Deceased pilot would have wanted financial penalties on aircraft museums

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Dave Taylor
“It’s with a heavy heart that we file suit...." ..."It’s what Len would want.”

"Root’s family is asking for over $1 million in damages..."

"Root’s family is suing the Commemorative Air Force, along with the organizations that owned and maintained the two aircraft — the American Airpower Heritage Flying Museum Inc. and the American Airpower Heritage Museum Inc."

 
Not surprised, but curious what the basis is of their claim that the air boss was not qualified. Hope they aren't paying Gryder as an 'expert'.
 
“What so and so would have wanted” has to be one of the most abused phrases following someone’s passing. It seems like it’s used to justify greed by survivors more often than not.
 
Hmmm… there ain’t much “preventing” anything in that organization. Been there, tried that. This is about all that’s left, sadly.
 
I for one, am glad the idiocy of the so-called deconfliction plan is being litigated in a court of law, even if the wagon circlers feel the wrong people are being sued.
Personally, I don't necessarily think they are suing the wrong people. Anyone who didn't think the CAF would be sued had their head in the sand.

I'm just curious as to the basis of the claim that the Air Boss was not qualified.
 
Maybe some CAF pilots on here can correct me but I’d be really surprised pilots in the airshow didn’t have to sign waivers of some sort somewhere along the way protecting CAF from such suits. It’ll be interesting to see if such a waiver does any good, if he signed one.
 
Maybe some CAF pilots on here can correct me but I’d be really surprised pilots in the airshow didn’t have to sign waivers of some sort somewhere along the way protecting CAF from such suits. It’ll be interesting to see if such a waiver does any good, if he signed one.
 
Maybe some CAF pilots on here can correct me but I’d be really surprised pilots in the airshow didn’t have to sign waivers of some sort somewhere along the way protecting CAF from such suits. It’ll be interesting to see if such a waiver does any good, if he signed one.
Who in their right mind would agree to sign such a waiver?
 
Who in their right mind would agree to sign such a waiver?
Anyone who wants to participate.

Just like everyone who ever takes a scenic plane ride.

The reality is those waivers don't grant magic immunity from lawsuits. If the operator is negligent, a good lawyer can pierce the protection of a waiver.
 
Who in their right mind would agree to sign such a waiver?
Everybody in most cases. For example, most helicopter air tours require a signed waiver or you don't go. Now whether it provides protection depends on the level of neglect and the state you're in. But as noted above a crack plaintiff attorney will find a weakness in the waiver if one exists.
 
“What so and so would have wanted” has to be one of the most abused phrases following someone’s passing. It seems like it’s used to justify greed by survivors more often than not.
Next in line is, "I just don't want this to happen to anyone else."
 
Next in line is, "I just don't want this to happen to anyone else."
To be honest, that would be my desire from the grave if something like that happened to me. There are lessons to be learned, but those won't come from a courtroom.
 
Everybody in most cases. For example, most helicopter air tours require a signed waiver or you don't go. Now whether it provides protection depends on the level of neglect and the state you're in. But as noted above a crack plaintiff attorney will find a weakness in the waiver if one exists.
It's been near forty years now but, an attorney had the waiver thrown out in the first 10 minutes. "My client would have never signed the waiver if they thought it was so dangerous." The court immediately agreed.
 
Reminds me of the sign from the quarry and debris trucks here, with that quintessential (paraphrase): "stay behind 200 feet, we ain't responsible for the ish that comes off this poorly secured truck".

Firstly, in font that requires 20 feet to read, but second, it always triggers that "*chuckle* yeh, says you...." in my head as I'm actively dodging crap falling off and onto the Donbas minefield that is I-35. "444-4444!" signs at every mile marker to add an even more ironic twist to it, those familiar with the broke @ss city of San Antonio will know the reference.
 
