View Full Version : Liability on Maine Private Airstrips

Flying Miss Daisy
12-09-2008, 08:35 AM
Hi All,
If you have a private airstrip in Maine or know someone who does then I suggest you contact this fellow McNade@aol.com. His name is John Nadeau and he has been using the FAA records to attempt to band pilots together in Maine to add airstrips to the liability exclusion law for sports.
To boil it down Maine has provided the landowner exclusion of liability if 4 wheelers, snowmobilers, hikers and horseback riders etc etc cross over their property and in some way get hurt or damage the riders personal property. This allowed the paper companies and others to open up their land for the general use. In New Hampshire this same law also INCLUDED private airstrips holding the airstrip owner harmless in a mishap even if he gave prior permission for someone to land and takeoff or in general use the strip. The law clearly says that flying is inherently dangerous and the pilot realized it when he got in and cranked the prop over. Since I was registered in Maine with the China seaplane base John has kept me in the loop. I of course have involved my favorite Juris Doctor and have asked JR to jump in and help. John Nadeau has been surprised that he has not gotten the support he thought he would have. So Cliff, Phil,Douten and Jim it is time you fellows band together and have the law changed for your own protection. Sorry SJ for hijacking this site but it is where I met all these guys with Maine private strips.
John M

12-09-2008, 09:10 AM
John M,
Thanks for the information. The liability laws not only affect the land owners of private air strips, It will affect all of us that use these private strips. If the land owner is held liable for an incident than most likely the owner will shut down the strip to us transient fliers. I consider it a privilege to be able fly into some of these local private strips and do not want to loose that.


Flying Miss Daisy
12-09-2008, 09:13 AM
Hi Larry,
You are right on that is exactly what a strip owner will do. John Nadeau owns Old Acton Airfield in Maine and this issue was brought to light because a potential problem he has had.
Please jump in he could use the support.

12-09-2008, 10:27 AM
Thanks for the heads up. I assumed we airstrip owners were already included in that law. I guess i should'nt have assumed. I will try to contact him. Thanks again.

12-09-2008, 10:33 AM
In April of 2007 Montana Governor Brian Schweitzer signed into law Senate Bill 318. This new law provides a measure of protection for private airstrip owners who don't charge the public to use their airstrips for recreational purposes. They are now protected by a limited liability law, created by Senate Bill 318. The law adds landowners of airstrips for "private, noncommercial flying" to the protections under the state's recreational use statute.

12-09-2008, 11:13 AM
Anybody know what the laws are in NY about this? I worry about this also.


Flying Miss Daisy
12-09-2008, 12:11 PM
Tim, If you added 1000 feet and make it 1800 you would not have to worry. :D But then Riff Raff like me would show up :wink:
John Nadeau was pretty sharp on these laws in bordering states as he educated me on New Hampshire send him an e mail.

12-09-2008, 02:56 PM
I'm working to get an amendment to Maine's law introduced. It's going to be a tough session inasmuch as Maine's legislature really needs to work on the fact that they've broken the states back for the last 23 years....

As for now, there is a very compelling argument under Maine law as it stands that you are protected from liability for recreational flying activities on your land absent some malicious and will full intentional or negligent act on your behalf that causes some harm.

Flying Miss Daisy
12-09-2008, 04:57 PM
Nadeau had the New Hampshire Law and it reeks of common sense.

12-09-2008, 05:12 PM
Nadeau had the New Hampshire Law and it reeks of common sense.

The New Hampshire Law is perfect and the epitome of common sense.

Unfortunately, getting one like it passed in Maine will be very, very difficult. First, the Legislature already has a recreational liability law on the books. Second, the trial lawyers in Maine--the only functioning part of our economy that is left--won't let a law like New Hampshire's sensible take on this issue get out of committee as they make their living off a daily fleecing of insurance companies (the only source of money left in this poor state).....

12-10-2008, 01:35 PM
Hey Tim,my buddy"you know the one"with the ratty,old C150 wants to come visit you.So I circled your strip on his sectional,as soon as he tops the tanks,will be right over

Good Luck

12-10-2008, 07:42 PM
Thanks Pal