CFI or Student – Who is liable for damage?
Let’s say as a student you are practicing your landings with your CFI and they are less than stellar. If damage occurred to the plane or the airport, who would be at fault?
Liability usually follows whoever was the pilot in command (PIC). However, there is generally an important caveat to PIC, and that is for students. Being pre-solo signifies that a CFI is in the plane flying with you, and that the CFI’s responsibility is to not only provide instruction but to do so in a safe manner; they should be ready at the controls to quickly correct any deviation from safe operation. Most likely, the CFI would be held responsible in this instance. Once you solo and are operating the aircraft on your own, you most likely would be held responsible.
Many student pilots make the mistake of assuming that insurance is unnecessary during their flight training, believing that the sole responsibility for coverage falls to the flight school and/or FBO or to their CFI. Be sure to ask your flight school and/or FBO what your financial responsibilities are beyond their insurance coverage if damage occurs, especially when you get ready to solo.
A simple, affordable, renter insurance policy from AssuredPartners Aerospace can help you avoid this risk – and provide the insurance protection you need to enjoy your flights, worry-free. The non-owned aircraft rental insurance policy has coverage for bodily injury and property damage and aircraft physical damage coverage, as well as offers legal defense coverage at no additional cost.