Stay Inspired

EAA is your guide to getting the most out of the world of flight and giving your passion room to grow.

Lawsuit Against Van’s Mischaracterizes Homebuilt Community

Court action misrepresents safety measures, certification process

October 21, 2015 - This week’s $35 million lawsuit filed against Van’s Aircraft and a Washington transducer manufacturer has caused a big stir in the aviation and homebuilt community, but is a false reflection of the safety and integrity of homebuilt aircraft, according to EAA’s vice president of advocacy and safety.

The lawsuit, officially filed October 14 in Oregon, arises from a May 2014 accident involving an RV-10 in Oregon where two people died and one was injured. The legal action claims that Van’s and transducer manufacturer FloScan were negligent in connection with an accident. Further, the suit claims that the FAA experimental amateur-built regulations are a “loophole” to provide substandard products.

“Any aircraft accident that leads to loss of life or injury is a tragedy, and our thoughts are with those families involved,” said Sean Elliott, EAA’s vice president of advocacy and safety who has flown and trained pilots in aircraft ranging from homebuilts to World War II-era bombers.

“However, the demands and tone of this suit are nothing short of parasitical. Just as one auto accident does not provide a basis to question automotive engineering in its entirety, this accident cannot be used to measure the value and integrity of the homebuilt aircraft industry. Lawsuits that challenge the industry as a whole do nothing to advance aviation safety. The history of safety and innovation by Van’s and other established homebuilt aircraft designers speak for themselves, as thousands of their aircraft have flown hundreds of thousands of safe flight hours.”

EAA supports the extensive testing performed by Van’s and other similar companies with established models such as the RV series. We will continue to follow this story, which could have implications throughout the homebuilt community.

To provide a better user experience, EAA uses cookies. To review EAA's data privacy policy or adjust your privacy settings please visit: Data and Privacy Policy.