Two identical bills, H.R. 1084 and S. 955, were recently introduced to the House and Senate, respectively. The bills, titled the Volunteer Pilot Organization Protection Act, are intended to amend the Volunteer Protection Act of 1997 to exempt from liability a nonprofit volunteer pilot organization that flies for public benefit, its staff members, and its volunteers for harm caused by a volunteer while flying, in furtherance of the purpose of the organization, an aircraft for which the volunteer was properly licensed and individually insured.
Unpaid volunteers for most nonprofit organizations are provided “Good Samaritan” protections under existing law. Unfortunately, volunteer pilots were not covered by the first Volunteer Protection Act, even though the pilots donate their time, skills, and their aircraft to help others. These bills would provide similar protections to volunteer pilots and their groups to allow them to continue providing valuable free services for the needy and for our communities.
The bills have been referred to the Senate and House Committees on the Judiciary. Please contact your legislators and encourage them to support these bills.