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Thread: Working cubs; certified or exp. What does your insurance require?

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    SteveE's Avatar
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    Working cubs; certified or exp. What does your insurance require?

    Hi guys, Just a curiosity question. For you guys that actually use your cubs in a commercial operation, guiding, fishing, etc, where you are actually flying clients. Does your insurance require you to have certified aircraft or are they ok with experimental? Or do they care?

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    Farmboy's Avatar
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    § 91.319 Aircraft having experimental certificates: Operating limitations.
    (a) No person may operate an aircraft that has an experimental certificate -
    (1) For other than the purpose for which the certificate was issued; or
    (2) Carrying persons or property for compensation or hire.
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    mvivion's Avatar
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    There are lots of folks in AK carrying passengers as part of a guided hunt, fishing lodge, etc, that don’t meet “Commercial” requirements. In those cases, the flights are “Incidental to” the service the client is paying for.

    I hope none of those are using homebuilt airplanes, but frankly it wouldn’t surprise me.

    MTV
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    There are several “letters of interpretation” concerning the use of experimental airplanes “for the purpose which the certificate was issued”. Suggest you do some research before using an Experimental airplane even for incidental activities.


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    n40ff's Avatar
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    FAA Regs. are operative. Insurance is secondary consideration....UNTIL you have an incident or accident using a experimental aircraft in a "problematic" way, like using it in a commercial operation. When the FAA and/or NTSB starts dotting I's and crossing T's you may find your insurance company has reason to bail out. In that case you will spend the rest of your life paying for it....AFTER you get out of jail.

    They say there are no dumb questions. IMHO this one comes close.

    Jack

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    SteveE's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by n40ff View Post

    They say there are no dumb questions. IMHO this one comes close.

    Jack
    Hope that wasn’t directed to me, so now I’ll get to the point.
    It looks to me a lot of folks are building experimental, or AB-E and I get why. But it seems that if a person has an experimental (and I’m not knocking it), it seems that you have a smaller pool of potential buyers when the time comes to sell it. I even have one friend that his life insurance co won’t let him fly experimental. And I would think a certified would bring more money up front too. I’m thinking a good certified used supercub would hold its value, especially when you see the prices of certified new. Am I wrong? Or not seeing something?



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    To your original question? If a guy isn't being compensated for a flight it is by definition non-commercial. Some guys read more to the regs than the regs say. Insurance assumes you're operating within the regs.

    For a private operator the standard category is a limitation. If you're happy within that arena? Good on you. I find it just fine with my Cessna. For my Cub? I prefer the freedom and performance choices the experimental category provides.
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    Nodak33's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by n40ff View Post
    FAA Regs. are operative. Insurance is secondary consideration....UNTIL you have an incident or accident using a experimental aircraft in a "problematic" way, like using it in a commercial operation. When the FAA and/or NTSB starts dotting I's and crossing T's you may find your insurance company has reason to bail out. In that case you will spend the rest of your life paying for it....AFTER you get out of jail.

    They say there are no dumb questions. IMHO this one comes close.

    Jack

    Sometimes the smugness of forum surprises me.

    Steve, I think you are right on. The price points of the parts used to build an experimental compared to a certified is much cheaper, logically reducing the valuation of the experimental.

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    CubCruiser's Avatar
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    The FAA can (and has) issued LODA’s for using experimental aircraft for flight instruction with the requisite financial charges allowed that come with such operations.

    Daryl
    Daryl Hickman, CFI
    N87DH American Super Legend HP
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nodak33 View Post
    Sometimes the smugness of forum surprises me.

    Steve, I think you are right on. The price points of the parts used to build an experimental compared to a certified is much cheaper, logically reducing the valuation of the experimental.
    You must be outside looking in. I have an exp Cub and know lots of other guys who do and every one of them is more valuable than a certified Cub of similar age and hours. The notion that exp is inexpensive is mostly incorrect in today's market. The number of exp Cubs over $250K is shocking. And there are lots over $300K. Not many standard category Cubs fetch those prices.
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    Farmboy's Avatar
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    In regards to Stewart's comment, my belief is that there are no certified new cubs, and therefore none command the price of a new experimental build. Prices to build have gone up in the last 50 years.

