flying your freshly “out of annual” aircraft to the mechanic for the
annual? Check your insurance coverage
first! Many insurance companies will not
provide coverage for the aircraft if it is not in a current airworthiness
But wait! It is licensed; it does have a current
airworthiness...well not quite! If the
aircraft is out of annual and the owner gets a ferry permit, some people feel
that makes it legal to fly. Sort
of. Yes it is legal, by the FAA, to fly
under the restricted permit. All you
have to do is follow the rules.
insurance company doesn't always agree.
You could have the correct paperwork in the aircraft, the approved pilot
and still not be covered. The insurance
policy often has a clause that will not provide coverage for the aircraft if it
is not within current airworthiness. In
many peoples opinion this is a gray area of the airworthiness. Airworthy means different things to the
insurance company than to the pilot.
What can you
do? Call the agent and get a little
information. Ask a few questions. Check to see if the policy has any language
about FAR’s. Many companies have an
exclusion in the policy that will not provide any coverage for any situation
where the insured is found in non-compliance with the FAR’s. We have found a few companies that don’t have
any language pertaining to FAR’s (but they do have language that excludes out
of annual aircraft).
With an aircraft
that runs out of annual during a trip (poor planning for whatever reason) the
coverage will probably be null and void.
Don’t put yourself into this type of situation. The aircraft needs to have a ferry permit
issued by the appropriate FAA Flight Standards District Office. To do that requires that the aircraft have an
entry in the logbooks from a mechanic stating that the aircraft is airworthy
for a ferry flight. Most of the time
this means it does not have any outstanding AD’s that could jeopardize the
flight, the flight has to be “Day VFR” and that only the required crew be on
board. In that situation having your
friend fly along is not required.
Getting dual in the aircraft because you have never flown it before
might be required for you, but not for the operation of the aircraft.
If you want to
fly and be insured with an aircraft that is out of annual the underwriter can
put a note in the insurance company file and you’ll be okay. Don’t be surprised if they charge you extra
for this little bit of service. If the
aircraft has been out of annual for a long time, say over a month; make sure
that you have a good relationship with the agent and the underwriter. It might take a little work for the agent to
get the underwriter to provide coverage.
Underwriters don’t like to cover aircraft that have been out of annual
for a long time. The risk is too high
for failure and claims.
If you bought an
aircraft that was out of annual, you might not be able to get coverage at
all. Many insurance companies have
decided that they will not take on a new risk that is not ready to fly. That means the aircraft might be a good deal
as is, out of annual, but you can’t bring it home insured. If you want to buy an aircraft in this
situation, call the agent first and let him know what the situation is. We have been able to get coverage in a
limited number of cases provided the aircraft has not been out of annual very
long and the pilot was qualified to fly the aircraft.
situation, make sure you check you policy before you fly an aircraft that is
out of annual… or hundred hour inspection, but that’s a different story.
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