By Bob Mackey
EAA Aircraft Insurance Plan
May 27, 2010 — After what appeared to be a normal approach, the pilot of a high-performance homebuilt prepared to land. The aircraft suddenly veered to the left and despite full correcting controls to the right, he could not keep the airplane over the runway. The airplane contacted the ground left wing low and made several subsequent counterclockwise spins, causing severe damage to the airplane along with minor injuries to the pilot and passenger and some damaged runway lights.
The post-accident investigation determined the pilot was attempting to land in a 40 degree crosswind with gusts up to 25 mph. The kit manufacturer in their materials provided to owner/builders recommended that maximum direct crosswind landing with winds above 15 mph should be avoided. The pilot had not checked the wind so he had no idea as to the wind speed or direction.
The simple fact is accidents happen. It’s why we buy insurance because we can make certain assumptions about things that might happen, but there’s always a chance something might happen that we don’t anticipate - either due to a mechanical failure, pilot error, or some other cause. Understanding your airplane insurance and your coverages should be your first step in dealing with the “stuff” that might happen.
In the above example, the airplane owner made a conscious decision to not get in-motion airplane physical damage (hull) insurance when he purchased his insurance; therefore while he did have liability insurance for the runway lights he damaged and the minor injuries to his passenger, he did not have insurance coverage for the damage to his airplane. Not having hull insurance was the owner’s decision, but it became a poor one when he did not check to see what the winds were before attempting to land.
The “stuff” factor depends on the riskiness of the pilot. Your knowledge of insurance and working with a professional aviation insurance agent will help you determine your insurance options and cost. Your own “stuff” factor will determine whether or not you are likely to have “stuff” happen to you.
“Stuff” can and does happen - due to your own actions as well as other things that you cannot control. One thing you can control is who you choose to work with to obtain airplane insurance. Regardless of your personal “stuff” factor, go with a pro at the EAA Aircraft Insurance Plan administrated by Falcon Insurance Agency!
If you would like to know more about the EAA Aircraft Insurance Plan, or find the right insurance for the type of flying you do, call 866-647-4EAA (4322), or visit www.eaainsurance.org and complete the online quote request form. When you insure your airplane through the EAA Aircraft Insurance Plan you’re helping support EAA Member Safety and Youth Education programs.
If you would like to share any stories, ideas, comments, or suggestion with Bob Mackey please e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org