Pilot performs forced landing day after insurance expires

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floatsflyer
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Pilot performs forced landing day after insurance expires

Postby floatsflyer » Mon Feb 18, 2013 5:41 pm

There's a video of a forced landing in an Idaho snow covered field that's gone viral in the last few days. The pilot did a terrific job as 4 people and a baby walked away physically uninjured.

Now, to add insult to no injury, I just read yesterday that the pilot's aircraft insurance expired at midnight the night before the forced landing and he had not/forgot to renew in time. The insurance company says they will not cover the loss because there are no extentions to premium due dates and no grace periods. I'm sure there are different policies with different companies but this appears to be unfair. Shouldn't the pilot receive a full hearing on his ommission before the company just issues a blanket "you aren't covered." What's your take on this and what is the general policy on an issue like this?

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drseti
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Re: Pilot performs forced landing day after insurance expire

Postby drseti » Mon Feb 18, 2013 10:45 pm

I'd sure like to know who his insurance company is, so we can all avoid doing business with them. (Better still, I'd like to see that insurance company's behavior going viral!)
The opinions posted are those of one CFI, and do not necessarily represent the FAA or its lawyers.
Prof. H. Paul Shuch, Ph.D., CFII, LSRM-A/GL/WS/PPC, iRMT
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jnmeade
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Re: Pilot performs forced landing day after insurance expire

Postby jnmeade » Mon Feb 18, 2013 11:04 pm

My own experience is the insurance company notifies me several times in advance of policy termination.
I'd be shocked if the insurance company would cover him. Why would they? He was, apparently of his own volition, uninsured. They owed him some grace period?

Jack Tyler
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Re: Pilot performs forced landing day after insurance expire

Postby Jack Tyler » Tue Feb 19, 2013 5:49 am

"My own experience is the insurance company notifies me several times in advance of policy termination.
I'd be shocked if the insurance company would cover him."

Concur completely. Here are two alternative ways to look at this kind of issue (beside just seeing the insurance company as the bad guy): 1) If he was covered the day after his policy expired, when would we expect coverage to actually lapse? 24 hours? 48 hours? One week? Where is this imaginary line drawn, if not in the policy language? 2) The insurance company has a duty to its client which is outlined by the policy. It also has a no-less important fiduciary responsibility to its shareholders or owners. Imagine an internal auditor later reviewing the claim's payment and asking: "Now why were these funds allocated to an uninsured rather than used to offset the costs of operating our company?"
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FastEddieB
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Re: Pilot performs forced landing day after insurance expire

Postby FastEddieB » Tue Feb 19, 2013 6:47 am

I'm with Jack.

Insurance policies have expiration dates.

Those expiration dates should be clearly defined in the policy.

A "grace period" would be wonderful, but if it's not there, so be it.

What would be the likely outcome if you were ramp-checked the day after your medical expired? Or if you were involved in an accident the day after your BFR expired?

I feel for the guy, but he just got a life lesson, albeit at a high price.
Last edited by FastEddieB on Tue Feb 19, 2013 8:46 am, edited 1 time in total.
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designrs
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Re: Pilot performs forced landing day after insurance expire

Postby designrs » Tue Feb 19, 2013 8:29 am

It was interesting how fast the airplane flipped. It was just "BAMM!" Can anyone comment on his soft-field technique and/or the realities of doing a soft-field landing in snow like that?

Video and pics here:

http://www.theblaze.com/stories/2013/02 ... nger-seat/

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drseti
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Re: Pilot performs forced landing day after insurance expire

Postby drseti » Tue Feb 19, 2013 9:43 am

designrs wrote:It was interesting how fast the airplane flipped. It was just "BAMM!" Can anyone comment on his soft-field technique and/or the realities of doing a soft-field landing in snow like that?


Once the nosewheel digs in, you're going over on your back, and there's not much you can do about it. So, the only defense is to keep the nosewheel off with full back stick. (Think taildragger landing technique.) In some planes, that's just not possible with a dead engine; there isn't enough elevator authority without propwash across the tailfeathers. (I don't know if that is the case with the accident airplane, but if it is, that would absolve the pilot somewhat.)
The opinions posted are those of one CFI, and do not necessarily represent the FAA or its lawyers.
Prof. H. Paul Shuch, Ph.D., CFII, LSRM-A/GL/WS/PPC, iRMT
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drseti
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Re: Pilot performs forced landing day after insurance expire

Postby drseti » Tue Feb 19, 2013 9:51 am

FastEddieB wrote:Insurance policies have expiration dates.


Well, yes, and of course i don't know anything about this pilot's situation or extenuating circumstances. If he had received renewal notices and chose to ignore them for whatever reason, so be it. If he was traveling, and unable to send payment until he got home, a simple phone call might have gotten him a binder, and a check could have been sent later. All speculation. But there are also things an insurance company can do to help prevent a lapse. One is to have an automatic renewal clause (policy will renew unless you tell us otherwise). If they're concerned about being stiffed, insurance companies can also auto-bill renewals to a credit card, or ACH from a bank account. I would prefer to do business with insurance companies that have such protective policies .
The opinions posted are those of one CFI, and do not necessarily represent the FAA or its lawyers.
Prof. H. Paul Shuch, Ph.D., CFII, LSRM-A/GL/WS/PPC, iRMT
AvSport of Lock Haven
fly@AvSport.org
http://AvSport.org
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dstclair
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Re: Pilot performs forced landing day after insurance expire

Postby dstclair » Tue Feb 19, 2013 10:37 am

Aircraft insurance policies are not like automobile policies in that there is (typically) no automatic renewal. There is really no way for the insurer to know your flying experience over the last year, ratings/training received, last medical and the current claimed hull value.

