Session Descriptions


Continuing Legal Education Sessions
Again this year, AIA has approved sessions on Friday and the attorney/claims session on Monday up to 5 hours MCLE credits. Attending AIA’s half-day session of CLE sessions is a great way for you to earn up to four hours of legal education credits. All attendees are welcome to attend.

If you need CLE credits to remain in good standing with your state, a $100 fee applies. You must sign in and sign out to receive credit.

1:00 – 2:00 p.m.
NTSB Factual Report: Admissible or Not

  • W. Ashby Underhill, Coquina Law Group

Discussion of split of authority on whether the factual report is admissible at trial and related issues. The applicable statutes do not bar the factual report from being used in litigation or from NTSB employees from testifying as to facts they personally observed. However, the factual reports arguably contain opinion. Courts have limited the factual testimony and reports and barred admission entirely due to the factual report containing opinion.

2:00 –3:00 p.m.
Bad Faith – The Case for a Prompt Investigation and Expeditious Settlement Offer

  • Elizabeth Vasseur-Browne, Cooling & Herbers
  • Michele Carlucci-Sears, Wilson Elser

Bad faith claims arise when an insurer fails to settle a claim against its insured within the applicable policy limits. If there is a judgment for an amount in excess of the policy limits or a punitive damage award, the insurer can be held responsible for that excess judgment if it is found to have acted in bad faith towards its insured. The panel will discuss recent bad faith cases brought against aviation insurers following aircraft accidents and incidents, and some of the ways to avoid being the next insurance causality.

3:00 – 4:00 p.m.
Lessons from the Amazon: In-Country Emergency Response in the Foreign Air Accident/Incident Case

  • Robert Torricella, Torricella Law, PLLC

Using the experiences and lessons learned from the Brazilian midair collision of September 2006, the presentation will cover topics including: Accident background and post-accident events; Seizure of passports and detention of crew; Civil, criminal and political investigations; Media activities and public relations response; Security efforts; and Corporate considerations.

4:00 – 5:00 p.m.
Handling Spoliation of Evidence Issues in Aviation Cases

  • Susan Hofer, Cranfill Sumner & Hartzog
  • Mica Nguyen Worth, Cranfill Sumner & Hartzog

Learn the key issues on what constitutes spoliation of evidence, the duty to preserve evidence, what evidence is required to be preserved (including ESI), guidelines for preserving evidence, and how to “paper the case” to prepare a defense to avoid the dreaded “adverse inference” as a result of spoliation of evidence in aviation cases.


Continuing Insurance Education Sessions
If you are looking for a great program to fill continuing education requirements by your state, look no further. Attending AIA’s full day of CIE sessions is a great way for you to earn up to eight hours of agent/broker credit. This course is also approved for adjusters’ credit in some states. Not all states are approved to provide credit. Please check your state listing at to see which states have been contacted for CIE approval.

All attendees are encouraged to attend; however, if you need these CIE session credits to remain in good standing with your state, a $50 fee applies. If you need CLE credits to remain in good standing with your state, a $100 fee applies.

8–9 a.m.
International Aviation (Re-)Insurance Market Update

  • Benjamin Weber, Partner Re
  • Selina Tvenge, Partner Re

Overview of current state of the aviation insurance and reinsurance market split into Major Risks (Airline / Products) and General Aviation. The session will further embrace aspects of legal and regulatory area, supply and demand of capacity, capital considerations, coverage issues and compensation regimes internationally vs the US.

9–10 a.m.
Interesting Claims, Accidents & Incidents

  • Donald J. Chupp, Fireside Partners

Aviation operators who have experienced a reportable incident or a major loss often emerge with a new understanding of insurance coverage. Frequently this results in a value appreciation for coverages beyond the hull, and new expectations for their brokers and underwriters going forward. While these consumers are beginning to ask deeper questions about their coverages, insurance producers are responding with additional policy endorsements and benefits. Examples such as crisis management endorsements, family assistance benefits, and public relations reimbursements are now hitting the market. This session will examine recent major loss case studies and draw out the relevant comparisons, uncover any loss prevention conclusions, and illuminate predictive indicators for the future.

