Federal Court Decision: Flight training is carrying passengers for hire

Discussion in 'Pilot Training' started by flyingron, Apr 20, 2021.

  1. MauleSkinner

    MauleSkinner Final Approach

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    Other than the requirement for the instructor to have a second class medical (which I assume the overwhelming majority of instructors do), I don’t see sweeping changes to training in certificates airplanes.
     
    Last edited: Jun 14, 2021
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  2. bflynn

    bflynn Final Approach

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    Personally, I don't either. But it's up in the air right now and at a technical level, the judge was right. But he didn't consider or know to consider that according to the FARs a commercial pilot cannot just jump in a plane and fly someone for compensation. Carriage for compensation requires certification of the operation as well as the pilot.
     
  3. MauleSkinner

    MauleSkinner Final Approach

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    No, that’s something entirely different, and not affected by this ruling.
     
    Last edited: Jun 14, 2021
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  4. Half Fast

    Half Fast Final Approach

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    Maybe "most" but certainly not all. The FAA has stated that CFIs can instruct with Basic Med (POA's own @FastEddieB is an example), but the Basic Med rule prohibits flight operations for hire. And of course Sport CFIs, having only a Sport Pilot certificate, cannot carry persons for hire.

    The FAA has created a tangled web of contradictions. For years they have made a distinction between instruction and carrying passengers for hire, as evidenced by the medical requirements for CFIs and allowing instruction in a pilot's own experimental. Now, to stick a knife into one single warbird operation, they've obtained a court ruling that instruction is carrying passengers for hire, and they will impact thousands of pilots, CFIs, flight schools, etc.

    And I can't see that they've improved safety one damn bit.

    The cartoon showing a person shooting his own foot is cute, but it doesn't fit this case. A better illustration might be the FAA using a shotgun to blast a crowd of pilots, rather than a rifle to get one particular miscreant.
     
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  5. MauleSkinner

    MauleSkinner Final Approach

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    No, not all. But what percentage of instructors do you imagine is instructing without a medical? (not “medical not required”, but without an actual medical certificate)I would guess that percentage is extremely low.

    Thousands of pilots, possibly. Thousands of CFIs and flight schools? No. Very few of those.

    No argument there.
     
  6. Bob Noel

    Bob Noel Touchdown! Greaser!

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    more accurate would be using a large nuke to head-slap a bad boy
     
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  7. Tarheelpilot

    Tarheelpilot Final Approach

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  8. Doug Reid

    Doug Reid Line Up and Wait

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    I know CFI's that only have Basic Med...soooo can they no longer give flight instruction ?
     
  9. wsuffa

    wsuffa Touchdown! Greaser!

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    So my take is that it has certainly made a mess of things.

    We're talking administrative law here, so the FAA has a lot of discretion. The rules can change, but that requires following the APA, and is probably a process that lasts a year or more.

    There have been som interpertations and policies that have been made by the agency over the years that give some wiggle room in terms of interpreting the regs. If pressed in a legal (court) case, the agency is going to be told to follow the rules as written and eliminate wiggle room. That's the crux of where we are now.

    The FAA, like other agencies, is facing a lot of retirements and loss of institutional knowledge, as well as staff shortages. That would make any rule making process longer and it will make any LODA process longer. It also means that the current staff may not understand why some interpertations were done in the first place. Remember under administrative law the agency gets to both make the rules and interpret them.

    It is unlikely that the Congress will step up as they did with basic med - at least in any reasonable time period. And the chance of moving away from administrative law is unlikely - especially with the political makeup in Washington. Remember that administrative law went big-time nearly 100 years ago and certain politicians want to be like those back then. Not political, just explaining my reasoning.

    In theory, the FAA could issue a blanket LODA for certain things, but I think it less likely that will happen as the agency would lose some control and they undoubtedly fear that someone will abuse it. At the same time with Oshkosh coming up, there will be some internal pressure to issue something by then.

    If one takes an evidence-based approach, I think it could be concluded that the way things have been didn't result in any significant loss of safety. It's also possible that the current situation will create a loss of safety. And that could be brought up in a rule making (which is the right way to fix it, but will take a very long time. The whole process has become more and more lengthy and unwieldy.