Maybe some CAF pilots on here can correct me but I’d be really surprised pilots in the airshow didn’t have to sign waivers of some sort somewhere along the way protecting CAF from such suits. It’ll be interesting to see if such a waiver does any good, if he signed one.
You can't waive someone else's rights away.
Even with waiver, gross negligence (which they will almost certainly argue) can't be waived.
 
an attorney had the waiver thrown out in the first 10 minutes
A number of states regulate the content and format of these liability waivers. Any discrepancy gets them thrown. But the ones I'm familiar with all list the potential risks/dangers along with the waiver verbiage. Regardless, its been my understanding they were never meant to protect from all levels of neglagence like mentioned above. However in my limited experience I have seen them work on the lower end usually where there was no loss of life or serious injury.
 
How many of you dismayed by this suit are equally dismayed by CAF collecting insurance money on the destroyed aircraft? These people suffered a loss. If someone else was culpable, why shouldn't they be compensated?
 
How many of you dismayed by this suit are equally dismayed by CAF collecting insurance money on the destroyed aircraft? These people suffered a loss. If someone else was culpable, why shouldn't they be compensated?
Why should we be dismayed?

The lawsuit will prove a jury's opinion about whether or not there should be damages from certain parties, and lawyers from both sides will get to present evidence. I hope they don't just want money. If they do, they probably will just want the defendants to settle... which IMO would prove that it's not about safety but about money. If they are serious about safety, even if they are wrong, they must not settle out of court.
 
How many of you dismayed by this suit are equally dismayed by CAF collecting insurance money on the destroyed aircraft? These people suffered a loss. If someone else was culpable, why shouldn't they be compensated?

Why would it be wrong to collect insurance payments as long as the terms of the policy are complied with?

Insurance can only be collected when someone else is culpable?
 
And the family lawsuit is also their way of targeting the CAF's and airshow's insurer. More than likely it's the beginning part of the negotiation process, which will ultimately get settled out of court There is also a statute of limitations to file these types of lawsuits, which varies by state, so just getting the official paperwork filed. No one should be surprised by this
 
Reminds me of the sign from the quarry and debris trucks here, with that quintessential (paraphrase): "stay behind 200 feet, we ain't responsible for the ish that comes off this poorly secured truck".

Firstly, in font that requires 20 feet to read, but second, it always triggers that "*chuckle* yeh, says you...." in my head as I'm actively dodging crap falling off and onto the Donbas minefield that is I-35. "444-4444!" signs at every mile marker to add an even more ironic twist to it, those familiar with the broke @ss city of San Antonio will know the reference.
The sign says "Not responsible for debris coming from the road" or thereabouts. True. But the rocks flying off your un-tarped truck... Yeah, you're responsible. The beeyotch is proving where the big 'ol rock that took out your windshield came from.

Had a busted windshield one day while riding in an adjacent lane to a cement truck. As I gained on him, it became apparent that he had a handful of cement mix (including gravel) sitting on his bumper that was moving with every bump in the road. He hit the right bump at the right time and the mass of cement came off his bumper, landed on the interstate and went off like a grenade, trashing my windshield in the process.

I got the number off of the cement truck (truck #10X), got the telephone number, got the approximate mile marker, and called them. New windshield was installed pronto in the parking lot of my employer. The gravel chips on my front bumper, hood, etc? Well...
 
Anyone who wants to participate.

Just like everyone who ever takes a scenic plane ride.

The reality is those waivers don't grant magic immunity from lawsuits. If the operator is negligent, a good lawyer can pierce the protection of a waiver.

Everybody in most cases. For example, most helicopter air tours require a signed waiver or you don't go. Now whether it provides protection depends on the level of neglect and the state you're in. But as noted above a crack plaintiff attorney will find a weakness in the waiver if one exists.
Oops. I misread Liewtrah's post; I thought he was talking about the airboss signing something that would make him or her solely responsible if something went wrong. Disregard.
 
