Tag Archives: Pilots

Two Sure Times To Round-Up

Enjoy Peace of Mind

Enjoy Peace of Mind

There are two sure times to round-up. When calculating takeoff and landing distances and when deciding on insurance coverage.

Things are happening quickly. It’s nearly midnight. A medical team is climbing onboard and we need to get them 300 miles away-fast. Someone’s life depends on it. The fuel truck pulls away from the Citation 560 and the ground crew pulls the chocks. The cabin door is closed and a little light automatically goes off in the cockpit indicating the door is properly sealed. I’m working up the take-off numbers, setting radio frequencies on the six different radios, setting the altitude alerter, programming our route in the FMS (Flight Management System) and bugging our airspeed indicators.

Our takeoff distance, the amount of runway we’ll need to get in the air and clear all obstacles on the ground, is determined by a number of variables. Primarily by the weight of the airplane, a given power setting, and outside air temperature. Airplanes perform better in colder air. As pilots we use charts to help us calculate the proper engine power setting for our weight and outside air temperature. Of course the exact weight and temperature never seem to match what the chart gives us. The chart might have a column for 20 degrees celsius and 30 degrees but the outside air temperature might be 27 degrees. The weight column might offer us 14,500 pounds and 15,500 pounds when the actual wight is 14,735 lbs. So we extrapolate. And if there’s a remainder? I always Round Up! Why? Because I like having the peace of mind knowing there’s a little margin of safety.

INSURANCE OFFERS PEACE OF MIND

I like having the same margin of safety when buying insurance. From my perspective, it’s always better to have and not need, then to need and not have.  My car is insured by a large, reputable insurance company. So is my home. I always buy the best medical insurance I can afford. I skimp on things that aren’t necessary but I never skimp when it comes to feeling assured the necessities in life are secured.

TITLE INSURANCE

Recently I was asked about the difference between an ALTA/Home Owners Policy and a CLTA policy. These policies are referring to Title Insurance.  It’s a common question and I’ve written about it before. Read: Realtor’s And Pilot’s It’s Your Teacher Not You  For a printed table of differences click here:  Homeowners Policy/ALTA vs. CLTA

Lets keep things simple. Realtors: Your Title Insurance company will always default to the ALTA Homeowners Policy. Because in California the C.A.R. contract calls for the best coverage. Easy. You don’t really need to do anything!

Having said this; be wise and always check. Why? Because unless your client is only buying land the Title Insurance Company offers a CLTA policy when a residence doesn’t qualify for an ALTA HOP.  As the Realtor you’d probably have some questions. So check. What the Title Insurance Company is offering, either an ALTA HOP or a CLTA policy is usually on the second page of the prelim.

QUESTION

Does the ALTA HOP cost more than the CLTA policy?

Yes it does. About 10% more.  Think of it this way. For ten percent more you’re buying about 50% more peace of mind.

READY FOR TAKEOFF

“Medivac Charlie Victor Romeo cleared for takeoff runway two five right.” We taxi onto the runway and the engines start to scream. I know we’re going to takeoff safely because we’ve run the numbers and left a margin of safety.  Likewise, you know your clients are going to have the proper coverage they need on what’s undoubtedly their largest personal investment. The ALTA HOP offers a little margin of safety.

Please feel free to leave comments. And Remember, Sharing is Caring. Thank you.

Note:  Besides being a Title Company Account Executive I’m also a Charter Pilot.  Comments made here are my own and do not necessarily belong to my employer; Chicago Title & Escrow or Chrysler Aviation.

Chicago Title has been in business for more than 160 years. It’s a company you can trust.

For more information about Title Insurance contact me directly at:
Ric Lippincott or leave a comment below

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Stats Be Damned. The Fear of Flying & Real Estate

Adored When Needed For Immediate Rescue

I’m standing within arms reach of a fully equipped, reasonably self-sufficient, mostly educated, all faculties operable, grown man with a full-time job and a car, who is telling me he’s afraid of flying. I’m a Certified Flight Instructor. I get this a lot.  And I understand.

