Can a Private Pilot do this, or does it require a Commercial

Discussion in 'Pilot Training' started by Vflyer, Apr 16, 2019 at 7:16 AM.

  1. Vflyer

    Vflyer Filing Flight Plan

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    These might be dumb questions, but as I go through the regulations concerning private and commercial privileges I'm trying to challenge myself to make sure I have a decent grasp of the material.

    Here are two situations:

    1) Private pilot is working at a flight school and earning $10/hr. Owner asks him (while he's on the clock), to move a plane to another airport for scheduled maintenance. I believe there is a letter or interpretation out there that states that even "free flight time" counts as economic benefit and thus would be considered payment and in need of a commercial certificate? Not sure where the line is drawn here.

    Which brings me to:

    2) Private pilot has a friend who just throws him the keys to his plane and say, "I don't get to fly that often and don't want the thing rusting into the ground, it'll be good to get the oil flowing". You're now technically getting free flight time (economic benefit/compensation), does it require a commercial certificate?
     
  2. Ryanb

    Ryanb Final Approach PoA Supporter

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    <sigh>

    Another case of misinterpretation. Why do people continually overthink this?
     
  3. Vflyer

    Vflyer Filing Flight Plan

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    Thanks, anyone else?
     
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  4. Doc Holliday

    Doc Holliday Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Before internet forums this was never an issue. But thanks to forums and the internet lawyers we now have these post Ad nauseam.

    Enjoy!
     
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  5. Kenny Phillips

    Kenny Phillips Pattern Altitude

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    The others are frustrated, 'cuz, well, asked and answered. More than once. That's why there's a search feature.
    To save you the time, no worries in either case.
     
  6. PaulS

    PaulS Final Approach

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    This is how we welcome new members and make new friends in POA. o_O
     
  7. MauleSkinner

    MauleSkinner Final Approach

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    A private pilot is sufficient in both cases...in the first, it is incidental to employment. In the second, if someone throws you the keys to their airplane, it’s merely friends sharing an airplane.
     
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  8. Witmo

    Witmo Pattern Altitude

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    The second situation, getting tossed the keys, I don't have a problem with as there's no quid pro quo. It's a gift if you will. The first is questionable. You're ferrying an airplane and getting your salary and flight time as payment--i'd say commercial certificate required.
     
  9. MauleSkinner

    MauleSkinner Final Approach

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    I disagree...
     
  10. Juliet Hotel

    Juliet Hotel Line Up and Wait PoA Supporter

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    Don't settle for 'I believe there is a letter...' If you think there is a letter out there, find it and see what it says and learn if it applies to your scenario.

    With the scenario you presented, no pax or cargo are being moved. Its just a positioning flight for maintenance. Even if the FAA officially felt that it constituted a commercial operation and the pilot needed a commercial cert, I doubt you'd find many within the organization that felt it was worth the paperwork involved in pursuing an action on it but that's just my guess.
     
  11. Kenny Phillips

    Kenny Phillips Pattern Altitude

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    I got to move an airplane between two airports for my flight school once; I didn't pay a cent, and I was only a student with solo privileges. Perhaps I should turn myself in.
     
  12. Witmo

    Witmo Pattern Altitude

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    Perhaps you should. If you didn't pay for your solo flight it looks like you got paid for the "errand" by flight time and it wasn't incidental to anything since you were a paying student. Pretty clear quid pro quo there.
     
  13. MIFlyer

    MIFlyer Line Up and Wait PoA Supporter

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    I don't see how ferrying an airplane for a business that makes it's core business out of airplane operations (FBO) could ever be considered incidental. it might be incidental to his job but not incidental to the company's business.

    Like, if i'm a private pilot with a 737 type rating but no commercial or ATP, working for Southwest as a Janitor, it's OK for me to move the empty planes between airports to be ready for the next day's flights?
     
  14. Kenny Phillips

    Kenny Phillips Pattern Altitude

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    Actually, I volunteered to help retrieve an airplane from its annual. Probably 0.4 hours; I'll subtract it now.
     
  15. Zeldman

    Zeldman Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Are you in your 90 day currency? Have you had a check ride with Southwest? Are you drug tested? IFR rated?

    Actually I think you have to work for Horizon Air to be able to fly the planes around.....;)
     
  16. Witmo

    Witmo Pattern Altitude

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    https://www.faa.gov/about/office_or...013/hancock - (2013) legal interpretation.pdf

    Read it and weep. Saying something is legal because the FAA will not prosecute or go after a particular offense doesn't make an illegal act anything else. Flight time is compensation and accepting flight time in payment for flying requires a commercial pilot certificate unless it is one of the specific exceptions listed in the regulations. Tow pilots fall under an exception because most glider clubs require volunteer private pilots to tow and even though most weren't being paid in cash they were logging free flight time, hence, without an exception, glider clubs would be without l private pilot tow pilots.

    let's say while ferrying an aircraft for free flight time, a private pilot comes to the attention of the FAA because he dings the airplane. In the insuing investigation, the lack of a commercial certificate will be added to any other violations the FAA charges the private pilot. The FAA might not actively seek out illegal ferry flights by private pilots but they won't pass up sanctioning one if he falls into their lap. But what if the private pilot doesn't "log the time?" Doesn't matter, as the FAA even sees currying good favor with someone as a kind of compensation.
     
