Pilot training extensions from the FAA don’t necessarily mean certificate expiration forgiveness from the insurance company
As COVID-19 continues to spread through the United States causing business to close, and people stay away from each other, the FAA has provided much needed relief from all kinds of time-critical deadlines. These include pilot certification, proficiency requirements, and knowledge test expirations – basically anything related to pilot training with an expiring eligibility, including medical certificates.
Pilots everywhere are breathing a sigh of relief because very few professionals are willing to risk contracting COVID-19 just to keep a pilot current, and for good reason. It’s almost impossible to find an AME or a training facility that is open and able to provide pilots with their required currency. So the FAA says to keep flying (if you’re essential) and they will look the other way until the threat passes.
But there’s another industry that may not be so willing to let things slide when a certificate expires. In fact, it is highly recommended that you contact the company that insures your aircraft before you fly with any kind of certificate that has expired, even if you have the blessing of the FAA.
Insurance companies have been tightening their reigns recently and it doesn’t look like they’re going to loosen their grip anytime soon. According to statistics, there has been an uptick in business aviation accidents and it just so happens to coincide with the very public pilot shortage. Companies have been trying to use pilots with less than ideal flight experience and the insurance companies are not having it.
The word on the street is that they are also not allowing pilots to fly when currency expires (medical or pilot training), so before you jump in your jet and fire up the engines, check with all the “powers that be” about your coverage if the unthinkable happens. Your boss will be glad you did.