“You’ve got a better chance of being struck by lightning than of crashing in a jet. In fact, you’ve got a better chance of being struck twice by lightning than of going down with one of the big commercial operators.”  The Unfriendly Skies by Willie Stern, The Weekly Standard.

The stats be damned. Math isn’t a subject most of us grasped in school. How can we be expected to embrace it later in life?  Few of us have any trouble driving our cars yet nearly 33,000 people were killed in 2010, one of the best years on our nations roads according to the NHTSA, (National Highway Transportation and Safety Administration). There were no, none, zero airline fatalities in 2010. None. See USA Today Travel. Does knowing this chase away the fear of flying? Hell no.

Real Estate is scary too, until you’ve traversed it a few times and start to understand what makes it fly. I remember buying my first condo. I knew nothing. Didn’t understand a single thing. I was told to sign here, and here, and here… and the next thing I knew I was a homeowner. I blindly bought a home.

Most of the non-pilot population will do the same thing with flying. You’re told to get onboard, fasten your seatbelt, put your stuff under the seat or in the overhead bin and turn off your phone. The next thing you know you’re in Kansas!

In Real Estate transactions I try to explain what’s going on in the simplest terms. But sometimes what I have to say isn’t what the person wants to hear. That’s when ego’s step up and logic runs for cover. Besides flight Instructing, I’m in Title, so I get to work with all sides of a Real Estate transaction. Not just the buyers and sellers, but mostly the Realtors and Lenders.

Title guys like me are similar to lifeguards on the beach. We’re hated when we’re telling people they can’t swim because the water is too rough but adored when someone is drowning and needs immediate rescue.  An astute Realtor once told me, “I don’t even think about Title unless the $*** hits the fan. Then Title suddenly becomes the most important aspect of the Real Estate transaction.” Well said.

When teaching people to overcome their fear of flying I start by showing how and why airplanes fly. And, once we get in the air, I let students take the controls and actually fly the airplane themselves. We conclude with looking out the window and enjoying the perspective few people have the privilege of experiencing. If you’ve ever flown an airplane, even if for a few short minutes, you are one of the elite. Most people in the world will never have that story to share.

There hasn’t been a nicer time to buy Real Estate than right now. Home prices are low and money is cheap. If you need someone to walk  you through it, contact me. If I can’t walk you through to your goals, I have many experts in every area of Real Estate I can refer to you. See, “Does Your Realtor / Lender Know What You Drive“.  Once you’ve signed here, here and here, look out of the window in your new home and enjoy the view. You’re now part of the American Dream.

Flying airplanes, buying a home; scary at first. But once you understand the basics it’ll become second nature. It might even become enjoyable.

Please feel free to leave comments.  And Remember, Sharing is Caring.  Thank you.

Note: Besides being a CFII, MEI, Pilot, I’m a Title Rep.  In other words, I sell Title Insurance. Comments made here are my own and do not necessarily belong to my employer; Chicago Title & Escrow.

Chicago Title has been in business for more than 160 years. It’s a company you can trust.

For more information about Title Insurance or flying airplanes, contact me directly at ric.Lippincott@ctt.com.

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Seduce Your Wicked Imagination / Reduce The Risk

Learning to Fly Brings a Sense of Freedom

If you’re anything like me, when you walked out of the DMV with your first ever drivers license in hand, you could almost see those once inhibiting metaphoric corral fences getting sucked into the ground, pushed away, and the freedom to drive – anywhere – seduced your wicked imagination.

I could drive my car anywhere. Well, I wasn’t really unbridled, not just then. I still had limits. Parents. But the possibilities were rapidly solidifying from mirage to reality. I could now feel the wanderlust right under the surface of my skin.
 
When you first get your Private Pilots license that feeling of freedom jumps to a magnitude only birds and a flier can know. The once two-dimensional ground magically morphs into a magnificent world of 3D and you’re now pals with Peter Pan on your way toward earning a seat next to the likes of Chuck Yeager.  You even have a new vocabulary. The language of flying airplanes.
 
The distance you could travel in your car, lets say driving for one hour, suddenly doubled itself with a small airplane. Your territory, now larger, sparked dreams of weekends away. Further away. To places you wouldn’t have considered going for just a weekend trip.
 
