Forums: Skydiving: General Skydiving Discussions: Re: [PhreeZone] Insurance brokers warning to DZO's/Plane owners: Edit Log

robinheid  (D 5533)

Sep 12, 2012, 5:08 PM

Views: 8743
Re: [PhreeZone] Insurance brokers warning to DZO's/Plane owners

In reply to:
I was forwarded a message from a DZO that got this letter from their insurance carrier. For years people have been talking about the fear that the FAA may make us stop doing activities, it looks like we were worrying about the wrong group stepping in since the insurance carrier that is insuring the majority of the jump fleet out there is in the position to implement restrictions to anyone that wants to keep their planes insured. Currently in the cross hairs are airplane formation takeoffs, formation flights with jumpers and wingsuiting due to the high number of tail strikes occurring. We as a community need to come together to correct these issues or we could be finding that the plane operators might need to stop allowing those activities to occur if they want to keep insured.

From: AIR, Inc
Date: September 12, 2012 8:47:55 AM PDT

(Seems I have a little more of a voice with respect to certain subjects than I realized. Thank you all for your feedback and responses. I always welcome comments either pro or con. I feel the more conversation I encourage, the safer I believe we all will all be.)

This e-mail contains two major points of discussion:

1. Insurance Industry considers Wingsuit and Airplane formation flight an unapproved operation.

2. The number of wing suit tail strikes show a dramatic increase. Tail strikes have to stop!

It is like my previous e-mail on formation take-offs; they look cool, pilot's love them, and they are a catastrophe waiting to happen. The same logic applies to wing suit and airplane formation flying. Our underwriter has informed me that they consider wing suit and aircraft formation flying an unapproved operation. If one of us files a hull claim that is a result of a wing suit strike from an attempted formation flight with a wing suit jumper, we are now on notice that the operator's continuing insurance coverage will be subject to termination. If you want to engage in this high risk activity then it will be at your own risk and others in the skydiving insurance group will not be subject to a rate increase due to your desire to engage in what is an unnecessary operation.

The Skydiving Industry had 11 wing suit aircraft tail strikes last year. It is really very simple math, if we don't do something to correct this problem, than we are forcing the insurance industry to do something about it. Their only means of correcting the problem is either through overall rate increases or the elimination of coverage for claims as a result of a wing suit strike. I think we can all agree that neither outcome is acceptable. Let's be a little more pro-active.

I know there is a lot of activity already with respect to standardizing and regulating wing suit jumping and there is also a lot of resistance to it's regulation. I have heard the argument that USPA does not regulate freeflying or Crew activities so why regulate wing suit jumping? I would argue that those two activities are not causing the same problem that the wing suit jumpers are causing with aircraft collisions. Let's not wait to do something until someone brings down a whole airplane as a result of wing suit jumper ripping the horizontal stabilizer right off the fuselage.
I can not tell you all what to do and I don't have the answer for you anyway. All I can do is let you know what is happening from the Insurance side of the problem. As I mentioned above, wing suit tail strikes have become a big problem from an insurance stand point and if something isn't done immediately that reduces the frequency of wing suit tail strikes than we are forcing the insurance industry to the only responses available to them. Let's make wing suit operations as safe as they can be. Let's give the insurance companies another choice!

Until I see the actual document from the insurance carrier, I take this "letter" with a grain of salt because its content is just more of the same puppy poop: A narrow-based problem (wingsuit exit tailstrikes) must be solved by the imposition of a broad-based bureaucracy or wingsuiting will be banned.

BTW, who wrote the parenthetical comment? The "insurance" guy or the DZO?

And who wrote the body of it? The "insurance" guy or the DZO? If the former, then how is it that a whuffo insurance guy writes like an experienced wingsuiter in support of instituting a new wingsuiting bureaucracy?

Finally, the writer cites concern about tailstrikes and offers evidence related thereto -- but offers no evidence or other reasons why formation takeoffs, which have been conducted for decades without incident, are lumped together with this relatively new activity, the tailstrike problems of which are related not at all to formation takeoffs.

Let's see a scan of the real letter.

Let's see the name of the actual insurance industry person who sent it, with contact information.

And the name of the DZO who passed it on.

Then we can discuss.

Otherwise, this "letter" needs to be flushed with the rest of the poop.


(This post was edited by robinheid on Sep 12, 2012, 5:58 PM)

Edit Log:
Post edited by robinheid () on Sep 12, 2012, 5:11 PM
Post edited by robinheid () on Sep 12, 2012, 5:58 PM

Search for (options)