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Sport Pilot pilots not insurable?



 
 
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  #1  
Old July 8th 05, 12:24 AM
Blueskies
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Default Sport Pilot pilots not insurable?

What do you all think of this article?

....no way, I'm not going first!....

http://www.avweb.com/news/atis/189763-1.html

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
clipped from Avweb...

May 22, 2005

Is Sport Pilot Training Uninsurable for Commercial Flight Schools?

As the details emerge of just how the Sport Pilot rules will work in the ''real world,'' one major block has turned up:
Insurance companies may not be willing to underwrite it. AVweb presents a guest opinion piece from a frustrated Sport
Pilot flight school.

By Jason Blair



ATIS

General Aviation has seen an interesting and uncommon change recently: A new certificate is now available. Sport Pilot
has been much-awaited, touted, and striven-for by many dedicated individuals and organizations whose goal was to help
broaden the appeal of GA.

Sport Pilot offers a new group of people the ability to participate in, help support, and ultimately grow an industry
that traditionally was limited in its potential customer base. Along with this new potential will come training and
licensing of a large group of pilots who formerly fell into categories such as ultralight aircraft, powered parachutes,
or a variety of others that the Sport Pilot ruling now has authority over. GA has the potential to now grow in a new way
and provide a needed service to a market that was not in existence a few short years ago. We have already seen companies
developing and providing new products for this rating. Training materials, videos, new examiner certifications, and even
aircraft types are just a few of the new services and products that have been or are being developed. A new growth
pattern has developed within the industry to serve the needs of this certification that is slowly becoming more
available.

However, there is a critical limiting factor that prevents flight schools from providing this training: Currently,
insurance to provide Sport Pilot training required by these pilots in conventional aircraft is unattainable.


First Find A Plane

As an owner of a flight school with an established history, a current customer base, and a moderate-sized fleet of
aircraft, I intended to purchase an appropriately configured aircraft to offer Sport Pilot training to interested
customers. This was intended to complement the flight training we already offer so that we can truly offer all types of
training for our customers.

As I worked to choose an aircraft for my flight school, I found that most of the certified aircraft that could apply for
use under Sport Pilot regulations are older aircraft. These include a variety of Taylorcraft, Lucsombe, Aeronca, Piper,
and a few other aircraft. These aircraft ranged from the approximate vintages of 1930 through 1960. Most were of fabric
wing construction, and all were two-seat aircraft as required by the Sport Pilot rule.

After taking some time to choose an aircraft with consideration of multiple characteristics, I decided an Aeronca Champ
would be an appropriate aircraft in which to provide this training.

I chose the Aeronca Champ for a number of reasons. It is a stable training aircraft that meets Sport Pilot requirements,
which include but are not limited to aircraft seating, speed, and weight. The Champ is a tailwheel aircraft, as are many
of the production-category aircraft that currently qualify under the Sport Pilot regulation. This aircraft is further
useful for my flight school in that it is not only a great training aircraft for Sport Pilot but we can offer tailwheel
training for endorsements for currently certified pilots. This dual utility makes the aircraft a sound business choice.
Further, from the standpoint of a flight school, to use the aircraft in a commercial capacity -- which flight training
and aircraft rental certainly are -- it must be a certified aircraft. This requirement limits the aircraft choices to
production-class aircraft, unlike those available to individuals who can purchase their own aircraft that can fall into
the experimental category. A true classic aircraft, the Champ is stick-controlled, tandem-seated, and wonderful to fly.

Our customers were interested and excited when the Champ arrived, and I was excited to be able to offer it to them.
Tailwheel training is becoming far too scarce, and it is a pleasure to be able to offer this type of training and teach
the art of tailwheel flight to a new generation of pilots.


Insurance Stumbling Block

While the FAA has offered the certification for training and is currently training Sport Pilot examiners, with the first
few batches already completed, the insurance industry is offering up a major stumbling block to anyone who wants to
provide this type of training.

As I attempt to offer this type of training, there can be no doubt that I, as will most flight schools, desire to have
appropriate liability and hull insurance on the aircraft, instructors, and clients who will be using the Champ. This is
logically necessary to protect the customers who will fly the aircraft, the aircraft itself as an asset, and the
business from any potential liability that could arise. Unfortunately, this is where the roadblock begins.

The insurance underwriters we consulted brought forward a variety of reasons that they "simply could not insure this
type of operation." I would like to say that this just applied to the Sport Pilot certification training, but in the
first stages of negotiation it also applied to the aircraft itself for any type of training. One main reason included
the aircraft age: The Champ was built in 1946.

