There are several situations where you may need another pilot to fly your aircraft.
- The weather was poor, and you had an important meeting to make. To play it safe you took an airline home and hire a ferry pilot to reposition your airplane once the weather clears.
- A pilot friend wants to get back into flying and needs to knock some rust off and complete a flight review. The local school is all booked up and you offer your aircraft.
- You are a CFI, and your sibling wants to earn their complex rating. You offer to teach them in your retractable gear aircraft free of charge.
Are you insured for these scenarios? It depends!
Anyone handling the controls of your aircraft must comply with the insurance policy by:
- Meeting the open pilot warranty (if available) or
- Being named on the policy
The open pilot warranty on your policy states the minimum requirements a pilot must meet to fly the aircraft without underwriter permission. It will specify the certificates, ratings, and minimum flight hours the prospective pilot must have. The open pilot warranty is intended for someone who is an occasional user of the aircraft (example: maintenance and reposition flights).
If a pilot does not meet this warranty, is an owner, part-owner, regular user of the aircraft, or is not current to act as PIC according to FAA regulations, they must be specifically named on the policy. To be named, the underwriter will review the pilot’s qualifications and flight history. There may be an additional premium due based on their experience.
If neither of the above requirements are met and there is a claim while that pilot is at the controls, you could risk having that claim denied.
We are assuming you do not let just anyone fly your aircraft, it is likely in the ferry pilot situation that you are hiring an individual with immense experience to reposition the aircraft for you. In most cases, an experienced pilot will qualify under your open pilot warranty. However, sometimes they may miss the required make and model time by a few hours. Often, you can get this one-time flight approved by the underwriter by providing their pilot history at little or no change in premium.
Rusty pilots may meet the hour requirements for the open pilot warranty, but are they current with their flight review and medical? This may be a case where they need to be named on the policy. As for the pilot earning their complex rating, they would not meet the open pilot warranty so they must be named on the policy. Even if they are flying with the owner or receiving dual instruction from a qualified CFI, they still must be named to guarantee coverage. There will likely be an increase in premium to add, to be pro-rated when endorsed. Sometimes underwriters will add for a fully earned fee. Usually, there is no return premium if this pilot is deleted later.
When it doubt, call your insurance agent to see if another pilot can fly your aircraft. We all love to share the joy of flight with others, but when it comes to important phases of flight, your insurance carrier cares who is handling the controls. AIR is an aviation insurance broker for pilots by pilots. We are here to help you understand your policy and guide you when other pilots may use your aircraft. For more information call 301-682-6200 or visit https://air-pros.com to obtain an aircraft insurance quote today!