Tailwheel LSA

Bob Mackey, Vice President of Falcon Insurance Agency (the official insurance agency for the EAA's Aircraft Insurance Plan), has graciously agreed to moderate this forum and answer your aircraft insurance questions. Thanks Bob!

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smoore
Posts: 14
Joined: Sun May 13, 2007 7:21 pm

Tailwheel LSA

Postby smoore » Sat Sep 15, 2007 9:25 pm

Someone once made a comment (I don't think it was on this board) to me that "Tailwheel and Sport Pilot are bad for insurance." Is this the case?

How about a zero time pilot?

What I'm thinking about doing is getting my LSA training in a Sonex that I build myself. I would have a test pilot fly off the 40 hours (boy, that'll be expensive!) and then commence training in my airplane.

I would build the "sport trainer" version of the Sonex, where the throttle/mixture/flap control/brake is in the center and each occupant has a stick. Both pilots have full access to all controls in this configuration. It would be the 80hp Aerovee engine.

So... to the question:

Would it be foolish to build a tailwheel Sonex to fly as a sport pilot when it comes to insurance costs?

I've already determined that I want to get my primary training in some sort of tailwheel aircraft after reading a lot and asking quite a few questions of both seasoned aviators and PPL holders fresh out of training.
Sean Moore
still a wannabe

Bob Mackey
Posts: 31
Joined: Tue Jan 23, 2007 3:11 pm

Tailwheel LSA - Training

Postby Bob Mackey » Wed Sep 19, 2007 2:44 pm

Hi Sean!

Thanks for your question...

It is true that it is difficult...and MAY be very challenging, to arrange insurance for a Student Pilot in a LSA tailwheel aircraft, but that's not to say it is absolutely impossible. (I learned along time ago to never say never because just as soon as you say never you find out something can be accomplished.)

You MAY be able to obtain aircraft liability and hull insurance as a Student Pilot once the Area Restriction has been flown off the aircraft. A key ingredient will be the qualifications of the Flight Instructor. You must find an Instructor who has good (significant) experience teaching in light tailwheel aircraft. (MY suggestion would be at least 200 hours tailwheel, of which 50 hours have been instruction time.) If the Instructor has no time in a Sonex or similar tailwheel homebuilt aircraft they will need to get at least 10 hours experience before they start teaching you.

The agent that arranges your aircraft insurance will need to go to the insurance company arned with as much information as possible in order to be successful in arrnaging your insurance. If the agent goes to the insurance company with incomplete information I can pretty much guarantee you the agent will not be able to secure any quotes.

Bottom-line, you are facing an uphill battle. I totally appreciate the fact that you want to obtain your pilot license in an airplane you've built and one that is a LSA tailwheel. The kicker is that most insurance companies are reluctant, if not totally opposed to, offering insurance for a Student Pilot in a LSA tailwheel...because the insurance company doesn't see the LSA tailwheel as a good training plateform for training a Student Pilot.

Hope this helps! Good luck!!!

Bob
Bob Mackey
Senior Vice President
Falcon Insurance Agency
(EAA Aircraft Insurance Plan)

smoore
Posts: 14
Joined: Sun May 13, 2007 7:21 pm

Postby smoore » Wed Sep 19, 2007 11:39 pm

Yes, thank you very much. As I figured, SOMEONE might insure me but it would be an uphill fight.

Once I got 100 (?) hours in the thing would insurance come down to a reasonable level, like any SP in a similar tailwheel? Is a SP in a tailwheel more expensive than a PPL holder in the same tailwheel? (I'm thinking Cub)
Sean Moore

still a wannabe

Bob Mackey
Posts: 31
Joined: Tue Jan 23, 2007 3:11 pm

Postby Bob Mackey » Thu Sep 20, 2007 7:08 am

Good Morning Sean!

You will see your premium go down slowly as you gain experience (flight time). There are different break-points with each insurance company. The other factor is that right now there might only be one insurance company that will offer insurance terms because you are a Student Pilot. That will change as you get your Sport Pilot License and as you build more time. With more insurance companies willing to offer terms there is a better chance you will get a lower pirce. As far as Sport Pilot vs. Private Pilot I've only seen very minor differences in the cost for insurance and that has only occurred when the Sport Pilot was very low time so I would more likely say the flight time causes the difference in price not the type of pilot license.

Bob
Bob Mackey

Senior Vice President

Falcon Insurance Agency

(EAA Aircraft Insurance Plan)

smoore
Posts: 14
Joined: Sun May 13, 2007 7:21 pm

Postby smoore » Thu Sep 20, 2007 10:49 am

Thanks again, Bob. The reason I reiterated the TW issue is because I was told "Sport pilot and tailwheel don't mix"

I'm glad it's at least possible.
Sean Moore

still a wannabe

jartz
Posts: 4
Joined: Wed Jul 25, 2007 7:43 pm
Location: P37

Sport Pilot and Tailwheel Definitely DO Mix!

Postby jartz » Mon Feb 04, 2008 9:12 pm

Just consider the American Legend Cub and CubCrafters Sport Cub, together some 186 planes in 2007, for over 16 percent of the market. Definitely tailwheel!

source: http://www.bydanjohnson.com/


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