After many weeks of discussion, we came to the compromise that the aircraft could only be used for dual instruction for
the first six months. Any instructor would have to have at least 50 hours in type and 100 hours of tailwheel experience
(a significant decrease from an initial, unrealistic request of 500 hours in type and 1000 hours of tailwheel
experience!) This truly limits the ability of this aircraft be fully utilized in the first six months of operation, but
at least it offers us the ability to transition the Champ into operation and eventually offer it for full use to our
customers who are certified pilots. However, our flight school and others will have a hard time finding an adequately
qualified instructor-pilot with this amount of time in not only tailwheel aircraft, but in type as well. Those who do
have this amount of experience are typically unwilling to work as a flight instructor anymore or for flight instructor
wages.

While the limited potential to offer tailwheel training is available, Sport Pilot training is presently out of the
question. My insurance agent, who worked diligently and feverishly as I pursued this possibility, indicated that this
negotiation process hinged upon the point that I would not even bring up the question of offering Sport Pilot
certification in the aircraft.


The Medical Issue

Presently, any underwriter who has been asked about coverage for Sport Pilot certification training has simply said that
they are not covering this type of training yet. The cost of doing so has never even been an issue in this discussion: I
am willing to pay an appropriate premium to be able to offer this training, but even the motivation of a high premium
hasn't been enough to secure underwriting for Sport Pilot training operations. I have even tried to get underwriters to
offer only liability, and not cover hull damage to the aircraft as an option; a risk I am willing to take. This has also
been unsuccessful. Their reasoning is largely based on a fear of the "non-medically approved pilot." Many underwriters
have indicated that they will need to see someone else cover it first before their companies will do so; but if everyone
needs to see someone else cover it first, then no one will end up covering this type of training until the industry
provides sufficient motivation to the underwriting companies to do so.

The hurdle is simple, but poignant: Until flight schools are able to secure appropriate insurance coverage to provide
this type of training or are willing to risk going uninsured, Sport Pilot training will require individual pilots to
purchase their own aircraft. This significantly increases the investment required by potential Sport Pilot candidates,
and thus decreases the pool of individuals who will be attracted and have the ability to participate in this new avenue
of general aviation.

It is now up to us as General Aviation service providers to help educate insurance underwriters about this new
certification. We must show them that we can provide services and training for this market in a manner that is of equal
or less risk compared to other sections of the aviation industry. To do so, we must first convince them to take a chance
and sample the potential that is in front of them for new premiums that are safe and secure investments from an
insurance viewpoint. Until this is realized, my flight school and others will have to settle with just offering
tailwheel training and wait until the point in the future when insurance underwriting will allow Sport Pilot training
operations on a commercial level to be realized. We hope that the industry will find a way for us to provide the needed
training with insurance for this market so we do not have to exclude a large group of potential pilots and limit their
abilities to participate in general aviation. Without the ability to insure our operations, the Sport Pilot
certification that has been so diligently worked for will not be able to fully realize its potential effect on the
growth of the aviation industry.






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  #2  
Old July 8th 05, 05:35 AM
John T
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Default

Your mechanic IS full of it. Your plane doesn't need to be "recertified"
as a sport pilot plane. Any certfied aircraft that meets the sport
pilot aircraft definitions can be flown by a sport pilot.
You can't "recertificate" a plane that way anyway.

  #3  
Old July 8th 05, 05:54 AM
n93332
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Posts: n/a
Default

" Blueskies" wrote in message
...
What do you all think of this article?

...no way, I'm not going first!....

http://www.avweb.com/news/atis/189763-1.html

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
clipped from Avweb...

May 22, 2005

Is Sport Pilot Training Uninsurable for Commercial Flight Schools?

As the details emerge of just how the Sport Pilot rules will work in the
''real world,'' one major block has turned up: Insurance companies may not
be willing to underwrite it. AVweb presents a guest opinion piece from a
frustrated Sport Pilot flight school.


My (very) limited experience with insurance and the Sport Pilot rules was a
couple months ago when I was due to get my 3rd class medical I asked my
insurance company if I would be covered if fly my Ercoupe under Sport class
rules using a current driver's license instead of getting my medical
renewed. This is the response I got back from my agent:

"With respect to Sport Pilot, so long as you comply with the Sport pilot
rules, your policy will remain in effect. If you have any questions, feel
free to call me."

