it, would be foolish, but suffice to say that it is basically a CFI checklist for training, with a white copy and a yellow copy.
I use something similar. Mine is kneeboard-sized so that I can check things off and make notes in flight.

On the assigning blame point, I know of only two cases involving CFI liability for a soloing student.

One is a court case from 1958. A flight school was successfully sued when a student pilot took off with the control lock on. Bad case in that it goes off on a strict liability for student errors theory. Good news is that I don't think any other case has followed up on it.

The second is this NTSB report:
http://www.ntsb.gov/ntsb/brief.asp?ev_id=20001213X28042&key=1
 

Donsa320

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MVSW said:
One of my best friends who fly's corporate, was in Waukesha WI (UES) yesterday. He said that he heard the folks in the fbo talking about a student pilot that was on his 3rd SOLO flight, had a fatal crash. Just wanted to know if anyone knows anything about this? This is very sad to the family and the CFI. I wonder if the CFI will get sued or lose in ratings.

Ya know, it is kind of disturbing to see that automatically blame must be assumed to be placed on someone other than the person responsible...the pilot. The airplane went in almost vertically. It could have been the result of many things. Pilot error, mechanical failure, pilot incapacitation, suicide, weather...the list goes on. I would place blame on the instructor at the very end of a very, very long list of probable causes.

~DC
 

MVSW

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Donsa320 said:
Ya know, it is kind of disturbing to see that automatically blame must be assumed to be placed on someone other than the person responsible...the pilot. The airplane went in almost vertically. It could have been the result of many things. Pilot error, mechanical failure, pilot incapacitation, suicide, weather...the list goes on. I would place blame on the instructor at the very end of a very, very long list of probable causes.

~DC


Iam was not saying that it was the CFI's fault. I was just wondering if they would sue the CFI. If someone can sue McDonalds for making them fat, then why would the parents not sue the CFI.
 

FN FAL

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MVSW said:
Iam was not saying that it was the CFI's fault. I was just wondering if they would sue the CFI. If someone can sue McDonalds for making them fat, then why would the parents not sue the CFI.
That's why it's a good idea to keep good records and follow a syllabus...like the FAA's or an approved 141 syllabus.

Sadly, people can sue for anything, but I doubt many CFI's have deep pockets.

Here's another thing that you might want to consider, especially if you are a "contractor" at an FBO or are freelancing...get schooled on incorporating. I'm sure any CFI that owns his own plane is already way ahead on this, but you have to try and contain liability as much as you can.

Good record keeping and professional flight instructing methods help...as does incorporation.

I have a corporation and use it for several things. Should I CFI again or decide to do pilot services, I may file another one just for that.
 

midlifeflyer

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FN FAL said:
Here's another thing that you might want to consider, especially if you are a "contractor" at an FBO or are freelancing...get schooled on incorporating.
What will that do for you?

While there are definitely some benefits to creating a limited liability entity for a business, beware of the common wisdom that this will somehow protect you or your personal assets if there is an accident in which you are assigned blame. AFAIK, that is =not true= in =any= state of the US. If, for example, there were an accident during a training flight and fault were assigned to you, the corporate or other limited liability entity would =not= protect you or your house, car, etc. Most of the liability protection benefits don't kick in unless there is someone other than you in the business, and, even then, it can only insulates you personally for something the =other= person does.
 

FN FAL

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midlifeflyer said:
What will that do for you?

While there are definitely some benefits to creating a limited liability entity for a business, beware of the common wisdom that this will somehow protect you or your personal assets if there is an accident in which you are assigned blame. AFAIK, that is =not true= in =any= state of the US. If, for example, there were an accident during a training flight and fault were assigned to you, the corporate or other limited liability entity would =not= protect you or your house, car, etc. Most of the liability protection benefits don't kick in unless there is someone other than you in the business, and, even then, it can only insulates you personally for something the =other= person does.
That is true, if they can prove NEGLIGENCE, they can pierce the corporate veil to sue...and that is at it should be. Negligent CEO's should go down with the ship.

Having an LLC isn't going to protect the holder of an LLC from a criminal negligence trial either.

Moral of the story, protect yourself as much as you can and don't be the NEGLIGENT one.
 

midlifeflyer

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FN FAL said:
That is true, if they can prove NEGLIGENCE, they can pierce the corporate veil to sue...and that is at it should be.
Just being a bit hyper-technical here, so forgive me. But misunderstanding what organizational limited liability means and doesn't mean is so widespread and potentially disastrous to the person who thinks there is protection where there is none.

An individual's responsibility for his own actions in the tort sense (causing injury to person or property by acting intentionally or failing to act reasonably) is not a "piercing" issue. There's no veil to begin with. The liability that these entities limit tend to be exclusively contractual.

That would mean that if the hypothetical dead student's family decided to sue =exclusively= on the theory that the student had a =contract= to receive quality instruction, the individual instructor would be out if the contract were with a corporate entity. But as soon as we move to "this CFI gave bad instruction" we are back to individual responsibility.
 

FN FAL

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What I said, "Don't be negligent".
 

NuGuy

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Heyas all,

In any kind of case like this, everyone will get sued. Negligent or not, it will cost $$$ to defend yourself.

Most CFIs escape because there are no assets. I don't know a single professional pilot who has more than 2 nickels to rub together that does primary training of any kind.

Nu
 

wrxpilot

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NuGuy said:
Heyas all,

In any kind of case like this, everyone will get sued. Negligent or not, it will cost $$$ to defend yourself.

Most CFIs escape because there are no assets. I don't know a single professional pilot who has more than 2 nickels to rub together that does primary training of any kind.

Nu

'tis true. My Uncle is a captain w/ a major and is also my CFI. He taught a lot of students while he was in the air force and loved it. He told me he'd love to do it again, but the liability is WAY too high for him. So now he just teaches family.
 
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