My broker explicitly reminds of the non-renewal nature of aircraft policies every year and that there is no grace period. I checked my last few policies and the term is quite clear along with no grace period mentioned.

I feel for the pilot and wish him luck in getting coverage.
dave

jnmeade
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Re: Pilot performs forced landing day after insurance expire

Postby jnmeade » Tue Feb 19, 2013 11:09 am

drseti wrote:Once the nosewheel digs in, you're going over on your back, and there's not much you can do about it.


This might be a nice discussion to break out to a separate thread. I have personal knowledge of cases where the plane flipped and cases where it went on it's nose but didn't flip.

For those just starting out, it might be an interesting thread to talk about the likely effects of landing off airport on various surfaces. For example, corn fields, where I come from.

floatsflyer
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Re: Pilot performs forced landing day after insurance expire

Postby floatsflyer » Tue Feb 19, 2013 11:17 am

We don't know the circumstances surrounding the insurance lapsing except the timing couldn't have been worse. I'm sure we've all not payed a bill on time because of nothing more than benign forgetfulness. Life gets in the way and sometimes things just aren't taken care of as they should in a timely manner. We've all been in a position like this. I don't know if this is applicable to this pilot but I still believe that the insurance company is acting in the most machiavellian way.

If he is still moderating this subject I would like to hear from Bob Mackey.

jnmeade
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Re: Pilot performs forced landing day after insurance expire

Postby jnmeade » Tue Feb 19, 2013 11:24 am

floatsflyer wrote:We don't know the circumstances surrounding the insurance lapsing except the timing couldn't have been worse. I'm sure we've all not payed a bill on time because of nothing more than benign forgetfulness. Life gets in the way and sometimes things just aren't taken care of as they should in a timely manner. We've all been in a position like this. I don't know if this is applicable to this pilot but I still believe that the insurance company is acting in the most machiavellian way.

If he is still moderating this subject I would like to hear from Bob Mackey.


Would you call your insurance agent, ask him/her this question, and report back to us what s/he says?

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drseti
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Re: Pilot performs forced landing day after insurance expire

Postby drseti » Tue Feb 19, 2013 11:34 am

dstclair wrote:There is really no way for the insurer to know your flying experience over the last year, ratings/training received, last medical and the current claimed hull value.


Point taken, Dave. I hadn't thought of that
The opinions posted are those of one CFI, and do not necessarily represent the FAA or its lawyers.
Prof. H. Paul Shuch, Ph.D., CFII, LSRM-A/GL/WS/PPC, iRMT
AvSport of Lock Haven
fly@AvSport.org
http://AvSport.org
http://facebook.com/SportFlying

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designrs
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Re: Pilot performs forced landing day after insurance expire

Postby designrs » Tue Feb 19, 2013 3:40 pm

drseti wrote:Once the nosewheel digs in, you're going over on your back, and there's not much you can do about it. So, the only defense is to keep the nosewheel off with full back stick. (Think taildragger landing technique.)


Combined with the video of the recent incident, this is a very profound and helpful statement Paul, especially to me as a student. We read about soft-field, understand the reason why, but the above is the realization of how serious the situation of soft-field is if needed in the real world. To think that some planes can't even do a motor-out soft-field landing is mind blowing!

So the nosewheel digs in, and BAMM, you flip.
Those nice big soft fields down there are not as safe as they look!
Of course proficiency is a big factor, but how many pilots are really 100% on the soft-field technique at all times? (Watching normal landings at some airports is interesting... and you think these guys can do a correct soft-field?)

Makes me think more about roads and parking lots for an emergency landing.
Also makes me think about that chute more too!

jnmeade
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Re: Pilot performs forced landing day after insurance expire

Postby jnmeade » Tue Feb 19, 2013 9:33 pm

designrs wrote:
drseti wrote:Once the nosewheel digs in, you're going over on your back, and there's not much you can do about it. So, the only defense is to keep the nosewheel off with full back stick. (Think taildragger landing technique.)


Combined with the video of the recent incident, this is a very profound and helpful statement Paul, especially to me as a student. We read about soft-field, understand the reason why, but the above is the realization of how serious the situation of soft-field is if needed in the real world. To think that some planes can't even do a motor-out soft-field landing is mind blowing!


I have personally witnessed two softfield landing where the nose dug in and the plane tipped up on it's nose but did not go on it's back. One was a Citabria and one was a C172RG. As you must guess, the plane was going slowly when the nose dug in.

So the nosewheel digs in, and BAMM, you flip.
Those nice big soft fields down there are not as safe as they look!
Of course proficiency is a big factor, but how many pilots are really 100% on the soft-field technique at all times? (Watching normal landings at some airports is interesting... and you think these guys can do a correct soft-field?)

Makes me think more about roads and parking lots for an emergency landing.
Also makes me think about that chute more too!


Here is what is wrong with roads and parking lots:
1. Chance of traffic which can not see you but is going fast
2. Chance of wires crossing the road
3. Chance of mailboxes, bridges and so forth that catch a wing

The chute is not a bad idea. The objective should be to minimize damage to people and the chute may often (but not always) be the best way to do that.

The AFH says in Chapter 8:
Landing on fields that are rough or have soft surfaces,
such as snow, sand, mud, or tall grass requires unique
procedures. When landing on such surfaces, the
objective is to touch down as smoothly as possible,
and at the slowest possible landing speed.

Chapter 16 is all about emergencies.

I'm not current on FAA guidance, but when I was teaching a lot, the DPE would not have been happy to see a student select a road over a field. I can't give you all the thinking on it.


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