Airplane In Hanger

Thinking of Making the Move to a Complex Aircraft?

As active as the aircraft market is today, we are seeing more and more pilots wanting to move to complex aircraft, and in some cases, the move has proven to be more involved than the operator initially thought. This comes from not only the FAA requirements, but also what the insurance companies will require prior to insuring a pilot in a complex aircraft.

Unfortunately, this transition to a complex aircraft provides some hurdles from the insurance carriers that may not have been there in the past. While we always try to avoid throwing last-minute requirements onto an operator, we do have some situations where the purchase of an aircraft happens before we know anything about it.

We know the advantages of flying complex can be alluring, there are several things to consider before taking this step. Of course, the operator is usually getting more speed, but keep in mind that usually translates to more cost, along with the gear needing to be serviced and the life span of the propellers.

In terms of obtaining insurance coverage for a pilot newer to complex aircraft, the operator should note that requirements are now stricter and the rates are higher than before. With some aircraft/pilot combinations, we just aren’t able to obtain quotes.

Some recommendations to avoid this:

  • Newer aircraft can be easier to obtain coverage for older ones due to the availability of replacement parts.
  • Hours are critical. Low total time and retractable gear time can make it difficult, and in some cases impossible, to get insurance quotes.
  • For some, an instrument rating will be required (depending on the aircraft).
  • Plan on regular maintenance on the gear to avoid the all too common “gear up” claims.

For more information or details, give us a call.