If the student owns his own aircraft and has an accident with an instructor flying in the right seat, who is liable in the accident? The student or the instructor?
2 Answers from Attorneys
The instructor is liable if his instructions deviate from one of reasonable and capable professionalism and was the proximate cause of damages to the plane. Relatively high standard to prove negligence, however, expert testimony is essential. You had better find an expert who can prove your instructor's negligence and deviation from standards in the industry caused the damages.
You don't say whether anyone was injured. Or is the student simply thinking about suing the instructor for property damage? The fault for the accident may depend as much on the exact words of the instructor as the execution by the student. Recollections may differ as to what was said, what was demonstrated, etc. Considerable evidence issues here. Are there any recordings of cockpit communication? VTY, M. E. Zuller