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Tailwheel Insurance

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Active member
Oct 22, 2005
On short notice I discovered I have the opportunity to fly a tailwheel aircraft over Thanksgiving for the cost of gas provided I can come up with insurance for it. I'm wondering if anyone has any recommendations on where I should start looking?

I am a CFI/CFII/MEI with about 870TT. The plane I would be flying is a kit-built Rans S-7. Is it possible to come up with insurance like this on short notice? What is an estimate of what I should expect to pay? Can it be temporary since I only plan on flying it from Thursday to Sunday? Thanks in advance for your help.


I suppose it would help to know that I have absolutely no logged tailwheel experience. Thanks
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Most insurance companies are going to require at least 10 hours dual instruction in a conventional geared airplane. Ground loop accidents are prevalent and can be expensive.
I've got a little over 1800 hours of tailwheel time, and I've been through the insurance thing a couple of times with tailwheel aircraft. As was said above, on MOST tailwheel aircraft, the insurer is going to require you to have at least 10 hrs dual before they will even consider it, but that requirement is usually for someone who already has some tailwheel time to begin with. Since you have none at all, I would venture to guess that their requirement will be higher. Add to that the fact that this is a kitbuilt experimental aircraft that is fairly high performance, and you may be looking at not being insurable at all, simply because you have no tailwheel experience whatsoever. The Rans S-7 would NOT be a good aircraft to get initial tailwheel time in, IMHO. Let us know how it turns out, though, I'll be curious what you found out.
I got to thinking after I posted that message, so I pulled up the Rans website. I was thinking about a different aircraft. I see now that the S-7 is similar in design to a Cub or a Citabria. I guess I was thinking about the Vans RV series. You might not have that much trouble getting insured in the Rans, but I am pretty sure they will want some dual since you have no taildragger experience at all.
Thank you for your quick replies and sorry for my slow one. My internet has been down.

Most insurance companies are going to require at least 10 hours dual instruction in a conventional geared airplane. Ground loop accidents are prevalent and can be expensive.
This is what I was expecting when I called AOPA. However, from what they described, for renters insurance, it didn't matter what you were flying, you would be covered in any airplane you flew as long as it was airplane single engine land. My underestanding is that I'm going to be getting 250,000 of liability plus 40,000 of coverage for damage I might do to the aircraft itself for 555 dollars per year. The owner estimates the total value of the plane to be in the 40,000 dollar range so this works well.

The representative I spoke to said it didn't matter if you were a brand new student pilot or if you had 20,000 hours and an ATP, you would still get the same rates for the renters insurance. My policy as viewed on my online AOPA account says something like the following:

Item 3: Your coverage and limits of liability:

Each Occurance: $250,000
Passengers are: Included
Passenger Sub-Limit: $25,0000
Aircraft Damage: $40,000
Annual Premium: $550.00

IMPORTANT: This Insurance applies during your personal, non-commercial use of non-owned fixed wing, non-pressurized, land aircraft having a non-turbine single engine of 450 horsepower or less (including non-powered sailplanes) and capacity for no more than seven (7) total passengers and/or seats (1 pilot and 6 other passengers), and a "Standard, Experimental, Restricted or Light Sport" Aircraft Certificate, and not furnished to you for more than thirty (30) consecutive days.

I really hope I haven't bought something worthless for what I'm doing since I've already payed for it.

As far as the flying is concerned, you are right, the Rans is a little more tame than what the RV is as I understand it. I've found that it's manners are pretty docile. When doing a power off stall I even found it difficult to tell when I was stalled and when I wasn't. There was little buffet and it was very controllable. So far it's been a great learning experience and I'm getting to where I feel comfortable landing it. However, I'd appreciate any additional feedback on the insurance before I go solo in it. One thought I have is that the 10 hours could be for owners insurance and they have a hard time specifying things like that for renters insurance since they don't really know what all you would be renting and from whom.

Thanks again for the information.


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