Even though the insurance company said they would cover me to fly my Ercoupe
under Sport rules, I decided to go ahead and renew my 3rd class medical so I
could fly at night, fly at towered fields, etc. (which I haven't done since
renewing anyways :-(

A month later I took my Ercoupe in for its annual inspection and got to
talking with the mechanic/inspector. He told me that in order for the plane
to be flown by a Sport Pilot, the plane would have to be recertified as a
Sport Class plane, then I would have to get checked out by a Sport Pilot CFI
and any certified pilot that wanted to fly it would also need to be checked
out because it's Sport Class certified. Keeping it certified as a normal
aircraft, any certified (non-sport) pilot can fly it without needing the CFI
checkout.

There aren't many (any?) Sport Pilot CFI's in this area yet. So, I'll leave
my plane certified as normal. Hopefully the FAA will change its rules a bit
on the Sport Pilot and Sport Plane requirements that make it more automatic
to be able to become a sport pilot if your medical expires. Also make a
sport plane be able to use by both Sport pilots and regular pilots without
having to recertify it each time.

I was thinking of getting a Sport Pilot CFI rating added to my private
certificate (see the FAR's, it's possible) but right now it sounds like a
lot of hoops to jump through to do it...

Of course, the information I got from my mechanic/inspector may be total BS.
I haven't found all the answers yet to these in the FAR's, the FAA, AOPA, or
EAA websites.

-Greg B.


  #4  
Old July 8th 05, 06:05 AM
Morgans
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Posts: n/a
Default


"n93332" wrote

A month later I took my Ercoupe in for its annual inspection and got to
talking with the mechanic/inspector. He told me that in order for the

plane
to be flown by a Sport Pilot, the plane would have to be recertified as a
Sport Class plane, then I would have to get checked out by a Sport Pilot

CFI
and any certified pilot that wanted to fly it would also need to be

checked
out because it's Sport Class certified. Keeping it certified as a normal
aircraft, any certified (non-sport) pilot can fly it without needing the

CFI
checkout.

There aren't many (any?) Sport Pilot CFI's in this area yet. So, I'll

leave
my plane certified as normal. Hopefully the FAA will change its rules a

bit
on the Sport Pilot and Sport Plane requirements that make it more

automatic
to be able to become a sport pilot if your medical expires. Also make a
sport plane be able to use by both Sport pilots and regular pilots without
having to recertify it each time.

I was thinking of getting a Sport Pilot CFI rating added to my private
certificate (see the FAR's, it's possible) but right now it sounds like a
lot of hoops to jump through to do it...


I think there are a bunch of incorrect statements/assertions in there, but
lets Ron Want-a-jaw give it a crack. He was the best at explaining it, the
last time it came up. Heck, I even understood it! g
--
Jim in NC

  #5  
Old July 8th 05, 06:22 AM
W P Dixon
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Default

I do believe you got some BS,
An Ercoupe qualifies under the new sport category and will not have to
certified as a LSA. Read the rules it says any LSA or certified aircraft
meeting the requirements of such. Champs, Cubs, Interstate, Taylorcraft,
Luscombe and Ercoupe(among others!) have planes that meet the requirement. I
am training in a Champ right now and it is a certified aircraft, not LSA.
And as far as insurance, well I got a quote today for renters insurance to
cover my little sport pilot self.
The big deal with insurance from all that I am gathering in trying to
find a local plane to rent is simple. Most of the old planes on the "sport
pilot" can fly list are the old taildraggers. And insurance is out of this
world on them for training/rental to student pilots....not just sport
pilots.
As for your Ercoupe if the mod has been done that actually classifies it
as a D model then it is no longer eligible for sport pilot(it's the elevator
mod and increases the gross weight to 1400lbs), and from everything I have
read and the FAA office in Nashville says, it can never be brought back to a
sport pilot eligible plane. So if it is a C or a C/D model you are good to
go. You fly it as a sport pilot , no ringing of bells required.
Several places are training sport pilots in Ercoupes now, one in
Virginia and one in MASS come to mind right off the bat. Places in Georgia
and Ohio are training in Champs. These airplanes still have the original
certificates they had back in the 40's. And they are insured. The place in
Ohio covers their own but requires renters to be insured.
And a CFI can train sport pilots, if you want to get a sport CFI cert go
for it. I think most sport CFI's will mostly be from the ultralight
community, training in fat ultralights.( which DO have to be reclassified as
LSA's.)
You will find alot of people just are not going to read the rules because
they don't want anything to do with it. Even in aviation the old saying"
It's hard to teach an old dog new tricks." has some merit.
Good Luck,
And heck bring that Ercoupe down here !!!!!

Patrick
student SPL
aircraft structural mech

"n93332" wrote in message
...
" Blueskies" wrote in message
m...
What do you all think of this article?

