KM @ MGJ With the baseball season just beginning I was trying to plan a trip in the vicinity of Yankee Stadium and noticed that there is no NOTAMs as to when the flight restrictions go in effect for sports arenas. How are we expected to plan properly for a ball game TFR when there really is little guidance?
Sal’s Law: You raise a point that has been long an issue with pilots, since the “Sports Arena TFRs” have become more frequent. Remember that it is your responsibility to know when a sports arena is active and the teams are playing. I can hear the next question already; “does that mean I have to carry around a baseball schedule?” Well, that certainly is one way to know when the games are scheduled, but don’t be fooled into a false sense of security. Game times are subject to change. For example, the standing TFR language is that you may not fly over or within 3 nm of the arena below 3,000 feet from one hour before the game starts to one hour after it ends. The starting time is usually no problem, but what if the game goes into extra innings, or is rain delayed and last well longer than expected? You are expected to know all of that. You see, the old ADF receiver has a valid use – just tune into your local baseball broadcast station.
But the schedule alone may not be enough. A few years ago I had a client who flew through the Yankee Stadium TFR in January. But, as I so expertly noted, the Yankees are not playing in January. That’s right, but they had allowed the use of the stadium for a college football game and the sold out crowd certainly were afforded a TFR. Even the stadium web site failed to announce this unpredictable use of the big ball park in the Bronx.
Remember, this is a matter of strict liability – meaning that you are required to know this information – whether it’s available to you or not. Something that we hope the “Pilot Bill of Rights” will help correct.
CL by Email I was reviewing the renewal of my hull insurance policy with regard to the value of the coverage needed. When I purchased my plane is was worth well over $120,000.00, and I insured it for that amount. Now, with the used market so depressed, I was considering reducing the amount of coverage. However I am having trouble setting a replacement value of the aircraft with the prices having dropped so quickly. What’s the best indicator?
Sal’s Law: Many owners are having sticker shock in reverse when they try and value their aircraft. Even web based tools like Vref will often not give you a true indication of the value of the bird in this market. The best way to determine the true value in today is to try and find a similar aircraft in a similar location to yours – what we call a Comparative Market Analysis.
For example, we just sold an Archer for a client who had purchased it a few years ago for $110,000. He listed it for $90,000 for over a year before researching the price of similarly equipped aircraft. Several nearly identical Archers sold recently at a nearby airport for about $50,000. The true value of the plane is what it will sell for, so he dropped the price to $45,000 and sold it quickly, but at a loss.
Value is very much dependant on avionics and aesthetics. It is relatively more costly to retro-fit new equipment into an older aircraft, rather than to buy an aircraft that has the goodies already installed. Today, a big portion of the value you can expect from your craft is the availability of an auto-pilot and an IFR capable GPS. All of that and paint and interior, are the big selling factors, remembering that the market has many aircraft and the buyers can be choosey.
That said, replacement value on your insurance policy is what the company will pay if the aircraft is damaged or destroyed. You therefore need to evaluate your needs for replacement of the plane in that event. That is why we call hull insurance a “stated” insurance – meaning that what we state the value is, we expect to receive. You will, of course pay a higher premium for the higher coverage. Be careful not to have too much coverage or too little coverage. Too much and the insurance company may fix a plane you don’t want to fix, and too little will leave you light in the pocket!
Blue Skies all!
Sal Lagonia Esq., is an Aviation Attorney and Consultant, Professor of Aviation Law and frequent speaker on aviation safety. Questions may be sent to Sal@LagoniaLaw.com or to his main office at 914-245-7500.