Re: Aging Pilots - another problem

David A Froble

On 6/23/2020 5:45 PM, Sid Tolchin wrote:
Hi, Marc.

Very timely thread.

I just turned 88 in May, retired Navy, and have been flying my LongEZ
since 1987 after a 5-year build.
Sounds good to me.

It has been flown across the pond twice and Ed Esteb, my partner, and I
have enjoyed every minute in it or working on it.

Ed is 92 now and stopped flying in 2010. I have been flying it
regularly with an average of 80 to 100 hours a year.

It is specially equipped with a lot of avionics since it has also been
used as a testbed for Trio Avionics autopilots with whom I have been
associated from its date of inception in 2000.

After parting with my 35-year-owned T210, N94203, in 2009, the LongEZ
was the beneficiary, with a redo including a 160 HP Lyc O-320 D1A, a
complete panel and electrical upgrade and a new paint design in 2011.

It has been a joy flying all over the US and Canada with my wife, Penny,
other family members and friends and it has stimulated several of these
to get their own private pilot licenses.

Since our kids, grandkids and great grandkids are all over the country,
it has been really convenient.

I hold a private pilot, instrument rating and rarely fly in any real
weather or at night any more.

I have a current third class medical, current biennial flight review and
was instrument current as of April of this year, awaiting a new IPC
after Covid-19 ends.

I flew to and participated in the AOPA Aging Pilots Program at
University of North Dakota several years ago and do my fair share of
FAAST, Aviation Safety, AOPA , mZeroA, etc., continuing education
participation on line.

Although, in over 60 years of flying in the US, Canada, Mexico, Ireland
and Australia, I have had several emergencies, I have never had an
incident or accident.

I've been with a single private insurance broker, LL Johns, LLC, since
the 70's.

For personal reasons I must have liability insurance to fly and I am not
able to self insure. I stopped hull coverage several years ago at the
suggestion of my broker.
I cannot believe that whatever reasons cannot be resolved ....

March of this year I received a certified mail from my current carrier,
Starr Aviation, that my liability coverage would not be renewed.

My broker has tried all of the commercial aviation insurance carriers in
the US, except for Avemco that is private, and has informed me that none
would insure me because of my age and flying an experimental aircraft.
I really don't know if they would insure were I still flying the 210 or
any other certified aircraft. Other brokers, including that sponsored by
AOPA, have also turned down my applications since they all use the same

I am awaiting completion of my IPC before applying to Avemco. My buddy,
Jerry, is with them and he’s over 80.

I am reminded of Bob Hoover, RIP, but his problems were with the FAA
and not insurance carriers, although he did have a problem in Australia
flying an airshow because he couldn't get liability insurance at less
than 2 million dollars.

So, it appears that no availability of liability insurance will now
spell the end of my flying days in my beloved LongEZ.
Don't let it happen!

Ok, not all of us are the same, but, without flying, I'm not sure I'd want to live. I won't let anything stop me.

No reason to buzz downtown everywhere you fly. Be a bit careful, and tell the insurance companies to take a hike. Fully loaded you're under 2000 lbs, right? How much damage could the aircraft do in the worst case, and how much more likely is things to happen, if they happen, over unimproved land?

Put the aircraft in a trust, or corp, if you need protection for family. If the worst happens, I doubt you'll worry about being sued. Or anything else.

Some won't agree with me. I don't care. Nothing is guaranteed. Well, not flying is guaranteed to drive me crazy..

I am left with the alternative of flying right seat only with my many
friends and instructors in other aircraft but not in my pride and joy,
N12ET, with no full controls or rudder/brakes in the rear seat area.

I'm sure there are many pilots on this site that are in similar
circumstances and would like to hear their stories.

But now I must decide whether to sell this plane, part it out or donate
it to a museum.
Nobody in the family interested?

Whatever you decide, don't go for parting it out.

If you just have to donate it, think first of me, and then Ryszard and RAFE or whatever he's calling it.

I donated my VariEZE N24RW, built by Roman Wazilewski, a very fine
craftsman, in the early 70's, to the San Diego Air and Space Museum
years ago and that turned out to be a disaster with its rotting away at
the Gillespie Field Annex, outside in the elements and uncared for, so
I'm super cautious about donating this jewel to anyone.

Although I considered it, I haven’t joined UFO because of my own
activity restraints and since most of their meetings are not fly-ins, at
least locally.

Sorry for the downer communication but would appreciate yours and
anybody’s thoughts on the subject.
You asked, happy to reply ...

David Froble Tel: 724-529-0450
Dave Froble Enterprises, Inc. E-Mail: davef@...
DFE Ultralights, Inc.
170 Grimplin Road
Vanderbilt, PA 15486

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