I’ve read with some concern the high cost of insurance for the SR22. I thought it was the insurance companies underwriting department puzzling over the higher horsepower and speed that was causing them some “gas” pains, but I was wrong. I have a couple of local pilots that I am willing to let have some stick time in my plane, but neither has flown a Cirrus. I went the insurance companies and asked what would be required to let them flew under the open pilot provision of my policy and the answer will surprise you.
The two pilots are both heavy iron airline captains and yes they have and still do flew SEL stuff so they are in touch with the “real art of flying”. Let me summarize the qualifications of one of the two gentlemen.
QUALIFICATIONS: Over 21,000 hours Â… type rated in A310, BA111, B727, B737, B747, B757, B767, DC8, L300, L382, MD11. Current Gold Seal CFII. Outstanding grad Air Force Pilot Training, Top Instrument Pilot Air Force Pilot Training, youngest in class at F-4 school and C141 school. Youngest pilot selected by NASA. Flight Safety instructor pilot in MD11. Chief Instructor Pilot for UPS. The only pilot at UPS that is qualified to fly every plane in their fleet! The other pilot is an international Northwest DC10 captain. He used to own and fly several SEL GA airplanes at the local flight school here in Monterey, CA.
The point is that both are qualified to the extreme. I, therefore, thought this is a no-brainer and that I, as a current CFII, could provide the necessary transition training and we were be set. NO WAY!
USAIG: Working through AOPA agency (USAIG) I was told that there would be over $1,000 increase in the annual premium to simply add these two as “named insureds” to the policy AND they needed to get “factory training”, which Cirrus currently contracts through Wings Aloft, which I believe is to reduce their liability.
IMPLICATION: I am in favor of seeing pilots get consist and professional training to increase safety and think it is a good idea for nearly all the pilots. However, I do not like the implication of what is being “said”. If you stop to think about the insurance companies position (AOPA checked and all have colluded and have the same requirements — possible lawsuit?) they are telling us (owners) that the ONLY way to get someone “qualified” is through Wings Aloft or whatever flight school Cirrus contracts with! NO OTHER FLIGHT SCHOOL or INSTRUCTOR can qualify a pilot to fly an SR20 or SR22 Â… not Flight Safety or any other flight program. What an absurd position to take!
I like the folks at Wings Aloft, but let’s face it they tend to be young and not always the most experienced instructors, but for insurance companies to collude and deny owners the “right” to seek out more qualified instructors and some that might even be local is outrageous. What does this mean for people that might want to buy our planes? The prospective owner would have to seek out only Wings Aloft instructors for the necessary transition training.
OUTCOME: The first of my two friends are going to go to Wings Aloft (Northwest guy first Â… costs nothing to go to SEA) and see what happens. The initial inquiry with Wings was it was going to take TWO DAYS and cost $2,000 each for these guys to get a check out! I’m not sure that will be the final outcome, but that is what is currently being discussed. The fact is that the Wings Aloft folks should have to pay to fly with them! I have flown with the UPS pilot and he is unbelievably good and a font of knowledge about flying. It was a treat to see someone so proficient.
MEANING FOR US: We need to put an owners group together that empathizes safety and helps establish training guidelines. In addition, that organization should provide help, suggestions, and buying programs (where appropriate) for the owners as a whole. Some have suggested the American Bonanza Society or the American Yankee Association (Grummans) as a model I whole heartedly support such an effort and encourage those interested in moving forward. Count me in.
Sorry for making this so long Â… Be safe out thereÂ…