The Cessna T337GP "Skymaster" is not a typical twin engine aircraft, with one engine mounted on each wing. Rather, the Skymaster sports a "push-pull" configuration, with one engine mounted on the nose of the aircraft and the other mounted at the rear of the fuselage. Although the Skymaster's engine configuration is atypical, it nevertheless is a multiengine aircraft. An attentive insurer relied on that fact to escape a claim for damage caused to a Skymaster during a flight operated by a pilot who held only a single engine rating.

While flying from Memphis to Tampa Bay, the pilot of the Skymaster had to make an off-field emergency landing, resulting in damage to the aircraft. The owner of the aircraft filed a claim with its insurer under a policy that only provided coverage when a pilot holding a multiengine rating flew the Skymaster. Because the pilot who operated the accident flight had only a single engine certificate, the insurer denied the claim.

The owner sued the insurer in the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida, seeking a declaration that the policy provided coverage for the damage to the aircraft. Although the owner conceded that the pilot did not have a multiengine certificate, it explained that the pilot had trained with a certified flight instructor, who endorsed the pilot's logbook with a certification that the pilot was proficient to fly solo in the Skymaster. The owner argued that the flight instructor's certification qualified as a "multiengine rating" within the meaning of the insurance policy.

The court disagreed, holding that it could not "rewrite the unambiguous terms" of the insurance policy "simply because [the pilot] engaged in solo training that was permissible under the [federal aviation] regulations, but not under the Policy." Therefore, the court concluded that the insurer properly denied coverage and granted summary judgment in favor of the insurer.

Neubert Aero Corp. v. Starstone Nat'l Ins. Co., 2021 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 203375 (M.D. Fla. Oct. 21, 2021) (Lammens, M.J.) (Report and Recommendation adopted, 2021 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 220849 (M.D. Fla. Nov. 16, 2021)).

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