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Practice Areas

Aviation Law

Cooling & Herbers, P.C. is a leader in the aviation industry. We are recognized for our experience in aviation transactions, taxes, regulations, enforcement matters and litigation. With our in-depth experience, we regularly negotiate the purchase or lease of an aircraft or an airline; evaluate and provide recommendations regarding tax questions or product liability exposure; advise on aircraft and operating insurance needs; represent interests in the certification of aircraft, operations or pilots; or, should it ever be necessary, defend against liability claims. Our unique aviation experience enables us to effectively represent clients in a cost-efficient way. Cooling & Herbers’ attorneys can achieve results that soar above its clients’ expectations.

Aviation Transactions

Our attorneys are knowledgeable and experienced in domestic and international business aviation transactions. Our clients trust us to walk them through every step of their transactions from the initial negotiations through completion.

Aircraft Acquisitions & Sales
Whether it is a simple or complex matter, Cooling & Herbers has the experience you need to assist you in analyzing, drafting, and negotiating all contracts related to aircraft sales and purchases. We regularly handle deals ranging from personal use piston-driven aircraft through the full fleet of corporate turbine aircraft and rotorcraft, to large transport category aircraft. We will manage the details and documents associated with your closing and successfully complete the transaction in a timely and efficient manner. Our clients count on us to navigate through myriad of issues related to the sale and purchase of aircraft (including pre-owned aircraft, new aircraft, and interior completions and refurbishments).

Aircraft Charter, Management & Services Agreements
Our extensive knowledge in aircraft charter, management, and other aviation services agreements enables us to smoothly guide you through the negotiation of your services agreement. Our clients’ needs range from single-user aircraft to large corporate fleets. We excel in satisfying business goals while meeting regulatory compliance requirements.

Aircraft Financing
Cooling & Herbers is ready to assist you in the review and negotiation of loans and leases (true, finance, and synthetic). Our familiarity with finance documents for many of the major lenders gives us the edge in negotiating favorable legal terms for our clients.

Aircraft Fractional Ownership
Our representation of hundreds of fractional owners in acquisitions, interim leases, and repurchases gives us the experience and know-how to guide you through this process. We are familiar with the documents and programs of all of the major fractional providers and have also assisted fractional providers in establishing their fractional programs. In addition, we have significant experience assisting clients with other shared ownership structures, including co-ownerships and joint-ownerships.

Aircraft Leasing
We will guide you through the regulatory compliance issues you will need to consider when leasing an aircraft and assist you by reviewing, drafting, and completing your lease transaction.

US Import/Export of Aircraft
Cooling & Herbers attorneys will guide you through the process of engaging a customs broker to file the required documents with U.S. Customs and Border Protection and assist you with the required forms. We can also assist you in arranging for pilot services as required.

Aviation Tax

Cooling & Herbers’ integrated tax practice is dedicated to identifying tax issues surrounding the purchase, sale, and ownership of aircraft and structuring transactions to take advantage of opportunities to both minimize the tax impact and optimize the tax advantages, including counsel in the following matters:

Federal Income/Excise Tax
• Section 1031 Like-Kind Exchanges
• Corporate Restructuring for Tax Considerations
• Bonus Depreciation
• Personal Use/Limits on Deductibility

State Sales/Use Taxes
• Leasing Structures
• Trade-in Credits
• Commercial Exemptions
• State Sales/Use Tax Audit Support

Property Tax

Aviation Regulation & Certification

Aircraft Registration
Cooling & Herbers is frequently asked to advise clients on the eligibility and criteria for registering aircraft with the FAA Registry and the International Registry (including the use of owner-trusts to comply with FAA citizenship requirements). We also review title reports and prepare title and registration documentation for aircraft transactions in compliance with FAA rules and policies.

FAA & DOT Regulatory Compliance
We are adept at analyzing aircraft ownership and operational structures for compliance with FAA and DOT regulations. Our talents and skills are highlighted as we develop creative structure solutions for our clients.

FAA & DOT Certifications
Cooling & Herbers assists air carriers (including those operating under FAR Parts 121, 125, 129, and 135) and other certificate-holders, such as repair stations, airports, and flight schools, as well as individual airmen, mechanics, and dispatchers with FAA and DOT certification and authority.

Fixed-Base Operators and Other Airport Facilities
This encompasses formation, operation, lease and other contract negotiations, representation before local governmental boards and authorities, FAA and DOT compliance, environmental compliance, TSA compliance, FAA economic discrimination issues, noise and nuisance issues.

DOT Work Place and Drug and Alcohol Testing Programs
Cooling & Herbers has represented airmen and mechanics as well as aviation businesses, such as air carriers and repair stations, for alleged violations of the Federal Drug Program. We have also assisted companies and consortiums with designing and implementing approved drug programs.