10–11 a.m.
GA Adoption of Airline-Style Safety & Risk Management: An Owner-Pilots Perspective Raising the Bar for Citation Safety

  • Andrew Broom, Citation Jet Pilots Association
  • David Miller, Citation Jet Pilots Association

Andrew and David will discuss how the Citation Jet Pilots Association has made great strides in enhancing the safety culture for Citation pilots and operators. In 2016, CJP formed a dedicated Safety Committee to engage with its members on methods and procedures for operating their Citation aircraft in the safest possible manner, and to share safety-related resources for use by its members and the broader aviation community. A quarterly newsletter called CJP Right Seat was released with thought leadership from safety experts. CJP also created the CJP Safety and Education Foundation as a charitable organization dedicated to promoting Citation safety and education. Through the Foundation, the CJP Gold Standard Safety Award was announced and the inaugural class was recognized at the 2018 CJP convention. We will discuss the details of this award and the efforts to raise the bar for Citation training and aviation learning. This was not just an effort by CJP, but also included collaboration with industry partners. Additionally, the Foundation sponsors an annual Safety Standdown with experts addressing accidents and incidents, discussing training best practices, and encouraging pilots to commit to enhanced training beyond the FAA or insurance requirements.

11 a.m.–Noon
Additional Insured Issues: Exclusions, Aircraft and GL Policies

  • Glenn Vallach, USAIG

For many aviation entities, it is a fundamental tenet of risk management to, when negotiating contracts with business partners, try to secure additional insured status on their contractor's insurance policy in connection with the contract. And, of course, this is often an effective and crucial risk transfer tool. However, there are certain circumstances in aviation in which having one contracting party being added as an additional insured onto the other's policy may have the inadvertent result of harmfully restricting coverage for both parties in a way that neither intends. This issue can arise in relation to the operation of the traditional "Aircraft, Auto or Watercraft" exclusion on CGL policies for certain hangaring and other aircraft servicing contracts. This presentation will examine the nuances of this often over-looked potential pitfall, with references to case law, standard policy language and practical examples, in a way that can help aviation entities, as well as their attorneys and insurance professionals, be more informed in this area going forward.

1–2 p.m.
Pilot Shortage – Industry Challenge and Solutions

  • Amanda Ferraro, Aviation Safety Solutions, LLC
  • Robert Werderich, Illinois Aviation Academy, Inc.

The airline industry is hiring pilots at a record pace. Global demand means that more than 600,000 new pilots are needed between now until 2035. While salary and earning potential have exponentially increased, the industry is challenged to recruit the next generation. We will address barriers to entry for training new pilots and how flight schools and airlines are attracting new talent. How is this impacting Pt. 91 corporate flight departments and Pt. 135 air charter companies? Is safety being sacrificed in light of reduced hiring standards. This presentation will examine trends leading up to the pilot shortage and what is being done to address the issue on several fronts.

2–3 p.m.
Adventures in General Liability: Coverage of FBOs and MROs

  • John Springrose, Higginbotham Insurance Agency, Inc.
  • Andrea Palmer, Higginbotham Insurance Agency, Inc.

Insuring a Fixed Base Operation is not the same as insuring a Maintenance, Repair, and Overhaul operation – and even when the type of operation is the same, needs will vary with every client. While it’s impossible to insure against every eventuality, experience will guide us in assembling the right mix of coverage.

This presentation will provide an overview of the types of coverages available to operators of FBOs and MROs, explore the differences in coverage needs, and discuss potential strategies for avoiding gaps in coverage.

3–4 p.m.
Aviation Professional Services (APS) Liability Insurance Overview

  • Nicholas Methven, Global Aerospace, Inc.

This session will provide an overview of aviation professional services liability insurance and will focus on how it relates (and how it doesn’t) to other aviation insurance policies. It will also cover unique policy features, prospective clients and other considerations.

