Disclaimer: The following material is provided for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. For questions concerning your specific circumstances, consult a local attorney.
DOUGLAS: I am looking to purchase another airplane after being absent as PIC for 30 years. Previous airplane was PA-32R 300. I have 250 hours, most of which is in Cessna 172's. What is the airplane that historically produces minimal risk for a carrier working on their IFR ticket?
JIM: Douglas – First, congratulations on getting back into the air! If you haven’t already, please check out AOPA’s Rusty Pilot Program should one be presented in your local area. Now on to your insurance question and which aircraft produces minimal risk while working on an IFR ticket. Of course in theory, any aircraft with the FAA minimum IFR equipment would technically work. And some other consideration items are your budget and final mission – i.e. do you want to fly you and five of your friends across the country?
But for the lowest risk, think of an aircraft that is relatively simple to operate. Yes, flying in a retractable, variable pitch aircraft would work just fine, but for someone who’s hasn’t been a PIC for 30 years and has some nice time in a 172 – I would consider a 172.
MARTIN: Like everyone, I am always looking for ways to lower my insurance costs. I fly a 1946 Taylorcraft and am not planning on upgrading to a different aircraft so adding ratings to my pilot's license is not an option. I attend safety courses when one finally works its way into our area, as well as taking online courses that. Thanks Jim!
JIM: Martin – thank you for the question. Absent of reducing coverage, there are a few avenues which may help lower insurance costs. First, and while you mentioned not an option, is to attain an instrument rating. While insurance companies require certain complex, high-performance aircraft to be flown by instrument rated pilots; there can be a price reduction for other aircraft if their owners are IFR rated. Second, is to simply fly! More total hours & time in type are generally favorably reviewed by insurance companies. Log every minute you are legally allowed under FAR 61.51. Unfortunately there is no magic number. Finally, I recommend using an insurance broker – brokers independently represent you to the majority of markets to then present you with the quotes that are currently available.