GORDON: In regards to backcountry landings, how can I be sure that when I land my Helio or Husky at a remote strip I am covered?
JIM: Gordon – great question, remote strip and “off airport” landings are always an interesting topic. Barring any “off-airport” exclusions in your policy (which are very rare these days), landing is landing, and landing is generally covered. Sounds easy, right? Well, there are a few caveats. Coverage is commonly excluded if 1) the pilot intends or expects damage (outside of an emergency), 2) the aircraft is knowingly being used for unlawful purposes, 3) is being piloted by someone not approved by the policy, 4) or if the aircraft is being used for a purpose other than what the policy covers – i.e. performing a commercial operation on a non-commercial policy.
At the end of the day, if you are performing a landing in good faith at a location where a reasonable person would deem appropriate, you’re probably safe in regard to coverage.
CHARLES: What coverage do I need as a commercial pilot flying my personally--owned aircraft for hire?
JIM: Charles – thank for your writing; in brief, you’ll need to consider a commercial policy as you are receiving compensation for use of your aircraft. Now what type of commercial policy will vary greatly and is dependent upon what type and how often the commercial activities are performed. Commercial activates can range from aerial photography, instruction, pipeline patrol, skydiving, banner or glider towing, sightseeing, etc. The type of activity will lead to the type of commercial policy needed. In addition, the frequency will need to be disclosed – i.e. are you only doing 5 hours a year of aerial photography, or is it 100?
Your agent will be able to walk you through these two primary variables, and will give you the options that should make most sense for your circumstances.