    In regards to Steve's refined question, Steve, I don't know of any current taildragger pilot in the northeast that would not prefer to be experimental. I'm sure someone will speak up and prove me wrong, but so far the only ones that were gun-shy on Experimental was someone that came from certified nosedraggers, and had not been exposed to the quality and freedom of choice offered by the experimental side.

    If I was in Alaska earning a living, certified all the way. But the pilots I know, and the market they buy in, have no reason to stay certified. I see it as a detriment. I'm not sure I'd pay more for an Experimental that was identical in all respects to a certified, but I would _only_ buy the certified it was _substantially_ less.... if that makes sense.

    My guess is the market for non-commercial use cubs is much larger than the commercial use market.
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    gbflyer's Avatar
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    Didn’t that dude up north lose his SQ in some sort of illegal guiding bust? If I recall it was a game issue not an airplane issue but nevertheless...

    I am also interested in how this works. I used to have a friend at the FAA but he couldn’t take it and retired early. I’ll ask him.

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    I would get it in writing from your insurer, in plain English. Make sure there is no wiggle room. Who cares what the FAA thinks - you need the lawyers paid for when somebody sues!

    I would not hesitate to go experimental, since I only buy airplanes to fly. Resale has never been a consideration - my heirs will deal with that. But if I were to buy an experimental Super Cub, it would probably be more of a replica than a tricked-out bush aircraft.

    Nah - three Cubs is enough!

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    SteveE's Avatar
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    Stewart, I get the prices. Insane in my opinion. Peter, and I understand the want for an experimental. I’m just saying that if your working your cub, then that market should be certified. And therefore the slow lack of availability of certified should keep the prices up. Guess I’ll find out someday when I sell mine. In 20 years.


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    Price points to non-certified as worth more. Compare the price of CC products, SQ-2 and other, then yours.

    how the rule was laid out to me- if I own a commercial boat and spot fish for my boat, I can use an experimental, but if I get any renumeration from my code partner I need to be certified. If I own a guide company I can fly my gear and support staff, but the line fuzzes with clients if you sell a Fly-out trip you cross into the red zone. If you sell a trip and end up flying you are light gray.

    I can instruct in a non-certified but can not charge for the plane cost.

    if I have a contract to take pictures, I can use non certified.


    i have never had an insurance company encourage me to peruse use of non certified, they did not want the added liability.

    you can shoot varmits from them though!
    I don't know where you've been me lad, but I see you won first Prize!

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    mvivion's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gbflyer View Post
    Didn’t that dude up north lose his SQ in some sort of illegal guiding bust? If I recall it was a game issue not an airplane issue but nevertheless...

    I am also interested in how this works. I used to have a friend at the FAA but he couldn’t take it and retired early. I’ll ask him.
    The case you’re referring to had nothing to do with whether the plane had a normal category A/W certificate.

    MTV

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    mvivion's Avatar
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    There are lots of Restricted category aircraft operating commercially, but they can’t carry “passengers”, “required crew” only.

    MTV

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    Suggest you search the “Winton” letter and the “Ratini” letter in the FAA letters of interpretation. There are a couple others, but these two sum up “for the purpose of the certificate”.


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    hotrod180's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by aktango58 View Post
    Price points to non-certified as worth more. Compare the price of CC products, SQ-2 and other, then yours...…
    The most expensive cub I can think of would be CC's X-Cub-- $300K-ish, and Part 23 certified.
    Cessna Skywagon-- accept no substitute!

  20. #20
    Steve Pierce's Avatar
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    I have seen some pretty nice, all new parts, certified Super Cubs sell for a fraction of what has been invested in them. I have also seen some really nice experimental Super Cubs sell for a profit. The tides have turned in a lot of respects. The negative connotations associated with Experimentals is a thing of the past in my opinion.
    Steve Pierce

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    The Cub is a special case of experimental. You buy a fuselage and other steel parts already welded by an expert. Hard to mess up a wing kit. Covering is the same, especially now that you cannot buy uncertified Dacron. You can wind up experimental with a Cub that is simply better than factory. And a purchaser can see the quality, or lack thereof.

    Not true of some other experimentals - Wood wings? Questionable Fiberglas techniques? Neophyte riveters?

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