Maybe some CAF pilots on here can correct me but I’d be really surprised pilots in the airshow didn’t have to sign waivers of some sort somewhere along the way protecting CAF from such suits. It’ll be interesting to see if such a waiver does any good, if he signed one.
Waivers do not protect against gross negligence. I am a bit surprised the FAA isn’t included because they authorized the show.
 
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Why should we be dismayed?
Nobody should be; it's entirely proper.
The lawsuit will prove a jury's opinion about whether or not there should be damages from certain parties, and lawyers from both sides will get to present evidence. I hope they don't just want money. If they do, they probably will just want the defendants to settle... which IMO would prove that it's not about safety but about money. If they are serious about safety, even if they are wrong, they must not settle out of court.
That's just silly. I'm not really even sure what your logic is, but certainly a desire to increase safety can be a strong motivation for levying financial consequences against irresponsible parties, and that's no less valid of it comes through a settlement rather than a jury verdict.
 
That's just silly. I'm not really even sure what your logic is, but certainly a desire to increase safety can be a strong motivation for levying financial consequences against irresponsible parties, and that's no less valid of it comes through a settlement rather than a jury verdict.
Sorry, but it is not silly. If you want to have testimony given, and the facts out for the public to see, it has to go to the courtroom. If it's just about money, it's rubbish, and a shame. Plenty of innocent parties have settled out of court because it was actually cheaper to settle.
 
Sorry, but it is not silly. If you want to have testimony given, and the facts out for the public to see, it has to go to the courtroom.
Where did I or the plaintiffs day that's what they want? Investigating the facts for public consumption seems to be the NTSB's job.

If it's just about money, it's rubbish, and a shame. Plenty of innocent parties have settled out of court because it was actually cheaper to settle.
Again, you fail to understand the purpose of monetary penalties.

If the parties responsible for taking unnecessary and unwarranted risks are never faced with exposure to the costs of those risks, they'll continue to take them. Compensatory damages put the external costs back on those responsible for the harm, and punitive damages (where available) punish the malefactors to discourage those who might think the pure risk-adjusted exposure is "worth it."

Attaining these goals, and sending a message to others who might be tempted to behave in similar reckless fashion, does not depend on whether the penalties come from a jury or a settlement.
 
that sounds wonderful... until you realize that only people with money get sued.
 
In my opinion, the liability for this particular horrendous incident lies with the airboss, and the PIC of the P-63. I suppose I could see the CAF being liable if there had been a maintenance issue...but this is solidly pilot error and a **** poor (or nonexistant) deconfliction plan. The CAF liability seems to be a bit of a stretch to me, but I'm not a lawyer, nor did I stay at a Holiday Inn Express last night.
 
In my opinion, the liability for this particular horrendous incident lies with the airboss, and the PIC of the P-63. I suppose I could see the CAF being liable if there had been a maintenance issue...but this is solidly pilot error and a **** poor (or nonexistant) deconfliction plan. The CAF liability seems to be a bit of a stretch to me, but I'm not a lawyer, nor did I stay at a Holiday Inn Express last night.
Keep in mind that the B-17 also had crew observers on board, (which is a thing I actually think is appropriate in this case) and they may have actually been the last of the swiss cheese holes. I wouldn't be surprised to see a four or five-way split from the NTSB decision.
 
In my opinion, the liability for this particular horrendous incident lies with the airboss, and the PIC of the P-63.
I’m not at all convinced any blame rests with that pilot. He was in formation and therefore his focus should be entirely on his Lead. He literally wasn’t expected to be monitoring the whereabouts of any other plane, his engine gauges, or anything else other than Lead. Debatably he has some “blame” for being out of position but IMHO he wasn’t so egregiously out of position as to be responsible for the accident - IF standard separation parameters had been maintained between the fighters and the bombers. I personally think this is all on the Air Boss.
 
The CAF liability seems to be a bit of a stretch to me,....


I disagree. This was the CAF's show, airplanes, and personnel. They chose which planes would be flying together and they were responsible for keeping their planes and people safe. They own this, whether they want it or not.

