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Hold Harmless?

By Ian Brown, Editor, Bits and Pieces, EAA 657159

December 2015 - The EAA has a “Hold Harmless” sales contract for amateur-built “experimental” aircraft (you must be logged into the website to see the contract). You can find it by searching on the EAA website. Its language largely relates to the American market, but you might find it useful if you are a Canadian selling to an American buyer—a high likelihood with today’s exchange rate.

I learned recently that there has NEVER been a successful lawsuit against an amateur aircraft builder since the inception of the EAA in 1953. The risks, therefore, probably amount to what would you have to spend to defend yourself, even if you won the case.

This video shows the result of a pilot or his family believing that there is no guarantee that you won’t be sued when you sell your homebuilt aircraft if the new owner has an accident. The destruction of a perfectly good aircraft doesn’t make a lot of sense. Strangely the N number is taped over in the video. The owner apparently didn’t want to be identified. There are many ways it could have been used for education, for parts, maybe as a tax write-off, so each homebuilder needs to think seriously about the eventual destiny of his or her hard work. The video is sickening to watch. One person I was speaking with put it succinctly by saying “I would say he overreacted to the potential threat.” What do you think? Have you sold a homebuilt? How did you deal with the liability aspect?

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