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Approved Pilots

By Bob Mackey, representative for the EAA Aircraft Insurance Plan, Administered by Falcon Insurance Agency

The other day an old friend who I hadn’t spoken to in many years called me out of the blue to ask if I could help him with his airplane insurance. After several minutes of “catching up,” we got down to discussing his airplane and what he needed. I gathered all the pertinent details so I could get the most appropriate insurance coverage for the best possible price. I got the airplane information (a really nice tailwheel airplane), updated pilot experience (he is a professional pilot so he has plenty), home airport details, and any special flying needs, (i.e. ski-plane flying in the winter, travel outside the U.S., etc.).

As we reached the point where I had pretty much everything I needed I asked one last question: Will anyone else be flying your airplane? And he answered, “Yes, I’m teaching my wife to fly.” (Boy, I’m always glad I don’t forget to ask that question!)

I told him I’d need information on his wife so I could put her on the insurance as a named approved pilot. He asked why, explaining that he would be the flight instructor and pilot-in-command, “So why does she need to be named as a pilot?” The answer, as far as the insurance company is concerned, is that the person flying the airplane is the person that must be a named approved pilot.

There are all kinds of issues when you look at the language of the insurance policy, as well as some of the state laws and court decisions, regarding who is the pilot. Unless you have an Open Pilot Warranty on your insurance policy that allows other pilots to fly your airplane as long as they meet a general set of requirements, you should always make sure that the pilot who will be controlling the operation of your aircraft is also a named approved pilot.

If you have any questions regarding this or anything else about your airplane insurance, call the EAA Aircraft Insurance Plan at 866-647-4EAA (4322). The aviation insurance professionals at Falcon Insurance Agency can assist you to make sure you have your airplane insurance set-up properly. You can also submit an online quote request at www.eaainsurance.org.

EAA INSURANCE TIPS is a special EAA Member benefit. If you have an insurance related topic you’d like to see addressed or if you have any comments, please email bmackey@falconinsurance.com. If you need an insurance quotation call 866-647-4EAA (4322).

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