Independant CFI’s

Discussion in 'Pilot Training' started by gdwindowpane, Oct 27, 2018.

  1. gdwindowpane

    gdwindowpane Pre-takeoff checklist

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    The new manager at my airport made the following statement:

    It is an insurance industry requirement that flight instructors be “direct employees of the owners of the aircraft”.

    True or false? I believe it is false. Not sure where I can go to get verifiable proof that it is indeed false. If you know where I can please let me know.

    Thanks!!!

    Chris
     
  2. mondtster

    mondtster Pattern Altitude

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    I’m curious why the airport manager is weighing in on this in the first place. What is the context for the statement?
     
  3. gdwindowpane

    gdwindowpane Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Manager is saying that our 2 CFI’s were not county employees. County owns the rental airplanes. Therefore CFI’s were not insurable because they were not working for the county. They were working for the students as independent contractors. He then said the CFI’s were no longer allowed to instruct using county planes.

    So in terms of his premise, a student would not be able to rent a club owned airplane and receive instruction from an independant CFI. Is this correct?
     
  4. Ryanb

    Ryanb Final Approach PoA Supporter

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    Well if the insurance umbrella only covers the county employed CFI’s instructing in county owned aircraft, than that may be correct depending on their bylaws.

    An independent CFI will often times carry his or her’s own insurance policy to protect themselves if they’re acting as a freelance instructor, so if the county’s insurance only covers their employees, than I can see where the dilemma would be.

    At my rental outfit, the instructors are covered under the flight schools insurance, however they do not forbid a freelance instructor from coming in and providing instruction in the aircraft. The only problem is that if an accident were to occur, the instructor wouldn’t be covered under their policy. It would ultimately fall on the student/renter or the instructor.
     
    Last edited: Oct 27, 2018
  5. RyanShort1

    RyanShort1 Pattern Altitude

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    Very surprised to hear that the county owns the aircraft - that's likely the issue. I was beginning to think that there had to be an unusual wrinkle somewhere here.
     
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  6. rk911

    rk911 Line Up and Wait

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    their airplanes, their insurance, their rules. look fir an independent CFI who owns a plane. they are out there.
     
  7. Z06_Mir

    Z06_Mir Pattern Altitude

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    If I had to guess the County's insurance company put the kabosh to it. The County probably has a huge insurance policy that covers anything in the county and has an insanely high limit, so the risk of an aircraft accident with someone not properly vetted/approved is just too much risk for the company. Unfortunate but not surprising.
     
  8. James331

    James331 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Is it a public airport?

    If so, I’m a independent CFI, if someone on your field wanted me to do a BFR with them in their plane , I’d be happy to do it and the airport manager can go cry all he wants.

    Now if they own the planes, they make the rules as to who can fly them, ofcourse if they are a public entity, which is kinda odd for a club, there might be some other laws that kick in.


    https://www.zsrlaw.com/wp-content/u..._-_FAA_Part_16_Orders_Article_Annual_2016.pdf
     
  9. swingwing

    swingwing Pre-takeoff checklist

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    I bet the county’s insurance company had a conniption when they realized that we’re covering a flight school...they were probably sprinting for the back door.

    How many students are training at N27? Did you check to see if any of the nearby flight schools were intrested in leaving a plane there to train? Doesn’t Valley Aviation have a bunch of 172s
     
  10. mscard88

    mscard88 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    I wouldn’t say CFIs were “direct employees” of an aircraft owner. More like a contractor I suppose if you want to look at it from that angle. I instruct a couple of people that own their planes, but if the county owns the planes then it’s their call and their insurance provider.

    Are any CFIs employed by the county to provide instruction in the county’s planes? If not why do they have flight instruction in their planes if they don’t employ a CFIs directly? Or are they looking for an excuse to rid the county of planes?
     
  11. midwestpa24

    midwestpa24 Line Up and Wait

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    I'd be interested to know how the county owns airplanes. It is probably similar to language to the city vehicles where I work, only city employees are allowed to operate city equipment. Period.
     
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  12. Ryanb

    Ryanb Final Approach PoA Supporter

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    If the insurance company didn’t realize what all they were covering until much after the policy took effect, than that would be one sorry insurance company.

    I doubt that was the case.
     
  13. MauleSkinner

    MauleSkinner En-Route

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    True...mighta’ been the old airport manager who didn’t know what he was doing, or maybe it was just insurance renewal time and the terms changed.
     
  14. mscard88

    mscard88 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Drug bust? :dunno:
     
  15. Kenny Phillips

    Kenny Phillips Line Up and Wait

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    Well, my county owns boats that one can rent, why not airplanes?
     
  16. Ben2k9

    Ben2k9 Pre-takeoff checklist

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    That statement, taken at face value is false.
     
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  17. bobmrg

    bobmrg En-Route

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    It was certainly true when I was actively instructing. FBO owned the airplanes and had to list us (just two CFIs) as employees. We had been doing the "independent contractor" thing until the FBOs insurance carrier got curious.

    Bob
     
    Last edited: Oct 28, 2018
  18. Ravioli

    Ravioli Final Approach

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    Plane owner is the one to decide which CFI's may instruct in their equipment. "Employment" status is an iffy thing, with 1099s, W2's etc. and it's a bit of a lark in this situation.

    When I was in a club, the officers could deem a CFI worthy to conduct training. The rule was that members could only use club approved instructors. The approval process was, more or less, fly with an officer of the club and demonstrate knowledge with the plane and confirm you'll operate it 'our way.'

