When Hermann Goering’s Luftwaffe threatened to destroy Great Britain and cast the world into a new Dark Age, you only needed a few hours solo to pilot a Spitfire.
Per Ardua Ad Astra, or “Through Adversity to the Stars”, they used to say in those good old days…
But to fly your private aeroplane into Ohakea and view the remains of our Royal New Zealand Air Force during AOPA’s annual meeting events in April, you’ll need a lot more than that. To be precise, you will need:
♦ $2 million worth of liability insurance!
An update from AOPA about the AGM says:
“We’ve been in discussions with the Ohakea base regarding our planned fly-in for lunch. Ohakea have informed us that they require all aircraft to have $2mil of Public Liability cover before allowing access to the airfield.
We understand that some of our members will already have $2mil of cover, based on the similar recent requirements for DOC strips. We recommend that members look into increasing their cover, if not already done so, as the requirement for greater public liability cover is a growing trend.
If you don’t have $2mil of cover and you’re not intending to increase your policy, all is not lost. AOPA has investigated the potential of temporarily increasing your policy for this one-off event. Arden Jennings at Aviation Co-op and Bill Beard at Avsure have advised it may be possible to give aircraft the required temporary cover for the flight into Ohakea at no cost.”
How The Mighty Have Fallen, and the weapons of war perished… (2 Samuel Chapter 1 v.27) – right into the hands of daft and risk-averse bureaucrats.
Perhaps the RNZAF is worried that some feckless private pilot might crash into its new $771 million worth of Augusta Westland A109 choppers.
When about 30 private aviators flew into Ohakea on October 30 2011, there was no mention of insurance cover, and when the highly adventurous members of the Association of Women in Aviation did the same a while later, there were outrageous parties in the mess (and we have some potentially embarrassing photographs of the frolics) – but no mention of insurance cover or courts martial. Of course, way back then, the Westland helicopters were still in the factory…
How a few private aircraft could damage Ohakea is hard to fathom. This vast, uninteresting and empty bastion sits in a sparsely populated area and – in the absence of a credible air force – presents little in the way of risky assets. It’s one of the loneliest air force bases on the planet.
And it is more than likely to remain that way, especially on April 13 2013… a date that will live in infamy.