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How safe is it, really?



 
 
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  #221  
Old December 7th 04, 07:02 PM
Michael
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the fact that I signed a document that showed that I understood ALL
the
risks, even the absurdly remote ones (like the pilot crashing on
purpose) means that she'd never win.

Wrong.


Close enough. Nobody ever has won.

Michael

  #222  
Old December 7th 04, 07:02 PM
Michael
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the fact that I signed a document that showed that I understood ALL
the
risks, even the absurdly remote ones (like the pilot crashing on
purpose) means that she'd never win.

Wrong.


Close enough. Nobody ever has won.

Michael

  #223  
Old December 7th 04, 07:21 PM
Michael
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I'd like to see some stats on accidents vs. lawsuits before I
believe that
dead skydivers' families are that different from dead pilots'

families.

I doubt they are. It's just a question of likelihood of winning the

suit,
which I suppose gets back to Michael's point. But I maintain that the
general culture of lawyers versus responsibility remains the real

problem.

First off, I think they are different. Skydiving has a very different
demographic than flying. While it is not any more likely to kill you
than flying (statistically, the annual per-participant fatality rate is
actually slightly lower) it is perceived as more dangerous. It is also
more physically demanding, and much cheaper. Thus you typically get a
much younger participant, and one who is far more honest about the
risks. It's not as extreme as it once was, when getting married meant
ceremonially burning your gear, but a skydiver with a family to support
and a non-jumping spouse is still more the exception than the rule. A
spouse who is a jumper is highly unlikely to sue, and one who is
childless and young is far less likely to need to sue.

The likelihood of winning the suit is also a lot lower. Waivers are
the norm rather than the exception, and they are GOOD waivers. They
have been upheld as valid many times (Hulsey v. Elsinore was a landmark
case - in California of all places) and more importantly, they have
been upheld as a matter of law - meaning the judge has not allowed the
case to go to the jury. That makes winning much cheaper and far more
certain. Hulsey v. Elsinore was actually appealed, and the directed
ruling was upheld on appeal as well.

It's certainly the case that we have a litigious culture, but the fact
is that the tort system is really the only realistic means of redress
for corporate malfeasance (the Pinto comes to mind). I fully support
our current system in its present form (it being the best of a very bad
lot) when it comes to normal consumer products - the necessities of
life. Caveat emptor is just not realistic when it comes to basics such
as housing, transportation, medical care, food, or employment.
However, I believe a different standard is reasonable for elective
high-risk activities.

As long as you present the case that small private airplanes are safe
and practical transportation, don't be surprised if the industry is
held to the same standards as airliners, trains, and automobiles. Once
you accept that they are simply dangerous toys, you can hope for some
relief. I am hoping that light sport aircraft, which will not be
authorized for any commercial use, will enjoy a status similar to
parachutes. That certainly seems to be the case with the certification
process for the aircraft (if not the airmen).

Of course in reality some of us DO use the planes as practical business
transportation, and paradoxically that seems to be much safer than
using the airplanes as toys (so much for the paradigm that never flying
when you really need to be there must be safer) but even then, we are
aware that the increased speed and convenience comes with a price not
only in cash but in safety.

Michael

  #224  
Old December 7th 04, 07:21 PM
Michael
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Default

I'd like to see some stats on accidents vs. lawsuits before I
believe that
dead skydivers' families are that different from dead pilots'

families.

I doubt they are. It's just a question of likelihood of winning the

suit,
which I suppose gets back to Michael's point. But I maintain that the
general culture of lawyers versus responsibility remains the real

problem.

First off, I think they are different. Skydiving has a very different
demographic than flying. While it is not any more likely to kill you
than flying (statistically, the annual per-participant fatality rate is
actually slightly lower) it is perceived as more dangerous. It is also
more physically demanding, and much cheaper. Thus you typically get a
much younger participant, and one who is far more honest about the
risks. It's not as extreme as it once was, when getting married meant
ceremonially burning your gear, but a skydiver with a family to support
and a non-jumping spouse is still more the exception than the rule. A
spouse who is a jumper is highly unlikely to sue, and one who is
childless and young is far less likely to need to sue.