    Was easy enough.

    Note: We did not allow primary training. Only transition and advanced ratings.
     
  19. Clip4

    Clip4 En-Route

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    There is no such standard.

    Public agencies are always a target for lawsuits because they are viewed as having deep pockets and have a very difficult time declaring bankruptcy post law suit. In that regard, a county renting planes is very unusual.

    I believe what your airport manager is telling you is the county insurance does not cover people not employed by the county and for liability reasons they are prohibited from operating county owned aircraft.
     
  20. Ravioli

    Ravioli Final Approach

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    How does one solo a county owned aircraft if they are not a county employee? Unless of course county employment is a requirement to rent.
     
  21. mondtster

    mondtster Pattern Altitude

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    That's what I've been wondering since the OP posted that the aircraft in question were county owned. Once we know that, I suspect the answer to the question about instruction will be more apparent.
     
  22. Ryanb

    Ryanb Final Approach PoA Supporter

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    I think this has been misconstrued yet again. The managers statement included CFI’s who instruct in the county owned airplanes only. Nothing was ever mentioned about students or potential renter’s in said aircraft.
     
  23. Ravioli

    Ravioli Final Approach

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    Okay. Back to the original post.

    1) I own an aircraft. [It's freaking awesome]
    2) I have no direct employees who are flight instructors.
    3) I have insurance.

    What's this airport manager talking about?
     
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  24. gdwindowpane

    gdwindowpane Pre-takeoff checklist

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    County airport has seperate policy for airport and flight school with Chubbs(?).
     
  25. gdwindowpane

    gdwindowpane Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Seperate policy for the airport/flight school for many years. Allegedly, policy was written under guidance by insurance guy who was on the airport board. I assume renewed/reviewed many times before recent realization. Previous manager emphatically states that the CFIs were never listed as being county employees. Current county commisioners say they are listed as employees. I am going to try and get a copy of the policy to see what it in fact says.

    I havent checked out Valley Aviation but I will be now. Thanks for the idea.
     
  26. gdwindowpane

    gdwindowpane Pre-takeoff checklist

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    No the only CFIs (2) we freelance instructors. The planes were purchased for rental and flight training. Getting rid of the planes and the airport itself would make the commissioners very happy. However they are under the false allution that they can’t sell the airport without paying back the millions in grant money received. Can’t the grants and assurances be tranferred to a new owner?
     
  27. Ryanb

    Ryanb Final Approach PoA Supporter

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    At any regard, this place sounds like a total mess with a lot of internal issues. I think I’d be looking for somewhere else to hang my hat.
     
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  28. gdwindowpane

    gdwindowpane Pre-takeoff checklist

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    I think this was exactly the case. Flight instruction was conducted for many, many years. Not listed as county employees. Something changed and the insurance company asked if they were. When it was discovered they said they wouldn’t be covered.

    More to the story. When this news broke, the CFIs secured their own insurance. However the new mgr deemed that they were under-insured. Told me personally that they needed $6 million in coverage. Where he got that number is a mystery. $6 mil is cost prohibitive for the amount of students they were training.
     
  29. gdwindowpane

    gdwindowpane Pre-takeoff checklist

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    This is what confuses me and I asked the county commissioners at their last meeting for clarification.

    The planes in question are available for rent by certificated pilots who have been checked out in them (by the now grounded CFIs lol). So I could be a low hour ppl and rent the planes and fly to my heart’s content. However if I choose to bring along an instructor with thousands of hours there is now a liabilty risk? Doesn’t make sense to me.

    As a student pilot that has solo’d in one of the planes, with a current solo endorsement I am not allowed to rent.
     
  30. mondtster

    mondtster Pattern Altitude

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    Sounds like a typical local government. So often they have no clue what they’re doing when it comes to airports and just make things up as they go along.

    So if the county decided to buy and furnish airplanes for rental and flight instruction how is that supposed to happen if there are no county employed flight instructors? What is the county doing to remedy that situation? What is the airport manager doing to facilitate things? Sounds like all that is happening is the powers that be are throwing up roadblocks rather than helping.

    What are the county policies regarding these airplanes? Who can rent them and what kind of insurance do they require renters to have? Can people with no insurance rent them? Remember, unless there are state or local laws requiring insurance there is no obligation to carry any. So a flight instructor may not be covered under the county insurance policy but instruction could continue if the instructor either carries their own insurance or is ok with being bare.

    If I were going to bet I’d guess that these planes will sit idle in short order unless changes are made to either the insurance policy or the county’s rental policies. That may be what they want too, especially if the airport is considered a drain on the budget.
     
  31. gdwindowpane

    gdwindowpane Pre-takeoff checklist

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    I can do this but this airport is 10 minutes from my house. Other airport/flight schools 1 hour plus.
     
  32. gdwindowpane

    gdwindowpane Pre-takeoff checklist

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    @mondtster

    Nothing is being done. Planes are not flying. I’m not flying! :mad3:
     
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  33. weilke

    weilke Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Manager is under orders to destroy the airport he was hired to manage. Look forward to 'new rules' for hangar renters. Things like 'no fuel in planes inside of the aircraft tanks' or 'must have a fire guard with a 100lb extinguisher while starting engine'.
     
  34. mondtster

    mondtster Pattern Altitude

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    You may need to be the one to force the issue.

    I’d start by ignoring insurance for right now and determine what requirements the county places on renters. See if you meet those.