Flying airplanes spawns those kinds of dreams. And in my years of flying I’ve brought many of those wonderings to life. From airplane camping in Northern Wisconsin to weekends on Catalina Island and aerobatics in-between, flying airplanes gets into your blood and becomes a habit you’ll never fully purge, as if you’d ever want to. But there are limits. Not parents (unless you’re under age) but a host of other overseers who are there to protect us from ourselves or passengers we may innocently enchant with our magic carpets.
 

It’s not always the FAA clipping our wings.

 
The FAA (Federal Aviation Administration) has volumes of restrictions, most are clearly in our best interests.  After the FAA I’d have to say Insurance Companies play a large role. For example, if you have a pilot’s license and a valid medical certificate the FAA says you’re qualified to fly to a destination like Big Bear City where the runway is fairly short and narrow, the winds are unpredictable, and the airport is surrounded by trees. However your insurance company is going to say, “Ah, excuse me. You need to go there with a CFI (Certified Flight Instructor) first before you can go off on your own.”
 

Why would your insurance company make that a requirement when the FAA doesn’t?

 
The insurance company is managing risk. If you crash they are the ones paying the bill. So they’d like an extra layer of assurance you’re up for the challenge before they’ll issue insuance (take the bet) you can do so safely. It’s hard to blame them really.
 

Title Insurance Like Aviation Insurance

 
Back to my recent flight to Big Bear in a second. First lets take a quick look at Title Insurance. When you get a mortgage to buy property the bank is going to require you to have Title Insurance. That’s because your lender knows how much risk there can be if the Title of your property isn’t free and clear.  And un unclear Title, or clouded title, happens all too often for Title Insurance companies to recklessly take that risk. But before a Title company will issue a policy, they are going to do a thorough search of the Title chain. Why? Once again, to mitigate risk. A lot of pre-flight happens before you get the policy.
 

Would You Take This Bet?

 
Lets say you’re going to refinance a million dollar loan. The Title Insurance policy will cost approximately $1,345.  It’s a one-time cost, good for as long as you own your property. If there’s a default and a claim is made, the Title company may have to pay a one million dollar liability when they only took in $1,345.  Not a good bet!  To cover that loss the Title company will have to sell 743, one million dollar policies that will never have claims, in order to cover that one loss!  That’s why Title companies do Preliminary Title Reports before issuing policies, and that’s why Aviation Insurance Companies require rated pilots to fly with experienced flight instructors to difficult airports before allowing pilots to fly there on their own.
 

Ready For Take-Off

 
Flying Into L35 (Big Bear) Can Be Challenging

Flying Into L35 Can Be Challenging

“Shuttle One fly the runway heading, climb to and maintain 9,500′, contact SoCal on 124.7 prior to entering class Charlie airspace, squak 7220.”  The pilot I was flying with read back the instructions and the reply over the radio was familiar.  “Shuttle One read-back is correct have a nice flight.”

Before getting into the cockpit I reviewed all aspects of the flight with the flying pilot. Weather conditions, runway lengths, aircraft weight and balance, fuel requirements, take-off distances, density altitude and the affects on aircraft performance, and so on. We were well prepared to make this flight and, like a Title Company, mitigated our risk with thorough investigation.
 
The retarding forces are at max when the airplane is lined up on the runway center line and the power leavers are pushed forward. The airplane is at its heaviest (it becomes lighter as you burn off fuel) and there is rolling resistance (the coefficient of friction for that particular runway) as well as aerodynamic drag (the wind resistance against the aircraft). As the airplane accelerates rolling resistance plays the biggest role at first, but diminishes as speed is increased until rolling resistance becomes zero at Vr (rotate speed) and the wheels leave the ground.
 
Once airborne I felt, I always feel, that rush of freedom entering my bloodstream like a drug administered intravenously.  The feeling crescendos as we, the airplane and me, leave the ground and climb above the silent scream of humanities internal dialogue, the constant voice, longing for flight.
 
Please feel free to leave comments below and remember, sharing is caring. Thank you.

