January 16, 2014 Ferry Flight

My PA30 is still waiting for a Utah based shop to recondition a cracked left main gear trunion. I really can’t wait to get it going again, but I am not wasting the down time. Instead, I am knocking out projects that have been on the books at home and the beach for some time.

In the meantime, I have been asked to ferry an out of annual AA5B, and restore it’s owner to flying status.  This is the perfect kind of winter project that can fit nicely into my work and travel schedule.  I’m learning and re-learning things about the ferrying process that I’ll include here.  If you can add something to my knowledge after reading this – reach out by all means.

What most of us know right away is that in order to ferry an airplane, you need a ferry permit. In this case, the mechanic has already made contact with the FAA, and has a form to fill out while doing an inspection.  The results of his inspection will then be faxed back to the FAA, and we’ll wait for the permit.  I’m not sure if the permit comes via email, electronically, or on paper.  I will have about 10 days to complete the flight when the permit is granted.

Ferry flights are limited to only required crew members – so I’ll be doing this flight alone. I’m flying into an airfield that has some challenge to it. Since I haven’t flown this model for some time, nor flown into this field for some time, the mission has a bit of spice to it. Adds just a little bit of ‘pay attention’ tension to the mission.

Instructors and pilots in general also understand that their insurance needs to cover them for flights in other peoples airplanes, should an incident occur. I made the call to my agent to review my coverage, and confirmed  I was good out of the gate.  I talked over the mission with him in general, and discovered some additional steps the owner really needed to take.  Those I didn’t know, so we’ll talk about them next.

Prior to the ferry flight, the  owner needs to notify the insurance agent / provider / broker and request permission to perform the ferry flight.  If you don’t do this, you are moving an un-airworthy aircraft and will not be covered.  The ferry pilot would be covered by his own insurance, but not the owner. Below are the details that you’ll need to include:

  • Schedule the mechanic’s inspection and obtain the ferry permit
  • Identify to the insurance company the name of the mechanic doing the inspection, etc.
    (assuming the owner isn’t the ferry pilot)
  • Identify the pilot acting as a ferry pilot .
  • Confirm the ferry pilot has the requirements noted in your open pilot warranty. Include in your email a request to use this named pilot and note his experience in make and model. Note that I have 19.9 hours as PIC in this make/model; 21.3 total; and another 50 hours in a similar but smaller model (the AA1A). I do not meet the warranty requirements as stated.  Naming me in this case is getting an exception, which in this case is easy as the owner and I use the same agent. That agent knows I have almost 3700 hours experience and adequate experience with the make/model. The owner must send this email and must get an approval for me to be covered, however.
  • Note the date that the airplane went out of annual and/or became unairworthy.
  • Note where the airplane is now, and where you intend to move it to.
  • Note the purpose of the flight, which is to return the airplane to airworthiness status with an annual inspection.

Of course, the owner is out there checking the battery and tires; making sure the fuel is adequate (and serious water checking is performed). I am also looking for information concerning how long it has been sitting unused, and what kind of use it has seen in the past year.

This should be fun, and I’ll be able to get it done on a weekend or even some weekday afternoon.

Fly safe…   always learning….

Currently reading ‘A personal flyers guide to more enjoyable flying’……   Better still than the textbook-like ‘Redefining Airmanship’ I recently finished.