Sport Pilots committed to self-certification

I very much enjoy GANews. Keep up the good work!

In your Dec. 2, 2005, issue, you published a letter, “Could medical kill Sport Pilot?” in response to Amelia T. Reiheld’s article titled, “Pilots still frustrated by Sport Pilot medical,” which appeared in the Oct. 21, 2005, issue. I would like to counter several points made in that letter.

Ms. Reiheld’s article contained a lot of good information, but I believe it was interpreted by your reader to imply pilots flying as sport pilots will do so while ignoring serious medical problems and forgetting the responsibility demanded with self-certification. I disagree with his assessment.

The agent’s assertion that the majority of pilots seeking to fly as a Sport Pilot will do so with complete disregard for disqualifying medical conditions or required medical self-certification is not an accurate depiction of what we at Falcon Insurance Agency are seeing and hearing every day.

At Falcon we receive many calls from active pilots, inactive pilots and future pilots. Only on a rare occasion have they mentioned a medical condition that would prohibit them from obtaining an airman medical or would be considered a disqualification under self-certification. On those rare occasions when a prospective client makes this type of statement, we clearly explain the ramifications of false or incorrect information on an insurance application.

We also go into detail as to how aircraft insurance policies provide protection and sometimes exclude coverage if a policy condition is violated. Again, this type of situation is rare, and we have been able to help these individuals by referring them to the Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA), where further assistance is always available.

In addition, I would add that at Falcon we have found the aviation insurance companies, with few reservations, are extremely receptive to the new FAA rules for Sport Pilots and Light Sport Aircraft. Falcon, working with the leaders at EAA, has been successful in getting more and more aviation insurance companies to offer aircraft insurance to this new aviation community. If it were not for EAA’s leadership role, these new rules would probably still be conceptual at best.

The bottom line is we at Falcon are seeing pilots and would be pilots totally committed to following the FAA rules on self-certification. Further, we have also found EAA, as well as other leading aviation associations, focused on educating the entire aviation universe about FAA rules on Sport Pilot and Light Sport Aircraft. Finally, we also see an extremely bright future with Sport Pilots and Light Sport Aircraft: more pilots, more aircraft, more options for aircraft insurance, and a stronger infrastructure for all of aviation.

Bob Mackey
Vice President
Falcon Insurance Agency

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