Category Archives: General

Perception Is Reality

On August 28th the Denver Post reported that the Denver Police Department had shelved a consumer-grade drone recently purchased for nearly $3,000 after the administration nixed the crime lab’s plan to use it to photograph crime scenes.  Meanwhile, the Denver Fire Department intends to move forward with plans to purchase an Aeryon SkyRanger to use when dealing with all sorts of incidents, including structure fires, hazardous material spills and rescues. The difference between the failure of one program and the likely success of the other appears to turn on public perception. This real world example highlights the critically important task …

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Today’s FAA Reauthorization Act Webinar – moved to Sept. 19th

Everyone – Once again, the general optimism that the Senate finally had its act together and was going to vote on FAA Reauthorization has given way to disappointment.  Despite numerous aviation groups writing Senator McConnell urging quick action, there is still no vote scheduled.  According to recent reports, the process is still mired in “behind the scenes” partisan wrangling over efforts to address non-aviation issues in this must “pass bill,” such as mandatory trucker rest periods and President Trump’s tariff authority. Because of all of these delays, LeClairRyan will be postponing its free webinar on the FAA Reauthorization until September 19, 2018.  …

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The SAFETY Act and Horizon Air

A few days ago, Richard Russell, a 29 year old airline ground employee, got in a 76 seat commercial aircraft and took off from a crowded airport. Many people expressed surprise that he was able to accomplish this feat given the complexity of a modern commercial aircraft, noting that even starting the engines is a multistep process.  In addition, he showed a fair amount of skill in flying the aircraft.  Despite this, it appears he had no training in commercial multiengine aircraft and little, if any, formal pilot training. In this instance, the troubled young man may have been suicidal, …

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Save the Date for The 2019 Aviation Symposium

If you don’t know how to say “An Airplane Is Down . . . In a Foreign County” in Spanish, Farsi, Chinese or German, you must attend The 2019 LeClairRyan Aviation Symposium! In our 13th annual symposium, we will focus on, among other things, aviation accidents, incidents and events occurring outside the United States.  Discussions will cover a whole host of issues, problems and challenges you face when flying outside the United States, including panels on recent changes in the Flight Standards Service of the FAA and what to expect in 2019; how to write reports involving accidents, incident or …

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Thank You For Attending the Waivers, Exemptions, and Certification Webinar

Thank you for joining us yesterday on our webinar: Waivers, Exemptions, and Certification: How to get permission to do what you want with your Unmanned Aircraft. We had a great turnout and appreciate your continued support of our Aviation Webinar Series. If you happened to miss this webinar and would like to view/listen to the Presentation you can find it here. Please be on the lookout for our next Webinar on The FAA Reauthorization and What it Means for You, scheduled for later this month.

The Aviation Symposium Webinar Series Presents: Waivers, Exemptions and Certifications

Waivers, Exemptions, and Certifications: How to get permission to do what you want with your Unmanned Aircraft Part 107 has been a tremendous boon to businesses that want to operate unmanned aircraft. Unfortunately, there is still a great deal that cannot be done without special permission. But rest assured, this can be done legally, if you know how. During this webinar, we will explore what methods are available to obtain permission from the FAA to conduct complex operations beyond the narrow confines of Part 107. We will explore topics such as: What rules can be waived? How do you get …

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Drones: A Uniformly Bad Law

Anyone who operates a regional or nationwide business knows that coping with a patchwork of state and local laws can be challenging. Fortunately, the states also realize that this can be a problem, and will sometimes cooperate to voluntarily establish a “uniform” law.  For example, in 1952, a group of top legal scholars from the National Conference of Commissioners on Uniform State Laws (NCCUSL) got together and drafted the Uniform Commercial Code.  This code has been adopted (with some variations) in every state, and has greatly improved predictability for business owners. Over the past five years, most states have enacted …

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Why Drone Manufacturers and Service Providers Should Care About the MGM Las Vegas Shooting Law Suit.

In the wake of the Las Vegas shootings, MGM resorts is facing a barrage of lawsuits by victims claiming that the hotel was negligent in its security procedures.  In an unusual response, the hotel has filed its own lawsuit against the victims.  The MGM lawsuit is asking a court to rule that it is immune from suit because hotel security was handed by a vendor, Contemporary Services Corporation (CSC).  CSC, the hotel argues, has been approved by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) “for protecting against and responding to acts of mass injury and destruction” and, therefore, MGM is absolved …

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LeClairRyan is Pleased to Announce that James E. Mackler has Joined the Firm

James E. Mackler has joined LeClairRyan as senior counsel on the firm’s aviation and corporate services teams. He practices in Nashville. James focuses his practice on advising businesses, governments, and investors on the use of unmanned aircraft systems (UAS). He works with clients on various regulatory, compliance, and litigation elements of UAS usage (“drone law”) across a variety of applications including hospitality, real estate, insurance, construction, security, video production, energy, manufacturing, and surveying. Previously, James served eight years of active duty in the U.S. Army. After spending seven years developing a successful private legal practice in Colorado, James was inspired …

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Ten Years Later and $30 Million Less: SEATAC is NOT Vicariously Liable

The Washington State Supreme Court issued its long awaited decision in Afoa v. Port of Seattle today.  The Court rejected a lower court decision that had the effect of making an airport automatically liable for the negligence of an airline’s contractors, such as ground handlers.  LeClairRyan Aviation attorneys were called in after the unfavorable result in the Court of Appeals and counsel worked on, with the assistance of the preexisting counsel, the appeal before the Washington Supreme Court.  Mark Dombroff executed the oral argument.

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