Safety Class controversy

Advance's application for an interim injunction regarding the publication of the DHV Safety Class tests on the Alpha 6 and Epsilon 8 was rejected by the Munich Regional Court. On the DHV and Advance websites only brief statements are published without substantial content. The fact that the regional court rejected the application could give the impression that the DHV is now the winner of this story. This conclusion would be somewhat premature, however, from the legal point of view, and in this case not adequately demonstrated. Here we will try to explain the legal situation and the current position.


What exactly was it?

Advance had filed a request for an interim injunction in the stated proceedings because the company was of the opinion that the Alpha 6 and Epsilon 8 results of the DHV Safety Class Test Episode 12 are not valid.

The requirement to prohibit a publication is normally only to be enforced through an interim injunction. This is a procedure of provisional legal protection, which is always chosen when a decision must be made quickly and there is no time to carry out a time-intensive main court procedure with detailed statements of evidence, such as of witnesses and expert opinion. The current court decision rejected this request for an interim injunction in the second instance.

The exact grounds for this judgment are not yet available. It is to be assumed, however, that the right to freedom of expression is of foremost consideration, and that this was the decisive factor for the rejection of this application. This does not mean that the current procedure confirmed the correctness of the Safety Class test results. It was merely decided that these may continue to be published.

Experts are invariably consulted in a case of a major trial. Thus, in the next instance in which, essentially, the DHV Safety Class findings would be subject to technical inquiry, a judgment could be completely different.

However, as communicated by Advance, the DHV has already announced its willingness to strive for an out-of-court agreement, so that Advance does not launch a main action.

An out-of-court agreement is always desirable, the only question is at what price. Obviously there is no need, at the moment,  for the DHV to reveal more of its hand regarding the Safety Class evaluation, which in turn raises a few questions - not just for Advance, but also for all other manufacturers, and above all for pilots.