4–5 p.m.
Back to the Future of Aviation Insurance

  • Luke Uithoven, Kimmel Aviation Insurance
  • Brit Kral, Hallmark Aerospace
  • Walter Voights Von Forster, Munich Re
  • Brendan V. Mullan, Crowell & Moring

This panel will explore the thoughts and ideas of young(er) professionals in each segment of the Aviation Insurance industry as it relates to the future of our industry as a whole. Customers, employees, technology, and law are all currently changing at a rapid pace and 20 years from now, will likely look very different. Are we willing to adapt to the changing world around us and succeed or do we get passed over, reluctant to change?


9:15–9:55 a.m.
Swimming in the Aviation Insurance Talent Pool

  • John T. Brogan, CEO, USAIG

Mr. Brogan will discuss the challenges, opportunities and possible solutions for an aviation insurance talent pool that has been spread wide and shallow due to numerous factors in our industry. He will discuss the changing educational cycle of a new aviation insurance employee which will need to be balanced between urgent corporate needs and the new employee's expectations. He will also discuss the market factors have influenced the current status of the industry and how that may change.

10:30–11:10 a.m.
Pete Bunce, GAMA

Bunce will share GAMA’ vision as we move into the future.

11:10 a.m. – 12 p.m.
“Acting Administrator Elwell and Dr. Mike Romanowski will provide a state of the industry report on behalf of the FAA

  • Daniel K. Elwell
  • Dr. Mike Romanowski

12:30–1:30 p.m.
Allow Your Dreams to Soar

  • Shaesta Waiz

Shaesta Waiz will share her experiences flying solo around the world in a Beechcraft Bonanza, a journey that took her to 22 countries across five continents. She will talk about her personal journey from being born in an Afghan refugee camp to becoming the first certified female civilian pilot from Afghanistan, and the youngest woman to fly solo around the world in a single-engine aircraft. Shaesta personally inspired over 3,000 young girls and boys on her flight, holding 32 Outreach events to promote opportunities in the fields of Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) and Aviation. Shaesta will talk about overcoming challenges and her personal philosophy: “You must believe in yourself and allow your dreams to soar.

Attorney/Claims Division

2–3:00 p.m.
May Cause Drowsiness: Medication Use in the Aviation Environment

  • Mitchell A. Garber, Esi.

Over the last three decades, medication use in the U.S. has been on the rise in every age group, and aviation accident data mirror this trend. While prescription and over-the-counter medications can be a critical part of medical therapy or self-treatment, it’s important to recognize the risks inherent in their use, especially when operating (or working on) vehicles or aircraft. Dr. Garber will discuss background data on medication and supplement use, provide accident examples, and review FDA, FAA, and other regulatory and legal requirements covering the use and labeling of medications.


*The Claims Division will hold the election for the director-elect after the session.

Agent/Broker/Underwriter Division

2–2:30 p.m.
Agent/Brokers’ Meeting

  • Christopher Arnold, AIA Director of Agents/Brokers

This pre-combined division meeting will give agent/brokers an opportunity to talk about their division issues as well as hold the election for the director-elect of the agent/brokers’ division.

2–2:30 p.m.
Underwriters’ Meeting

  • Greg Sterling, AIA Director of Underwriters

This pre-combined division meeting will give underwriters an opportunity to talk about their division issues.

2:30–4 p.m.
Queuing Up at AIA

Back by popular demand, each Underwriting Company will be assigned stations with one to three Underwriters per station. There will also be an international desk that will allow International Brokers and Underwriters to participate. Each Broker will be given an underwriting slip to fill. Brokers must go to each Underwriting company until 100 percent of the slip quota is filled. That completed slip must be delivered to the International Reinsurance Desk to be verified, sealed, and deposited for inclusion in the drawings. You will have one hour to complete your slip. Similar to the Brokers at Lloyd’s, participants will have to queue up and efficiently use their time to get the slip filled in the allotted time. Meet, greet, and exchange business cards and emails. For each individual participating, Underwriter will drop one (and only one) business card in the Underwriter Drawing Hopper for inclusion in the Underwriter Drawing.