Note: Besides being a CFII, MEI, Pilot, I’m a Title Rep.  In other words, I sell Title Insurance. Comments made here are my own and do not necessarily belong to my employer; Chicago Title & Escrow.

Chicago Title has been in business for more than 160 years. It’s a company you can trust.

For more information about Title Insurance or flying airplanes, contact me directly at: ric.lippincott@ctt.com

 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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‘Damn it! We’re going to crash. It can’t be true!’

“We’re below the glide slope and slow.” I could hear my own voice in the headset as the airplane continued to sink below where it should be on final approach to landing. My student, learning to fly a bigger twin-engine airplane, made no changes.

Don't Slip Into Denial Here

“We’re on the centerline but still below glide slope.  Our speed is critically slow.”

Nothing changed.

I looked over at my student. His eyes were fixed on the runway ahead of us, one hand on the throttle controls and the other on the yoke. He seemed frozen.

“We’re too slow.  Add power.”   Still no response.  I’m not one to inject stress or drama into a situation, preferring instead to remain level and logical.  Calmly I spoke again,  “We’re now below blue line, add power.” Another two seconds passed.  “Add power,”  I repeated myself for the third time.

Still no action from the pilot flying.  Flying slower than blue-line  at this phase of the approach means we could lose control of the airplane if something unplanned suddenly occurred.

I’m going to admit something.  The pilots lack of action fascinated me. I thought, wow, he’s in complete “denial of impact”!

Denial is one of our minds most interesting defense mechanisms.  As humans we use denial in a large variety of situations.  For example: denial of addictions.  We could go on and on about addictions but I’ll spare you.

Then there are subsets of denial, like, minimization; where one admits the problem but denies its seriousness.

And then there’s projection; admits the problem and its seriousness but denies responsibility. Children use this one a lot along with DARVO.  *DARVO is an acronym that means:

Deny, then

Attack the victim, thereby

Reversing

Victim and

Offender

*(From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia)

It’s fascinating to see a pilot in denial but not shocking.  Denial has been cited as a contributing factor in more than a few aviation crashes. Some well documented. The following excerpt is from a book:

‘Damn it! We’re going to crash. It can’t be true!’: pilots’ chilling last few moments of confusion and denial before plane crash.

The book, Rio-Paris Crash: A Collection of Pilot Errors, written by French aviation author Jean-Pierre Otelli.

Aviation isn’t the only profession where denial causes damage.  Recently I had a conversation with a Realtor who buys properties at auction and then flips them for profit. Lets call the Realtor John.  John wanted to know about an exclusion on the Preliminary Title Report he’d never noticed before.  The Title company (not Chicago Title) indemnified itself from potential tax liens.

John. “But that’s what I want Title Insurance for, to protect me from tax liens!”

Me.  “Well John, the indemnity clause is removing that option from their offer to insure. Frankly those tax liens, especially the IRS liens, are the reason Chicago Title doesn’t always offer a policy for properties bought at auction unless we can get an SI from the foreclosed owner. There’s just too much exposure.”

John went into denial. “But they said…”

Me.  “True but they are excluding the very things that can bite you inside the redemption window. That’s why I recommend avoiding those one-off  Title Insurance companies John.”

Chicago Title has been in business for more than 160 years. It’s a publicly traded Fortune 500 company. If we offer a policy we’ll tell you up front exactly what that means. If we can’t insure we’ll tell you why before you buy.

While other come-and-go companies say they’ll insure, you’ll need to read the fine print to see what they’re really offering.

When I told John we couldn’t insure the property he was interested in out of auction, and then explained the reasons why, he found a company that said they would insure it.  I didn’t see how they could.  Turns out they were taking out the real meat of the policy in the fine print.  Thankfully John read the fine print this time and called me. I wondered if he also reads the iTunes Agreement?

Once safely on the ground we talked about the importance of flying a stabilized approach and managing airspeed. Both co-related. We also discussed the tendency for people to easily slip into denial.  “If the airplane is flying toward the runway nothing’s wrong”.  Or, “if a Title company says they’ll insure then what could go wrong”?

There are a lot of old adages but in business this one seems to offer the soundest advice. “If it sounds too good to be true then it probably is too good to be true.”

