Should I Get Checked Out in My New Aircraft?

All aircraft fly using the same principles, but that does not mean they can be flown the same way. Even the smallest details between similar aircraft are worlds apart in the hands of an instructor. This is why most insurance companies urge policyholders to train with flight instructors before they can go ahead and insure them.

In other words, if you want to get the key to an airplane, you need to be ‘checked out’ first. Besides ensuring that the plane is competent enough to fly, it also assures the trainer that the pilot can be trusted not to crash it. A basic overview will include the following:

  • Normal, soft field, power off takeoffs and landings

  • Instrument approaches

  • Airwork i.e. stalls, sharp turns etc.

  • Systems overview

If you are flying a plane that you are comfortable with, this will not take more than an hour. However, even if you switch to a similar plane, the checkout may take several hours and a number of flights. For example, if you switch from a plane that has a fixed gear to one that has retractable gear, be prepared to undergo at least 10 hours of instruction and checks. This is important if you want any insurance carrier to take you seriously.

Whether you wish to fly a personal aircraft or something similar, you should get it checked out beforehand. This will assure the insurance company that you are a competent pilot and will not get into trouble in the air and on the ground. Make this easier for yourself by preparing for the checkout beforehand.

The Author
Scott Gault

Senior Vice President, Aviation & Aerospace Leader at Newfront

Scott Gault is the Aviation & Aerospace Leader at Newfront. As a generational aviator (Grandfather was a B25 pilot and Father a Huey pilot) Scott has achieved an instrument rating and flies a Bonanza E33. His passion for flying has him visiting clients and delivering renewals by air. Scott has competed in the Beijing and London Olympics in rowing, capping off his career with a bronze medal in London.

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