Liability for Homebuilt Aircraft

While homebuilt aircraft have been the fastest-growing segment of aviation during the 1980s and 1990s, some predict that homebuilt aircraft liability litigation will be a growth industry of the next decade. Accidents like the 1997 Long-EZ crash that killed John Denver raise thorny questions about who's legally liable: the kit manufacturer, amateur builder, or pilot? Can a kit manufacturer or amateur builder escape liability by means of a waiver or disclaimer? Is a homebuilt covered by the GARA 18-year statute of repose? AVweb's aviation law editor Phil Kolczynski sorts through this thicket and offers some concrete suggestions.

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