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Fear of flying led comedian to take flying lessonsFear of flying led comedian to take flying lessons

Pilot counts on AOPA for renter's insurancePilot counts on AOPA for renter's insurance

Kevin Hughes learned to fly because of a scary moment on an airliner in turbulence. “When we landed, after being diverted to another airport for an emergency landing, I called my wife and told her to find me a flight school,” Hughes said. His reasoning? “If I am ever that scared again, I at least want to know what’s going on.”

Now, with approximately 500 hours, mostly in Cherokees, a few in Cessnas, and now in Diamond DA40s, Hughes belongs to a flying club and also to OpenAirplane where you rent airplanes the same way you’d rent a car. He says, “As long as you are checked out in the plane you usually fly, then anyone who has that type plane can rent it to you. I am getting checked out in the three planes I fly most: Cessna, Piper, and the DA40.”

Hughes is a retired professional comedian who worked for the past 13 years for Princess Cruise Lines. Working on a cruise ship wasn’t conducive to flying, but when he retired in 2013, he decided to get back in the cockpit. Hughes has been an AOPA member since 1991 and said he has always had a good experience with AOPA products and services. After being away from flying for almost a decade, he called AOPA and asked for advice. Then he called AOPA again about insurance. He was told flat out: “Buy renter’s insurance.”

“I can use AOPA renter’s insurance both for my flying club and my OpenAirplane account. I can rent anywhere I am checked out, and the insurance covers me,” he said. He was impressed with the customer service he received from AOPA insurance with their taking an hour to explain the options, and what is and isn’t covered. Hughes said, “The Pilot Information Center even has someone to help you file an incident or accident report correctly.”

With the flexibility renter’s insurance from AOPA provides, Hughes said, “The sky is the limit—except on price. I don’t pay a whole lot. In fact, I paid the entire year with one check. I am retired and on a fixed income so every penny counts. The money I saved on insurance paid for two more hours in the air!”

In addition to flying, Hughes has just published his first children’s book, George the Singing Frog: The first frog to know his name.

When you rent aircraft, give yourself the peace of mind that AOPA Renter’s Insurance provides. For more information or a quick quote on aircraft insurance, talk to AOPA Insurance. Don’t forget: You may earn a 5-percent discount just for being an AOPA member.

AOPA Insurance Services is celebrating 20 years of serving the aviation insurance needs of our customers. Visit us online or call 877/622-2672 for information about how AOPA can get you the best deal on aviation and life insurance.

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