Letter: Landowner liabilities?

By Dave Sclair

A reader says he is a new pilot living in Wisconsin on a farm with a private 3,000 foot grass strip. The strip isn’t listed on any charts and he wonders about liability as it relates to accidents, etc. on the private strip. Are there any publications that spell out landowner responsibilities and liabilities?

I don’t think you will find any publication that is going to spell out what you are specifically looking for. I suspect you can probably find some court cases that effectively make law regarding such situations, but probably you’ll need an attorney to sort them out for you.

Listing the airstrip as private use only, prior permission required for landing might be more useful than not listing it all.

The cost of checking with an attorney and an insurance firm, preferably ones with knowledge of real estate and aviation, would be extra helpful and the relative low cost of such a consultation would give you a lot of piece of mind.

But remember, anyone can sue anyone over anything! There are no guarantees.