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Insurance reform puts aircraft in same category as dynamite

Insurance reform puts aircraft in same category as dynamite
AOPA members are outraged in Minnesota

The communication channels for Minnesota senators were hot Thursday morning with AOPA members telling them to prevent dramatic increases in aircraft insurance.

AOPA alerted pilots in the area Wednesday evening about Senate File 608, which proposes increased levels of insurance far above what the majority of light aircraft owners purchase. Minnesota is one of only six states that requires minimum levels of aircraft insurance. The bill also calls for "absolute" liability for aircraft operations - liability assigned regardless of fault or negligence.

This legal concept typically is limited to only the most hazardous operations such as using explosives. "That essentially puts light aircraft in the same category as dynamite," said AOPA Vice President of Regional Affairs Greg Pecoraro. On Thursday, Pecoraro asked the Senate Commerce and Consumer Protection Committee for several revisions, including a reasonable level of minimum liability coverage. A companion bill in the House has already been revised to mitigate some of the impacts on aircraft owners.

March 8, 2007

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