The CAF keeps sending me donation requests telling me how important the organization is to the preservation of historical aircraft. Well that bunch of (censored) just destroyed two of those historical aircraft and killed a half dozen people. And they haven't had the guts to step up and accept responsibility for what happened to their people and their airplanes at their show. Looks like it's going to take a court to show them that this lies at their door.
 
I’m not at all convinced any blame rests with that pilot. He was in formation and therefore his focus should be entirely on his Lead. He literally wasn’t expected to be monitoring the whereabouts of any other plane, his engine gauges, or anything else other than Lead. Debatably he has some “blame” for being out of position but IMHO he wasn’t so egregiously out of position as to be responsible for the accident - IF standard separation parameters had been maintained between the fighters and the bombers. I personally think this is all on the Air Boss.
I don’t buy the formation piece. The mindset that “I was in formation, so deconfliction isn’t my problem” is specific to civilian formation flying. In the military it’s “fly formation, don’t hit me, but also keep SA to things around you and don’t let me fly you into a bad situation”. Even the most junior of wingmen are expected to have situational awareness when they’re flying -2/3/4. Perhaps a byproduct of the Thunderbirds T-38 mishap. But in my opinion flying formation (especially a deployed formation like they were in) does nothing to absolve the PIC of flight path deconfliction duties. I could see that argument if they were in parade (fingertip) formation, but even then the wingmen should be scanning lead, the outside environment, and their instruments, workload permitting.
 
I don’t buy the formation piece. The mindset that “I was in formation, so deconfliction isn’t my problem” is specific to civilian formation flying. In the military it’s “fly formation, don’t hit me, but also keep SA to things around you and don’t let me fly you into a bad situation”. Even the most junior of wingmen are expected to have situational awareness when they’re flying -2/3/4. Perhaps a byproduct of the Thunderbirds T-38 mishap. But in my opinion flying formation (especially a deployed formation like they were in) does nothing to absolve the PIC of flight path deconfliction duties. I could see that argument if they were in parade (fingertip) formation, but even then the wingmen should be scanning lead, the outside environment, and their instruments, workload permitting.
That’s the thing, though. If they had stayed in the echelon formation that they were in as they entered that last turn, the accident wouldn’t have happened. They were literally just finishing switching to trail for the pass.
 
Half Fast, I tend to agree with what you say.

Perhaps the donors that paid to restore and maintain those airplanes should sue to get their money back, from the hull insurance coverage?

I stood in line for quite a while for a ride in a B 17. The wait was wasted, as the Captain took the Captains prerogative, and canceled further flights that day, because he was tired. He was a WW 2 pilot who had bombed Germany, and in his '80's. I stayed in line, and complimented him on the best tail dragger landing that I had seen in years. His comment on that? "It is hard to do that when you are getting tired, and I have to protect the plane and passengers.

A true Pilot In Command, who recognized his duties.

He retired from flying the CAF aircraft shortly after that, with the announcement that he was quitting while he was still capable, just too much riding on his skills. I wonder if he had been pressured to "Fly one more tour, we have people in line waiting".

I am prouder of having met him than if I had flown with him.

The Geezer has made many such decisions in the last two decades. They are hard to make, pride is one of the big enemies of good decisions here.
 
That’s the thing, though. If they had stayed in the echelon formation that they were in as they entered that last turn, the accident wouldn’t have happened. They were literally just finishing switching to trail for the pass.
None of which is of any consequence beyond “gee whiz”. The PIC of the P-63 failed to maintain flight path deconfliction. A contributing factor was the lack of a viable deconfliction plan. But “he was flying form” doesn’t absolve the PIC of anything.
 
Maybe some CAF pilots on here can correct me but I’d be really surprised pilots in the airshow didn’t have to sign waivers of some sort somewhere along the way protecting CAF from such suits. It’ll be interesting to see if such a waiver does any good, if he signed one.
IMO it might be the only thing that the waiver is good for.. it sort of nullifies the argument in the title... This is what he would have wanted.

Brian
 
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