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Flight liability waiver for personal flights?

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Do any of you private pilots have your friends and family members who fly with you sign a flight waiver to limit the risk of being sued in case of an accident?


A friend of mine who is a pilot makes sure all his passengers sign one before taking them up for a flight.


I'm wondering if I should be doing this now too.

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I see you're in Canada so I'm not sure how sue-happy Canadians are. Here in the US, were extremely sue-happy. Shoot, here in the US, I'd say theres a good possibility you'd be sued even if nothing happens!


The Release Forms have the common sense factor going for them. Even so, the wording contained within these forms is critical. Therefore, if you choose to use them, have a lawyer draft it. Otherwise, don't take friends up and absolutely never take a friend of a friend.


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I'm not an attorney.. But I play one on the Internet...


Release forms can be helpful in court, but they will not keep u from getting sued and are not a cure for what the complainant is going to allegedly claim you did wrong...

A " hold all harmless" won't hold up...it has to be as specific as possible for it to have any standing...so usually too many variables to be effective...


Do it or don't do it...assume some risk if u do...unfortunately that is the legal state we live in.

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The word "reasonable" is supposed to prevail in weighing waivers.


For example ... if an accident or incident is truly no ones fault or there is an injury due to "normal risks" then the waiver can help significantly. However it will not help if true "negligence" can be established or intentional acts of malice.


Here's an example of malice: Before getting in the helicopter the pilot has you sign a waiver saying he is absolutely NOT responsible for any injury. Right after you sign it, he punches you in the face.


Here's an example of negligence: You are in a helicopter and the pilot did not check fuel and runs out of gas.


Here's an example of a normal risk: You get in a helicopter and there is turbulence and your back is injured.

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  • 1 month later...

I actually ended up hiring an aviation lawyer up here in Canada to write one for me as I realized that the jargon might need to be different than one written in the U.S.

That's the best move. Lots of people here have them, but since they spend good money on a lawyer, having them written up (the good one's anyway), it makes you a bit reluctant to hand 'em over freely.

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