If you are, do you carry liability insurance? Damian Fowler, author of Falling Through Clouds suggests in a NY Times editorial that the accident rate for private pilots would be improved if they were required to carry liability insurance.
The current policies are not working. Five years ago the F.A.A. set a goal of reducing the accident rate in general aviation by 10 percent by 2018. But it has remained static, with the N.T.S.B. reporting an average of 1,500 aviation accidents a year, resulting in about 450 fatalities.Given how expensive A) general aviation aircraft are, B) how expensive flying is, and C) the cost of flight time with instruction, is this even practical? The goal is laudable, and clearly current efforts to reduce the accident rates are ineffective. But… how would this work in practice, and how many pilots would be willing to do it?
Perhaps the F.A.A. should require all general aviation pilots to carry liability insurance, which would force pilots to have the superior training the insurance companies would require.
There is currently no federal requirement that the owner or pilot of a private aircraft carry insurance to cover injuries to passengers or a third party on the ground. While some states do require this, the regulatory environment is an inconsistent patchwork.
Typically an insurer will be more rigorous than the Federal Aviation Regulations in setting a minimum number of flight hours in a specific aircraft model, and may require additional training for a pilot who is considered inexperienced or has few flight hours. “The insurance companies study these statistics, know what leads to safer flying, and most importantly to them, have a vested interest in the pilot being properly trained and experienced in the aircraft before they take on the risk,” said Stuart Fraenkel, a lawyer and associate adjunct professor at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University.
I have no opinion on this, other that to note that flying these days is so far out of my financial league as it is, the question is moot for me.