Flying has it’s share of old adages too.  One of them I like says, “A ‘good’ landing is one you can walk away from. A ‘great’ landing is when they can use the plane again”.  No matter how you land the plane… don’t go into denial about what’s going on while you’re in the air – or when you’re buying Real Estate!

Note:  Besides being a CFII, MEI, Pilot, I’m a Title Rep.  Comments made here are my own and do not necessarily belong to my employer; Chicago Title & Escrow.

For more information about Title Insurance or flying airplanes, contact me directly at ric.Lippincott@ctt.com.

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Realtors and Pilots, It’s Your Teacher Not You

I know something about you. At least once in your life you’ve had someone explain something and when they finished you still didn’t understand. For most of my life when this happened I thought maybe I was in the slow lane. I wanted to be in the passing lane. Then I realized something. It’s not you and me. It’s our teachers. Not just school teachers. Anyone who is trying to teach us something throughout life.

When I was learning to fly airplanes on instruments I struggled on the chapter, “How to know if you’ve reached a VOR radial or if you’ve passed it.” The teacher may as well have been speaking in tongues. If you have a “From” flag on your VOR then, is it reverse sensing? Do I spin the OBS to get a “To” flag and move my head to orient myself. Wait. Did I just pass the intersection!

I sell Title Insurance today. And I teach people to fly airplanes. I’ve learned to keep things simple enough for everyone to understand. It’s not your job to understand my complicated pontifications. It’s my responsibility to teach you in a way that you can easily learn.

Yesterday a seasoned Real Estate agent asked me the difference between an ALTA policy (American Land Title Association) and a CLTA (California Land Title Association)  policy. You’d think they might have known the answer to that since they show years in the business on a resume. But instead of blaming them for driving in the slow lane, I blamed myself, and other Title reps before me, for never teaching this Realtor in a way he could remember.

Photo by Ric Lippincott

Am I There Yet?

Pilots. Let’s go back to the VOR for a second. Lets say you’re flying on the 270 radial outbound from station “A”, and you want to intercept the 180 radial from station “B”, (station “B” is to the north of your position), and once intercepted fly the 180 radial inbound. I was taught to tune in station “B”, identify station “B”, then turn the OBS to 180 with a “From” flag and off you go. That’s perfect if you can stay oriented, but which side will the needle be on before you reach the station? For years I would literally turn my head south and imagine which side the needle would be on if I were actually flying south on the 180 radial but had drifted east a little. What? That’s crazy!

Then a wise teacher gave me a little saying that made everything so much easier. He said, “If the station is on the right, and the needle is on the right, you’re not there yet.” Done! That’s all you have to remember.

Lets add a simple truism. If you want to know where you are FROM a station then make sure you see a “From” flag. And if you want to fly TO a station then you’d better see a “To” flag. That’s all you need to remember. The rest will make sense.

Realtors. Here’s all you need to know about ALTA and CLTA policies: A CLTA policy has more exclusions than an ALTA policy and an ALTA policy costs only 10% more than a CLTA policy* so get the policy with more coverage (ALTA) if you can. Why? Because for 10% more in cost you get a lot more in coverage. Done!

Like how much more? Well an ALTA covers the same stuff as a CLTA policy but it also covers other risks, like unrecorded mechanic’s liens, assessments, encumbrances, encroachments, easements, water rights, mining claims, patent reservations, conflicts of boundary lines, shortages in area access to and from the land and more.

That’s how simple flying airplanes and Real Estate can be.

Pilots, if the station’s on the right and the needle’s on the right, you’re not there yet. Realtors, if the property qualifies for an ALTA policy, for only 10% more in cost, get the ALTA policy because it covers more risks. Done!

* Rate based on present published rate at Chicago Title California.

Note: I’m a Title Rep.  (Tie-tél Rep; a person or reptile that scurries through Real Estate Offices and Lending institutions in search of food, stopping at nothing, including stepping on other Title Reps in its pursuit.)  In other words, I sell Title Insurance. Comments made here are my own and do not necessarily belong to Chicago Title.
For more information about Title Insurance or flying airplanes, contact me at ric.Lippincott@ctt.com.

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