Very Light Jets: Aviation Advances Via Tort Reform

By August 18, 2007Briefly Legal

Scrolling through the Fallows blog, we happen upon his post about developments in civil aviation, including lots of reading recommendations. Very Light Jet Magazine, that’s new. Back in our reporting days, we covered the state’s eco-devo wooing that helped (eventually) bring Cirrus Design Corp. to North Dakota, so were interested to see the magazine’s interview with Dale Klapmeier, Cirrus’ CEO and co-founder.

We see our airplane not as a VLJ – we’re calling it a personal jet or The-Jet by Cirrus because we’re looking at it completely differently. We’re not going to build a small jet – we’re going to build a bigger, more comfortable, faster, farther range, greater distance and power airplane that just happens to have a jet engine. We’re building on the SR-22 and we’re building what our customers now want and that is to move up to the next level.

Wow. Probably no surprise to the hard-core business traveler or private pilot, but there must be a lot going on in the industry; Fallows even calls it “the small jet movement.” A movement complete with optimism and doubts. The September issue of has an interesting piece, “Little Jets, Big Problems,” with an online slideshow. (Nice, but it could use a soundtrack.)

Anyway, how encouraging to see a flourishing U.S. civil aviation industry, active enough to encourage new ventures, risk-taking and technology. It’s such a huge advance from the moribund ’80s and ’90s, a renewal made possible by tort reform, specifically the General Aviation Revitalization Act (GARA) of 1994. This page from the General Aviaition Manufacturers Association spells out what a stark improvement to the industry followed passage of the product liability reform.

Wonder what other industries — what other employees — would benefit from tort reform, eh?

UPDATE (5:50 p.m., Monday): A Cirrus plane’s parachute saves lives on Nantucket, reports Fallows.

Join the discussion One Comment

  • Bill Strait says:

    Hello Carter-
    Thanks for the reference to my Very Light Jet Magazine. Please note that there are one-on-one interviews with many of the VLJ mfr CEO’s.

    The magazine has been there for two years and enjoys readership of 8000-9000 per month from over 100 countries.

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