The likelihood of winning the suit is also a lot lower. Waivers are
the norm rather than the exception, and they are GOOD waivers. They
have been upheld as valid many times (Hulsey v. Elsinore was a landmark
case - in California of all places) and more importantly, they have
been upheld as a matter of law - meaning the judge has not allowed the
case to go to the jury. That makes winning much cheaper and far more
certain. Hulsey v. Elsinore was actually appealed, and the directed
ruling was upheld on appeal as well.

It's certainly the case that we have a litigious culture, but the fact
is that the tort system is really the only realistic means of redress
for corporate malfeasance (the Pinto comes to mind). I fully support
our current system in its present form (it being the best of a very bad
lot) when it comes to normal consumer products - the necessities of
life. Caveat emptor is just not realistic when it comes to basics such
as housing, transportation, medical care, food, or employment.
However, I believe a different standard is reasonable for elective
high-risk activities.

As long as you present the case that small private airplanes are safe
and practical transportation, don't be surprised if the industry is
held to the same standards as airliners, trains, and automobiles. Once
you accept that they are simply dangerous toys, you can hope for some
relief. I am hoping that light sport aircraft, which will not be
authorized for any commercial use, will enjoy a status similar to
parachutes. That certainly seems to be the case with the certification
process for the aircraft (if not the airmen).

Of course in reality some of us DO use the planes as practical business
transportation, and paradoxically that seems to be much safer than
using the airplanes as toys (so much for the paradigm that never flying
when you really need to be there must be safer) but even then, we are
aware that the increased speed and convenience comes with a price not
only in cash but in safety.

Michael

  #225  
Old December 7th 04, 08:45 PM
G.R. Patterson III
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Default



zatatime wrote:

Do you know if a mechanic named Bob Hayes is still down there?


Don't know.

George Patterson
The desire for safety stands against every great and noble enterprise.
  #226  
Old December 8th 04, 05:07 PM
Dylan Smith
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In article .com, Michael
wrote:
Nope. It was one of the terms of the waiver - that if you sue, or
anyone sues on your behalf, you agree to pay the costs of the defense.


Ah, that does work then. I keep hearing people say "But you can't sign
away the rights of your relatives to sue" - sure you can't - but if the
waiver says "I hold harmless AND INDEMNIFY..." - that means if your
relatives do sue, your estate gets to pay anyway because you agreed to
indemnify.

--
Dylan Smith, Castletown, Isle of Man
Flying: http://www.dylansmith.net
Frontier Elite Universe: http://www.alioth.net
"Maintain thine airspeed, lest the ground come up and smite thee"
  #227  
Old December 9th 04, 02:29 PM
Michael
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Dylan Smith wrote:
Ah, that does work then. I keep hearing people say "But you can't

sign
away the rights of your relatives to sue" - sure you can't - but if

the
waiver says "I hold harmless AND INDEMNIFY..." - that means if your
relatives do sue, your estate gets to pay anyway because you agreed

to
indemnify.


Well, it CAN work. If you just say "and indemnify" then it very likely
may not, because the judge is likely to assume that the average person
doesn't know what this means. But if you spell it out in plain english
(american, really) as well, then the judge is likely to see it
differently.

This is one of the points discussed in Hulsey v. Elsinore. Really
worth reading - it gives great insight into how judges think, and the
decision is quite comprehensible to the layman.

Michael

  #228  
Old December 10th 04, 06:01 AM
Jay Honeck
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If you refuel after each flight to *full* tanks, as suggested, chances are
you will be overload on the next flight unless you drain some fuel. Maybe
not if you're the only pilot who flyes the plane and you have a certain
loading pattern, but certainly in a club (or FBO) environment.


Your club needs to get a Pathfinder or Dakota.

Full tanks (84 gallons), four 200 pound guys, plus luggage -- no problemo!

;-)
--
Jay Honeck
Iowa City, IA
Pathfinder N56993
www.AlexisParkInn.com
"Your Aviation Destination"


 




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