Who's responsible for damage to plane?

Question: I recently struck 5 stakes placed along the taxiway edge and airpark tenant’s property line (so snow plows won’t damage his grass). Covenants at the airpark state no shrubbery or trees should be planted less than 45 feet from the centerline of the taxiway. His were placed approximately 15 feet from the centerline. The […]

Question: I recently struck 5 stakes placed along the taxiway edge and airpark tenant’s property line (so snow plows won’t damage his grass).

Covenants at the airpark state no shrubbery or trees should be planted less than 45 feet from the centerline of the taxiway. His were placed approximately 15 feet from the centerline. The covenants don’t say anything about stakes.

Who should pay for the damage to my Mooney? Me or the homeowner? The homeowner says it’s the pilot’s responsibility to see and avoid all obstacles as stated in the FARs. He basically shut down the taxiway and I couldn’t stop quick enough to avoid hitting them.

Thought you folks might have some ideas for me.

Thanks Dennis

P.S – AOPA directed me to your web site.

Answer: Unfortunately, it appears to me if you and your fellow resident can’t resolve this amicably between yourselves it will be necessary to consult an attorney to satisfy your situation.

I am not an attorney and certainly am not qualified to comment on the legal aspects of your disagreement. However, common sense makes it seems to me there probably is some negligence on both sides and you should find a way to get the issue resolved without having to resort to hiring attorneys or taking other legal steps.

1 comment

  1. Seems you had a reasonable expectation of a clear, accessible taxiway. Further, there may be covenants in the HOA that address this as well. Any obstructons created and concealed from view would subject whomever placed them there to liability. No different than putting a board with nails on a public road. Looks like attorney time; small claims court will likely limit to $15,000 recovery. There are also Federal regulations that address the intentional or negligent interference of safe airport operations.

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