What if my mechanic needs to take my aircraft for a test flight; will my insurance cover this flight?

As spring arrives, so do all the aircraft that were hibernating during the winter months. Aircraft are coming out of completion, major overhaul, and general storage just in time to meet the good flying weather. With all these aircraft returning to flight status, there is naturally some final maintenance work wrapping up, which could include test flights and run-ups. If you know the maintenance facility is going to conduct run-ups and test flights, do not assume that they are automatically covered to do so in your aircraft.

Just because someone is your mechanic or works for an accredited facility doesn’t mean that person meets the pilot clause, and it certainly doesn’t exempt them from the pilot requirements on your policy. Regardless of who it is, anyone flying the aircraft must meet the open pilot warranty if they are not already named on your policy. It is often assumed that work done at a Part 145 repair station or by a licensed mechanic is automatically covered. But that is not always the case. Also, for those of you who put your aircraft on ground-only during the winter, do not forget to let your agent know before you’re flying again! This is one of the most common oversights when aircraft return to service after being grounded for an extended period of time. Your aircraft is too large an investment to make any assumptions.