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The easiest way to write off (total) your aircraft

I was just idly wondering when awake at night

Do a bad landing and damage the spar where the gear is attached.

New spar → new wing → new TKS panels for the new wing. But… CAV probably have no more stock of TB20 TKS panels (I think I bought the last ones in 2018).

The TKS panels probably can’t be transferred without damaging them.

Administrator
Shoreham EGKA, United Kingdom

Much less dramatic: taxi outer part of wing into fence post at speed, crack spar (and some other bits). Seen a CFI do just that :-((

Set it on fire?

EIKH Kilrush

I believe the loss adjuster will write off the aircraft when the repair estimate exceeds 2/3 of the insured value. This is to stop the actual repair costs increasing beyond what would have been paid out. I’m sure any mechanic could tell you how much work they would have to do to soak up ~70% of your insured value. Alternatively, damage in a remote location would be a factor. Maybe a one-way trip to a Greek island?

Does crashing the aircraft make the extra paperwork worth it, compared to just selling it? Again, depends on the value.

You could ‘free up equity’ in an aircraft by buying back the wreck for a nominal sum and repairing it for considerably less than quoted. This happens quite often on lower-value aircraft.

If you’re in control of the damage done, this could be quite profitable, but definitely fraud

EGHO-LFQF-KCLW, United Kingdom

Hope Peter‘s insurer ain’t lurking here… could have a hard time now whatever happened…

Dan
- ain't the Destination, but the Jour...
LSZF, Switzerland

Capitaine wrote:

I believe the loss adjuster will write off the aircraft when the repair estimate exceeds 2/3 of the insured value.

These days sometimes even at lower values: For planes with comparatively up to date avionics the part value of the devices could be as much as 50% of total value. Therefore the insurer might decide to just pay out the amount and rip the plane apart. And for that reason…

Capitaine wrote:

You could ‘free up equity’ in an aircraft by buying back the wreck for a nominal sum and repairing it for considerably less than quoted.
… typically doesn’t work for such airplanes any longer.
Germany

Nothing happened

I was just wondering about unexpected ways to end up with a permanently unflyable plane.

The insurance position might be interesting. This is country dependent but here in the UK the insurer is required to reinstate you to the position before the event. So e.g. for a car you are entitled to a professional repair, not a bodge job which many insurers have been forcing people to get done by insisting “their” repair shop is used. But if the unusable status is due to some obscure part not being available, what is the procedure?

With Agreed Value (a UK special thing, AFAIK) the insurer can choose to spend as long as he likes to repair the item. I was warned about that by one insurer.

And, for added excitement, today we are looking at crazy inflated market values which will drive frequent cases of under-insuring which then reduces the payout proportionally. Another story! Thread here.

Fortunately, we have/had just the man: @Bob_Bevan of Visicover

Administrator
Shoreham EGKA, United Kingdom

I once had an aircraft (glider) where some of the parts were not available any longer. Just like in the V-tail Bonanzas. It was difficult to find an insurer. But there would have been very easy ways to ground the plane forever; luckily it did not come to that.

Germany

I don‘t think insurers in Europe know about type specifics. I guess you refer to the ruddervators. In fact, V-tails are no more expensive to insure than conventional tails. I guess they have no idea about the differences between 33s and 35s.

Mainz (EDFZ), Germany
No write-off experience since 1999, but our Syndicate had 3 between 1985 and 1999. One was before I joined. Each time the wreck was offered to the Group.

They didn’t affect the insurance – they affected the member responsible, and he had to pay the extra to remain. The last was a fatal, so no effect as pilot no longer in the Group.
Currently our insurer is concerned with the records of the individual pilots.

Maoraigh
EGPE, United Kingdom
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