Over the past few years, I have had the opportunity to speak to several individuals interested in purchasing the Super Petrel LSA wanting to place them in a flight school environment. It certainly would be a perfect fit for many areas of flight training. Basic simple-to-operate design. Economical at 4 gallons per fuel burn. Low overall maintenance cost per hour. Fantastic Garmin G3X avionics that meet the Technically Advanced Aircraft criteria. All good so far. But then the aviation insurance doldrums. A call to the insurance agent brings everything to a grinding halt.
I was informed of one quote to include restrictions such as “no solo flight by the student” and “the instructor must be in the airplane at all times”. What ! Not to mention the premium was over $18,000 per year ! Obviously, the insurance companies are making decisions we aviators do not want them to make.
A recent article I read shed some light on the ever-rising premiums and who is being hit the hardest to insure their aircraft. It seems older pilots (I just turned 73), pilots with low flight time are being hit. Including pilots transitioning to more complex and high value aircraft, owner-flown biz jets and single engine turboprops.
Then there are the helicopters regardless of why type. To make matters even worse, the there are fewer aviation underwriters each year. Most aviation insurance companies are stating that they have not reached a level of profitability and premiums will continue to increase for another 1-2 years.
The good news is there are things we can do to mitigate the ever-increasing cost and help avoid aviation insurance doldrums. One thing to do is do anything you can to differentiate yourself as a preferred risk:
- Hire a CFI (who teaches in the Garmin G3X or knows the Dynon Skyview) to fly with you every six months in your TAA Super Petrel Light Sport Aircraft.
- Add a SES rating to your current certificate.
- Upgrade your LS pilot license to a Private
- Get your Instrument Rating. BTW, these all count as your Flight Review
- Participate in the WINGS and the Sea WINGS programs (https://www.faasafety.gov/spans/noticeView.aspx?nid=2567).
- Stay more proficient by flying more. Your Super Petrel LS only burns 4-5 gallons per hour (big advantage for Super Petrel owners).
Also check out the AOPA’s Air Safety Institute program launched in 2018 called the “Focused Flight Review”. Check it out with the two links below:
Use the above tips to help avoid aviation insurance doldrums. Enjoy your flight time in the Super Petrel and use your check list. Remember, one Uh-Oh wipes out hundreds of Atta-Boys.
President, Super Petrel USA