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EAA Insurance Solutions: Who’s Flying Your Airplane? Are You Insured?
By Bob Mackey, Senior Vice President, EAA Insurance Solutions Administered by Falcon Insurance Agency, Inc.
February 10, 2016 - Steve and Mary Miller own a Vans RV-6A and their 15-year-old daughter Sarah wants to learn to fly. First, Sarah wants to solo on her 16th birthday and then pass her private pilot checkride on her 17th birthday. Steve’s friend Frank Allen also owns an RV-6A and has a current flight instructor rating. He does some dual instruction transition training in his airplane under a LOA (letter of authority) from the FAA and he has offered to give Sarah flight instruction in the Miller’s RV-6A.
The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) goes to great lengths to define pilot-in-command requirements for a certified flight instructor providing both dual flight instruction and supervised solo flight instruction. The insurance company also includes within the insurance policy specific conditions and requirements regarding who may act as pilot of the insured aircraft. Please note that the FAA is concerned with regulations and the insurance company is concerned with who is and is not an approved pilot for the operation of the insured aircraft. These two concerns may not be the same!
Typically, with some variances, the insurance policy states that the pilot operating the insured airplane must be specifically named as an approved pilot or meet the pilot warranty as it may apply to an unnamed pilot. Many airplane owners have incorrectly assumed their insurance policy will cover them as long as the pilot operating their airplane meets the FAA’s definition of pilot-in-command. This is generally not the case. In the example above, if the flight instructor meets the pilot warranty for unnamed pilots, or if the flight instructor is added to the insurance policy as a named pilot, this still may not satisfy the insurance company’s requirement if they are giving flight instruction to a student pilot who is not a named pilot.
The only way to be absolutely certain a student pilot receiving flight instruction in an aircraft meets the insurance policy requirements to act as a pilot is to make sure the student pilot is either specifically named in the pilots section of the insurance policy or meets the pilot warranty as it may apply to any unnamed pilots. The aircraft owner should contact their insurance broker and discuss their plans to use their airplane for flight instruction to a student pilot. In the case of the Millers, Steve or Mary should contact their insurance broker to make absolutely sure their aircraft insurance policy will protect them while their daughter, Sarah, learns to fly including supervised solo and ultimately taking her checkride for her private pilot license.
Your aircraft insurance doesn’t have to be complicated, especially if you are working with an experienced aviation insurance professional. The aviation insurance professionals at EAA Insurance Solutions exclusively administered by Falcon Insurance Agency, Inc. can help you make sure you obtain the right insurance at the best price.
As an EAA member you have exclusive access to a great resource with EAA Insurance Solutions. Call 866-647-4322 and talk directly to an aviation insurance professional, or request a free, no-obligation quote for aircraft insurance on the EAA Insurance Solutions Web page.
Bob Mackey is senior vice president with Falcon Insurance Agency, the official administrators of EAA Insurance Solutions. If you have any comments about this article or if would like to see a specific aviation insurance topic addressed in a future article, send him an e-mail.