4561.23 Presumption of pilot-in-command in airplane crash.

In the event of an airplane crash involving personal injuries, death, or property damage, it is rebuttably presumed that the airplane was being flown at the time of the crash, and immediately prior thereto, by the pilot-in-command of such airplane when the airplane is occupied by more than one person.

The "pilot-in-command" is rebuttably presumed to be:

(A) The occupant of the left front seat in airplanes having side-by-side and fore-and-aft seating;

(B) The occupant of the left seat of an airplane which has only one transverse seat;

(C) In a tandem seated airplane, the occupant of the seat recommended by the manufacturer of such airplane when the airplane is flown solo.

(D) Notwithstanding divisions (A), (B), and (C) of this section, the occupant of the airplane possessed of an instructor's rating is rebuttably presumed to be the pilot-in-command when any part of the flight is for the purpose of instructing another in any phase of flying or navigating.

(E) Notwithstanding divisions (A), (B), (C), and (D) of this section, in all flights conducted under instrument flight rules the pilot-in-command is rebuttably presumed to be the pilot whose name appears on the flight plan.

(F) In the event that the occupants and their positions in the airplane at the time of the crash cannot be established otherwise from the evidence with reasonable certainty, it is presumed that the airplane was being flown at the time of the crash, and immediately prior thereto, by the person occupying the pilot-in-command seat, as designated above, during or immediately before take-off.

Effective Date: 09-12-1961