  17. Salty

    Salty En-Route PoA Supporter

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    Was the purpose of the flight to ferry the aircraft, or was it for flight instruction and you happened to land at a different airport than you took off?
     
  18. Witmo

    Witmo Pattern Altitude

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    You forgot the last part of the regulation quoted:
    "nor may that person, for compensation or hire, act as pilot in command of an aircraft."

    Is the ferry pilot acting as PIC? Yes. Is he receiving something of value, ie. compensation? Yes, flight time. The flight does not require passengers or property and is not incidental to the pilot's employment in a business.
     
  19. EdFred

    EdFred Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    Yeah, but the FAA also thinks that getting reimbursed is compensation. So I pretty much ignore them when they issue their "head up their ass" interpretations.

    Take a girl on a date, impress her, "get some," and you just violated the regs according to the FAA.
     
  20. MIFlyer

    MIFlyer Line Up and Wait PoA Supporter

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    are those same questions valid for moving the flight school's 172 to the other airport and getting my $10/hr for it?

    Honestly though, as an aside, aren't most of those insurance or SW requirements? Do you have to be IFR rated and current to not carry passengers? it seems like you could fly VFR and as long as you're solo, currency wouldn't matter. Just make sure you do 3 touch and gos in the the 737 while you've got it, so you can have passengers next timeo_O
     
  21. DFH65

    DFH65 Pattern Altitude

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    When it comes to matters of Chinese food and Compensation for flight I follow the lead of Bill Clinton.

    Don't ask don't tell.
     
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  22. Witmo

    Witmo Pattern Altitude

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    Ferrying an airplane for a business you are employed by hinges on the term "incidental." I could argue that it was indeed incidental to my duties and thus legal. It certainly could not be considered incidental if ferrying aircraft from place to place were listed in the pilot's job description.
     
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  23. PaulS

    PaulS Final Approach

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    Get some what?
     
  24. DFH65

    DFH65 Pattern Altitude

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    Cole Slaw of course.
     
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  25. EdFred

    EdFred Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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  26. Ryanb

    Ryanb Final Approach PoA Supporter

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    Sexual intercourse.
     
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  27. Juliet Hotel

    Juliet Hotel Line Up and Wait PoA Supporter

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    Slow your roll there officer friendly. I never said it was legal. Have you ever driven 60 in a 55 zone?

    And yeah, I do think a very plausible case can be made for incidental use since moving airplanes from place to place for maintenance is not a service the flight school normally sells to the public and is not what the employee normally does for the flight school.
     
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  28. Palmpilot

    Palmpilot Touchdown! Greaser!

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    In the Harrington letter, the FAA said that pilots receiving free flight time while ferrying aircraft could avoid compensation by not logging the time.

    "If these pilots are not paying the costs of operating the aircraft while ferrying the aircraft then the building up of flight time would be considered compensation.To avoid compensation, these pilots could either not log the flight time or they could log the flight time while bearing the full cost, including fuel and oil, for ferrying the aircraft."

    https://www.faa.gov/about/office_or.../harrington - (1997) legal interpretation.pdf
     
  29. Tom-D

    Tom-D Taxi to Parking PoA Supporter

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    How does basic med affect this?
     
  30. IK04

    IK04 Line Up and Wait

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    Is there a way to filter out posts with questions in them?

    This one went down the tubes and took me with it.
     
  31. Doug Reid

    Doug Reid Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Post deleted...I couldn’t help myself..
     
  32. PaulS

    PaulS Final Approach

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    Lol, good answer.
     
  33. Kenny Phillips

    Kenny Phillips Pattern Altitude

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    Solely to retrieve an airplane that had been serviced at a nearby airport. I literally volunteered to fetch it. I didn't volunteer to pay for the flight time, and nobody asked.
     
  34. Ryanb

    Ryanb Final Approach PoA Supporter

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    Dude, it's fine. Keep the time in your log and move on.
     
  35. 455 Bravo Uniform

    455 Bravo Uniform Pattern Altitude PoA Supporter

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    So anything less is not compensation? LOL!

    “I did not have sex with that woman, Ms. Lewinsky.”

    I hope this didn’t merit “political” for forum rules.
     
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  36. Kenny Phillips

    Kenny Phillips Pattern Altitude

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    As if I'd change a twenty-two-year-old entry! ;)
     
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  37. MauleSkinner

    MauleSkinner Final Approach

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    You mean the last part of the paragraph that starts out “Except as provided in paragraphs (b) through...”?
     
  38. MauleSkinner

    MauleSkinner Final Approach

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    The reg says “any business”, not “any non-aviation business”, and in this case it’s incidental to the employment, and incidental to the business as well...I assume that it’s a flight school or some such, and not an aircraft ferrying company.
     
    Last edited: Apr 16, 2019 at 8:10 PM
  39. Palmpilot

    Palmpilot Touchdown! Greaser!

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    "...sexual relations..."

    I noticed the careful wording when I heard it.
     
  40. bflynn

    bflynn En-Route

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    You guys keep at it. Using your logic, taking a passenger with you curries favor, which creates future economic value and is therefore compensation.

    Sorry, you are no longer allowed to carry passengers. 61.113 forbids it.