LLC’s - The protection is limited

Buy as much liability insurance as you can get or afford.

While working in the capacity of an AOPA Legal Services Plan counselor, I used to get a lot of calls about the utility of establishing a Limited Liability Company (LLC) to own an aircraft. I found that many callers seemed to think that owning an airplane in an LLC provides absolute protection against all manner of liability. It does not. An LLC offers limited liability, that is, its members are generally not personally liable for the debts, obligations and liabilities of the entity itself. However, a member of an LLC piloting an owned aircraft involved in an accident resulting in a claim of pilot negligence or similar may be held personally liable. Aircraft owners should consult with a knowledgeable aviation attorney in their state to evaluate the best liability protection strategies for their particular circumstances, which might include using an LLC. A common recommendation from legal practitioners and insurance professionals alike is to buy as much liability insurance as you can get or afford.   

Mike Yodice
Mr. Yodice has been a pilot since 1979. He took instruction at the historic College Park (MD) airport and co-owns a Piper Cherokee and flies the family Piper J3-Cub.

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