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  #11  
Old 05-01-2012, 07:55 AM
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Bill.Peyton Bill.Peyton is offline
 
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According to my lawyer, who is a pilot and a friend, specifically, this is what he stated the waiver accomplishes.

By signing the waiver .."it becomes your intention to waive the right to pursue Van's for an egregious defect in the negligent or reckless design of a component that causes your injury or death, or in its manufacture (or its supplier's manufacture) of that part?"


When someone dies as a result of an aircraft accident, usually everyone is sued, the builder, Vans, Lycoming, Slick, Champion, Garmin (or whoever), etc. Obviously the lawyers go for the deep pockets and look at state laws, but everyone is named. Sometimes the settlements involve percentage of blame.


Yes, legal fees are probably the single largest concern for a builder. Also, the type accident that involves an uninterested party such as a passenger or person on the ground, is of the most concern. They have not waived their rights through a sales agreement or any other means.


In theory, negligence must be proven. In reality, jury's don't really care and consist of the lowest level of intelligence the lawyers can pick.


By building this plane I accept that I have some liability as the builder, but I did not design the aircraft. Holding me hostage to sign a document that I have never seen just to get my bill of sale does not sit right with me. Vans should have a better procedure in place to establish the terms of the contract of sale and also the transfer of ownership of the kits sold by individuals. Vans had ample opportunity to notify me of this, both when the ownership changed at Vans, and when the additional kits were purchased. Whether one agrees on the liability waiver requirement or not, this is not a good business practice and if this happened during the purchase of your house, or your car you certainly would not accept the method in which it was invoked.
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Bill Peyton
RV-10 - 1380 hours
N37CP
First Flight Oct 2012
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WARNING! Information presented in this post is my opinion. All users of info have sole responsibility for determining accuracy or suitability for their use.

Last edited by Bill.Peyton : 05-01-2012 at 09:43 AM.
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  #12  
Old 05-01-2012, 07:58 AM
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LettersFromFlyoverCountry LettersFromFlyoverCountry is offline
 
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If I'm following this correctly, those of you who are selling your RVs don't require the purchaser to sign anything limiting your liability.

Really?
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  #13  
Old 05-01-2012, 08:08 AM
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aarvig aarvig is offline
 
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Bill,
You are building an airplane. An object that has involved some of the largest lawsuits and settlements over time. Your lawyer and other lawyers like yours are the reason aviation is so expensive. When you run over a pedestrian on the road with your car, or drive it into the front of Walgreens YOU are the one that is primarily responsible. Your insurance company pays the damages and you may face some criminal charges depending on your actions. Why is it different with aircraft? LAWYERS! That is why. If you don't want the responsibility of building and flying...please find another hobby. You are barking up the wrong tree by presenting an argument that would make our hobby substantially more expensive.
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  #14  
Old 05-01-2012, 08:21 AM
Mile High Relic Mile High Relic is offline
 
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Having purchased a share in an RV, almost purchasing a 6A, and then finally purchasing a complete 6, I can say that what you are asked to sign is all over the map. One was a simple 1 page bill of sale, another was 15 pages of legaleese, and the last was a pretty reasonable 4 page agreement.
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  #15  
Old 05-01-2012, 08:31 AM
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douglassmt douglassmt is offline
 
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Default Similar, maybe

Bill -

My case was similar, but different. I bought the empennage kit from the 2nd owner of it - private purchase like yours. I contacted Van's and they transferred the number to me after contacting the original purchaser. I looked through my files and found that I had to sign the waiver you refer to before purchasing the next subkit from Van's. I seem to recall that I also had to sign it before they transferred the builder number from the empennage kit to me but I can't lay my hands on it. I also found that I signed the exact same document before my demo flight at the factory a year earlier.

If everyone reads your original and subsequent posts in this thread, I think they'll realize that what you are really objecting to is that you didn't know you would have to sign such a document until you were well along in the process. It seems that they required me to sign one earlier than you so it may have been a hiccup in their process. I agree with the posts about us assuming the majority of liability as builders and general disdain for lawyers, but Bill has a decent point about knowing what to expect up front.

I also think that, as a proven design (a series of them, really), any liability for Van's for is a bit different than for some new design. It's pretty hard to make a straight-face case that any crash of an RV is a result of negligence on the part of Van's when so many are successfully built and flown. It might be different if it could be proven that a wing spar was flawed, or something like that, but I know of no such incident. Crashes are almost always SALO, engine failure, collision with something in flight, or pilot error, it seems.

My $0.02.
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  #16  
Old 05-01-2012, 08:38 AM
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rleffler rleffler is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill.Peyton View Post
Holding me hostage to sign a document that I have never seen just to get my bill of sale does not sit right with me. Vans should have a better procedure in place to establish the terms of the contract of sale and also the transfer of ownership of the kits sold by individuals. Vans had ample opportunity to notify me of this, both when the ownership changed at Vans, and when the additional kits were purchased. Whether one agrees on the liability waiver requirement or not, this is not a good business practice and if this happened during the purchase of your house, or your car you certainly would not accept the method in which it was invoked.

Bill, I totally understand your frustration. I received the document with the first kit and I was reminded by Barbara when I purchased my finish kit that I needed to get it signed before they would issue the bill of sale. I don't recall if Barbara was being proactive or I just asked her a direct question concerning the bill of sale. I also agree that Van's should be more proactive with they receive a notice of transfer of ownership. Although, it's pretty common knowledge too. Every flying RV has gone through the process. The person that sold you the kit should have also disclosed Van's requirement to sign the waiver.

bob
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  #17  
Old 05-01-2012, 08:45 AM
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They also make you sign all the same multiple forms, including the notarization, even if you buy a flying plane, before they will let you buy any small replacement parts.
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  #18  
Old 05-01-2012, 08:48 AM
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douglassmt douglassmt is offline
 
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Default Hiccup?

Based on Bob's experience, and my dim recollection that I had to sign it before getting the S/N transferred to me (and definitely before buying the first subkit from Van's), I suspect it was a hiccup in their process in your case. No question that it is good business and common courtesy to provide buyers/builders with that info at the first contact with the factory.
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  #19  
Old 05-01-2012, 09:09 AM
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Bill.Peyton Bill.Peyton is offline
 
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I believe that most are misunderstanding the issue.

The issue is that before I can get my bill of sale I am required to sign a document that I was never informed of, irregardless of what that document covers.

It does not sound like this happens in most cases, and mine slipped through the Vans process. Would my decision to build have been different had I known?

In terms of liability. I think that most all builders sell their aircraft with a release waiver, the standard EAA Bill of Sale includes the language. That is done during the purchase, not after the purchase as in this case.

This is a litigious country we live in, and it only gets worse. It's a shame
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RV-10 - 1380 hours
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First Flight Oct 2012
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WARNING! Information presented in this post is my opinion. All users of info have sole responsibility for determining accuracy or suitability for their use.
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  #20  
Old 05-01-2012, 09:49 AM
TRAllen TRAllen is offline
 
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Probably the reason you didn't get the information to began with is that you didn't get the original tail kit from Vans. If I remember right that information was sent with my original order for the tail kit. If Van didn't protect himself in this manner he probably would have been put out of business long ago by some pilots stupid mistake and a hungry lawyer, instead we have 7000 safe flying RV's
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