Need Sonex Specific Time For Insurance

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Need Sonex Specific Time For Insurance

Postby Jgibson » Fri Aug 11, 2017 7:30 pm

Am looking at either purchasing a flying ship or building a new 'B' model.
However upon investigation, discovered that as with my Van's RV and other planes, I would need Sonex 'time in type' and sign off before being able to purchase insurance.
I actually found a real nice plane that is ready for Phase 1 flyoff however neither the builder or I can find anyone to provide that training and signoff and DEFINITELY not during that first 40 hours.
I called Sonex and spoke with them concerning the issue since they discontinued their own transition training, then Falcon insurance and the EAA. So far, no luck.
I'm in the South Jersey area for a few months then will be returning to South Florida.
Is this the reason their are quite a few good Sonex' for sale for so long?
Is there ANYONE that will provide training in their ship to satisfy the insurance requirements? I have owned 14 airplanes, have about 600 hours of tailwheel time, and as mentioned have owned and flown a Van's RV6. How much different can the Sonex be, honestly?
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Re: Need Sonex Specific Time For Insurance

Postby MichaelFarley56 » Fri Aug 11, 2017 8:15 pm

This is a difficult situation everyone in the Sonex community is now facing with the closure of the T Flight program. Unless someone has recently obtained a LODA for Sonex training, there are no CFI's currently offering transition training in their airplane.

You basically have two options I can think of at this point. First, use the "builder search" feature on the Sonex factory webpage to locate someone local who may be able to offer you some stick time in their airplane.

Otherwise, you may want to try and find an insurance agent and explain that T Flight is no longer available, and see if they'll accept your previous RV time to qualify for a Sonex. Normally an insurance agent has more say than a random customer.

Of course, I suppose your last choice is fly without insurance for 5 hours, but I hate to even suggest that.

And yes, if you can fly an RV-6, you're going to find the Sonex is super easy to fly!

Sorry I can't be more help. Best of luck with everything.
Mike Farley
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Re: Need Sonex Specific Time For Insurance

Postby Jgibson » Fri Aug 11, 2017 8:42 pm

I have an agent pleading my case in addition to my Falcon conversation.
In 2000, I was involved in a crash (not PIC) in a certified plane that I ASSUMED was insured. It wasn't. The owner lost six figures in plane value, PLUS a broken neck. I myself was out of work for 5 months on my and my employers dime.
From that experience, I would recommend that anyone NEVER fly without VERIFIED insurance. Fortunately no one other than us was injured or he might have lost everything.
On another note, if your plane happens to be financed your lender insists that full coverage is in effect at all times until the loan is satisfied. I feel very bad for the builder whose plane I'm looking at as he has six years work in building a fine example that he is now unable to fly. He is actually thinking of breaking it up and parting it out because of this, which is a crying shame.
Being older, I remember when the insurance companies put the muscle car movement in the 60's in the same position. Shame.
Lawyers: they're the best.
But I DO know that after finding this out, I would NEVER invest in a new B kit to build myself.
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Re: Need Sonex Specific Time For Insurance

Postby jowens » Sat Aug 12, 2017 8:15 am

Thanks for the post. Is your search for insurance including this accident disclosure a factor in the difficultly? If it is not a factor, this is some scary news for me. I'm hoping to be done with my build in 5-7 months, I currently have zero tailwheel time, 300 hours total time.
Jim Owens
Rochester, MN
Sonex 1372
pre-built spars, machine angle parts, dual controls, viking 110, taildragger, engine running, working on electrical
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Re: Need Sonex Specific Time For Insurance

Postby kmacht » Sat Aug 12, 2017 8:23 am

There are options. You can fly your plane with a cfi to build the hours needed if over the 40 hours. If under 40 you can look into the additional pilot program. If you are comfortable with a 1 million liability only policy you can get light sport insurance through the us ultralight association for about $400 a year. They don't have any time requirements. Of course you can also contact other sonex flyers in your area as I bet at least one person would be willing to give you some stick time.

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Re: Need Sonex Specific Time For Insurance

Postby jerryhain » Sat Aug 12, 2017 9:48 am

I'm a CFI in the Tucson area and would be happy to fly with anyone in their airplane. I'm building a OneX so don't have access to my own two-seater to get an LODA. If someone is willing in this area I'd be happy to do a LODA using their plane specifically to help out the Sonex community.
Jerry Hain, Tucson AZ
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Re: Need Sonex Specific Time For Insurance

Postby Bruce593SX » Sat Aug 12, 2017 12:42 pm

May seem a bit extreme, but if you are not willing to take the $25k ish risk on your first 5 or so hours in your plane, why would you expect an insurance company to do so.... fly how ever many they may require, then get insured. The $400 liability in the previous post is a definite stop gap if you think you may harm people or property on the ground and have significant assets to loose
Bruce Johnson
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Re: Need Sonex Specific Time For Insurance

Postby pfhoeycfi » Sat Aug 12, 2017 3:39 pm

Glad I saw this, I was going to send my check in on Monday for a complete airframe kit but I got this email thread update....I guess I'll hold off.
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Re: Need Sonex Specific Time For Insurance

Postby waiking59 » Sat Aug 12, 2017 3:51 pm

Tell Sonex to get the t-flight program going again
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Re: Need Sonex Specific Time For Insurance

Postby gammaxy » Sat Aug 12, 2017 5:44 pm

pfhoeycfi wrote:Glad I saw this, I was going to send my check in on Monday for a complete airframe kit but I got this email thread update....I guess I'll hold off.

I think I understand where you're coming from. This is a problem that affects most homebuilt airplanes, except probably RVs due to the much larger fleet size and the number of CFIs out there with access to RVs and willing to provide training.

You might consider finding an insurance broker and explaining your concerns about what options you have to be insured for the first flights. I use Avinsure.

If your build timeframe is like mine, a lot of things change in the 3+ years it will take. When I started, factory training had never been offered. I got fortunate and finished mine during the period of time it was offered. You might be able to log some time flying a friend's Sonex over the next few years and satisfy the requirement that way. Certainly, in the next few years enough other people will have gone through the insurance process and you can draw on their experience.

Worst case scenario is flying the first several hours liability-only. If that is unacceptable to you, then I agree that holding off or considering another homebuilt with more CFIs offering transition training is a better choice. Otherwise, I'd encourage you to get started building if it's something you really want to do.

I admit my mindset was more like "I'm going to build my own airplane and fly it no matter what", so I started building knowing I might end up in the predicament of others in this thread.
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