Aviation Litigation

Insurance Defense and Subrogation
Representing insurers and their insureds’ interests is the cornerstone of our litigation practice. The attorneys at Cooling & Herbers are experienced in defending a wide array of products liability, strict liability, and negligence claims. We have successfully defended wrongful deaths, personal injuries and property damage claims arising from minor incidents to major aircraft accidents. As claims have diversified into such things as lenders’ liability, advertising liability, and sexual harassment claims, our practice has developed to include them as well. We aggressively protect the interests of the insurers and their insureds in a cost-effective way.

Aviation Accidents/Negligence
For over thirty years we have represented foreign and domestic clients in almost every aspect of aviation involving aircraft (fixed wing and rotorcraft) accidents and other unplanned aviation incidents. Our clients include owners, operators, maintenance providers, financing companies, OEM aircraft manufacturers, STC component manufactures, PMA parts providers’ and ground support.

Airports
Cooling & Herbers has handled cases involving airports of all sizes from private grass/ sod airfields to large public airfields at former military installations. The issues have involved defense of aircraft accidents; airport design; environmental issues; government funding along with associated grant assurances; economic discrimination; construction of hotels, towers, power lines, and residential subdivisions in the vicinity of airports; and navigational aids that have affected on airport easements, airspace, and obstruction clearances.

Aerial Application/Agricultural Spray Cases
Cooling & Herbers is frequently retained by insurers to defend aerial applicators and their employers in personal injury and property damage claims including chemical drift and pilot negligence.

Product and Warranty Liability
Our attorneys have successfully defended aircraft manufacturers, aircraft component manufacturers, avionics manufacturers, airport equipment manufacturers, and many other manufacturing businesses in property damage, personal injury, and wrongful death claims. Our clients include owners, operators, maintenance providers, financing companies, OEM aircraft manufacturers, STC component manufactures, PMA parts providers, and ground support.

FAA, DOT, and NTSB Enforcement

Insurance Defense and Subrogation
Representing insurers and their insureds’ interest is the cornerstone of our litigation practice. The attorneys at Cooling & Herbers are experienced in defending a wide array of products liability, strict liability, and negligence claims. We have successfully defended wrongful deaths, personal injuries, and property damage claims arising from minor incidents to major aircraft accidents. As claims have diversified into such things as lenders’ liability, advertising liability, and sexual harassment claims, our practice has developed to include them as well. We aggressively protect the interests of the insurers and their insureds in a cost-effective way.

Aviation Accidents/Negligence
For over thirty years we have represented foreign and domestic clients in almost every aspect of aviation involving aircraft (fixed wing and rotorcraft) accidents and other unplanned aviation incidents. Our clients include owners, operators, maintenance providers, financing companies, OEM aircraft manufacturers, STC component manufactures, PMA parts providers’ and ground support.

Airports
Cooling & Herbers has handled cases involving airports of all sizes from private grass/ sod airfields to large public airfields at former military installations. The issues have involved defense of aircraft accidents; airport design; environmental issues; government funding along with associated grant assurances; economic discrimination; construction of hotels, towers, power lines, and residential subdivisions in the vicinity of airports; and navigational aids that have affected on airport easements, airspace, and obstruction clearances.

Aerial Application/Agricultural Spray Cases
Cooling & Herbers is frequently retained by insurers to defend aerial applicators and their employers in personal injury and property damage claims including chemical drift and pilot negligence.

Product and Warranty Liability
Our attorneys have successfully defended aircraft manufacturers, aircraft component manufacturers, avionics manufacturers, airport equipment manufacturers, and many other manufacturing businesses in property damage, personal injury, and wrongful death claims. Our clients include owners, operators, maintenance providers, financing companies, OEM aircraft manufacturers, STC component manufactures, PMA parts providers, and ground support.

Administrative Sanctions
The attorneys at Cooling & Herbers understand the implications and process when a certificate holder receives a proposed disciplinary action by the federal government. We have successfully defended hundreds of clients, including pilots, aircraft mechanics, Part 121 and Part 135 air carriers, Part 145 repair stations, and other aviation businesses after receiving administrative sanctions. Our attorneys have also successfully represented airmen whose medical certificates have been under investigation, suspended, or revoked by the FAA.

Hazardous Materials Transportation
Cooling & Herbers has extensive experience interpreting the federal regulations governing transportation of hazardous materials and has successfully defended businesses, large and small, against civil penalty actions brought by the FAA for alleged violations of these complex regulations.

DOT Work Place and Drug and Alcohol Testing Programs
Cooling & Herbers has represented individual airmen and mechanics as well as aviation businesses, including air carriers and repair stations, for alleged violations of the Federal Drug Program. We have also assisted businesses and consortiums with the design and implementation of their approved drug programs.