...no way, I'm not going first!....

http://www.avweb.com/news/atis/189763-1.html

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


Even though the insurance company said they would cover me to fly my
Ercoupe under Sport rules, I decided to go ahead and renew my 3rd class
medical so I could fly at night, fly at towered fields, etc. (which I
haven't done since renewing anyways :-(

A month later I took my Ercoupe in for its annual inspection and got to
talking with the mechanic/inspector. He told me that in order for the
plane to be flown by a Sport Pilot, the plane would have to be recertified
as a Sport Class plane, then I would have to get checked out by a Sport
Pilot CFI and any certified pilot that wanted to fly it would also need to
be checked out because it's Sport Class certified. Keeping it certified as
a normal aircraft, any certified (non-sport) pilot can fly it without
needing the CFI checkout.

There aren't many (any?) Sport Pilot CFI's in this area yet. So, I'll
leave my plane certified as normal. Hopefully the FAA will change its
rules a bit on the Sport Pilot and Sport Plane requirements that make it
more automatic to be able to become a sport pilot if your medical expires.
Also make a sport plane be able to use by both Sport pilots and regular
pilots without having to recertify it each time.

I was thinking of getting a Sport Pilot CFI rating added to my private
certificate (see the FAR's, it's possible) but right now it sounds like a
lot of hoops to jump through to do it...

Of course, the information I got from my mechanic/inspector may be total
BS. I haven't found all the answers yet to these in the FAR's, the FAA,
AOPA, or EAA websites.

-Greg B.


  #6  
Old July 8th 05, 10:47 AM
Cub Driver
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Posts: n/a
Default

On Thu, 07 Jul 2005 23:24:01 GMT, " Blueskies"
wrote:

By Jason Blair


That's a familiar name!

http://slate.msn.com/id/2082741/


-- all the best, Dan Ford

email (put Cubdriver in subject line)

Warbird's Forum:
www.warbirdforum.com
Piper Cub Forum: www.pipercubforum.com
the blog: www.danford.net
In Search of Lost Time: www.readingproust.com
  #7  
Old July 8th 05, 10:50 AM
Cub Driver
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Posts: n/a
Default

On Thu, 7 Jul 2005 23:54:38 -0500, "n93332"
wrote:

He told me that in order for the plane
to be flown by a Sport Pilot, the plane would have to be recertified as a
Sport Class plane, then I would have to get checked out by a Sport Pilot CFI
and any certified pilot that wanted to fly it would also need to be checked
out because it's Sport Class certified.


I suspect he's wrong about the plane, and I'm sure he's wrong about
the pilots.


-- all the best, Dan Ford

email (put Cubdriver in subject line)

Warbird's Forum:
www.warbirdforum.com
Piper Cub Forum: www.pipercubforum.com
the blog: www.danford.net
In Search of Lost Time: www.readingproust.com
  #8  
Old July 8th 05, 12:56 PM
Blueskies
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Posts: n/a
Default


"Cub Driver" wrote in message ...
On Thu, 07 Jul 2005 23:24:01 GMT, " Blueskies"
wrote:

By Jason Blair


That's a familiar name!

http://slate.msn.com/id/2082741/


-- all the best, Dan Ford

email (put Cubdriver in subject line)



Nah, he owns this place:
http://www.dodgenaircraft.com/

Dan D.....


  #9  
Old July 9th 05, 06:19 AM
n93332
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default

"John T" wrote in message
...
Your mechanic IS full of it. Your plane doesn't need to be "recertified"
as a sport pilot plane. Any certfied aircraft that meets the sport pilot
aircraft definitions can be flown by a sport pilot.
You can't "recertificate" a plane that way anyway.


Thanks all for the information/opinions. Sounds like my mechanic is full...

I found this listed on
http://www.sportpilot.org/rule/final...synopsis.html:

a.. Aircraft with a standard airworthiness certificate that meet above
specifications may be flown by sport pilots. However, that airworthiness
certification category will not be changed to a light-sport aircraft.
Holders of a sport pilot certificate may fly an aircraft with a standard
airworthiness certificate if it meets the definition of a light-sport
aircraft.

My Ercoupe is a 415-C, has the C-75 engine and has never modified to the
higher gross weight so it can then be used as a LSA plane. I might just go
for the Sport Pilot CFI add-on to my private certificate after all...

-Greg B.


  #10  
Old July 9th 05, 07:15 AM
W P Dixon
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default

Good For You Greg!,
Now if you need a student to fly your Ercoupe let me know! You can
train in it without the add on as well.

Patrick
student SPL
aircraft structural mech

 




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