September 1, 2009
By Alton K. Marsh
A Seattle-based insurance firm, London Aviation Underwriters, has one-upped a competitor by waiving the entire deductible for Cirrus SR20 and SR22 pilots who deploy the parachute to save their lives.
Parachute deployment usually results in a total loss of the airplane, although the occupants in most cases escape injury. If the aircraft is destroyed, a London Aviation official said, it is common for deductibles to be waived by insurance. The new offer simply formalizes that situation. London Aviation was originally founded as part of Lloyds of London.
A London Aviation official said it is unlikely that a pilot, facing a life-threatening situation, will first consider the cost of the deductible before pulling the chute. On the off chance that someone would put expenses ahead of safety, London Aviation officials said they want to remove financial concerns from the decision to pull the chute. In addition, they felt compelled to match a similar offer by Chartis Light Aviation Division.
Earlier in August Chartis released a statement saying it would waive up to $1,000 of deductible costs for pilots pulling the parachute of a Cirrus airplane. The deductible can go as high as $5,000 or more.
“Any time insurance underwriters reward pilots for taking pre-emptive action to either avoid an accident or reduce the injury severity, everyone benefits. This will help to eliminate the nagging fear a pilot might have about using a critical safety system in a critical situation,” said Bruce Landsberg, president of the AOPA Air Safety Foundation.
AOPA Pilot Senior Editor Alton Marsh has been a pilot since 1970 and has an airline transport pilot certificate and instrument and multiengine flight instructor certificates, aerobatic training, and a commercial seaplane certificate.
A state-of-the art medical facility on remote Tangier Island in the Chesapeake Bay serves as a lasting memorial to the late Dr. David B. Nichols’ dedication to providing medical care to the community for 30 years. Now, Nichols’ aviation legacy—flying a Cessna 182 or Robinson R44 to the island every Thursday to provide that care—is set in stone.
The AOPA Medical Advisory Board is the latest group to urge quick action on the proposed FAA rule that would allow thousands more pilots to fly without the need for a third class medical certificate.
The Perlan Project is less than a year away from the first flight of a glider being built to ride waves near the edge of space. While construction continues in Oregon, the team’s pilots are staying proficient in more ordinary aircraft.
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