    I have no doubt that the Collings Foundation B17 crash weighs into the FAA thinking. It got a lot of publicity and little good publicity. Likewise, the lack of oversight on Boeing in the Max crashes has embarrassed the agency so all around I'd expect them to take a more rigid stand. The question is how Dickstein will react if some airline pilots lose revenue from acting as instructors in their "off duty" time.

    So yeah it's a big mess.
     
  10. Llewtrah381

    Llewtrah381 Pre-takeoff checklist

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    You raise an interesting thought: it can be difficult to “substantiate” when someone is truly seeking training vs. the abuse of the term to justify a joyride. If someone has gotten a no-kidding medical exam, that would seem to weed out 99.9987% or so of the joyriders.
     
  11. MauleSkinner

    MauleSkinner Final Approach

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    That’s the understanding that we’re working under here.
     
  12. Jim K

    Jim K Pattern Altitude

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    I could name half a dozen, who make up about half of the instructors in my club. Including my cfii. He flight instructs for a living under basic med.

    Was the Warbird operator giving rides to the general public? If so I could see the issue. Much like those killed on 9 oh 9, the gp expects airplanes to be safe. Meanwhile the FAA's oversight didn't work out too well there.

    I think anyone with even a student pilot certificate should be able to understand the risks inherent to warbirds and experimentals. Why shouldn't someone with a student pilot certificate or higher be able to take training in any aircraft they desire? You could even restrict it to ppl for the limited category.

    To call an owner- pilot a passenger in their own aircraft is insulting.
     
  13. MauleSkinner

    MauleSkinner Final Approach

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    Yes. And apparently the FAA told them to stop, but they refused.
     
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  14. Lindberg

    Lindberg En-Route

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    And who asked for it?
     
  15. Lindberg

    Lindberg En-Route

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    He has other options. There's actually an AC on the topic.
     
  16. bflynn

    bflynn Final Approach

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    I'm not sure if that's rhetorical or not - the presidents of the EAA, GAMA and AOPA jointly sent the letter.
     
  17. Lindberg

    Lindberg En-Route

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    Yes, it was rhetorical. But I'll refer back to what I wrote two months ago:

    Maybe I should amend: "Do these groups not employ any competent attorneys?" Then again, maybe the competent attorneys were overruled by PR since this will be great for fundraising.

    ETA: To expand a little on that, if you're the aforementioned organizations, sending a letter like this is a terrible idea. But if you feel compelled, the letter must be carefully drafted to invite and enable the answer you want, not the answer you don't want.
     
    Last edited: Jun 15, 2021
  18. TonyG

    TonyG Pre-Flight

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    That AC (AC 90-109A) doesn't lay out any additional options - but it does elaborate a little on option 1 (flying his new-to-him airplane without any RV time, if a comparable aircraft, presumably not impeded by this new letter, can be found.)

    Doesn't matter for him now. He'll be getting RV time, with one of the few CFIs that has a LODA. Beating the bushes paid off. He'll be travelling half way across the country for it, but hopes to combine that with the trip to get his airplane. This guy had to work pretty hard to do the right thing (I like having students like that.)
     
  19. Half Fast

    Half Fast Final Approach

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    +1

    But I despise gov't bureaucracies that make it hard to do the right thing in the first place.
     
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  20. Lindberg

    Lindberg En-Route

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    You could have instructed him in his plane; instruction isn't prohibited. And since it's a transition, the AC also suggests that when an instructor isn't available, another experienced pilot may be an option. I've flown several new types with guidance from the non-instructor owners.
     
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  21. Salty

    Salty Final Approach

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    Most people aren’t willing to give their time and 100LL to train someone with no compensation.
     
  22. TonyG

    TonyG Pre-Flight

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    Truly uncompensated instruction SEEMS to be ok within the context of the June 4 letter. I probably would have donated my time for this guy (he's one to step up), but there's no way wt & balance works with me in the back seat of that RV-4 (which already is a fairly heavy one.) I'd need to lose a 1/3 of me....
     
  23. Lindberg

    Lindberg En-Route

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    That is unfortunate, certainly, although I don't know why the owner wouldn't pay for the gas. But the fact that no one is willing to give instruction is different from saying that an owner is unable to get instruction in his own plane.
     
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  24. Tarheelpilot

    Tarheelpilot Final Approach

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    In practical evaluation that is one of the dumbest statements I’ve ever read on this forum.
     
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  25. Lindberg

    Lindberg En-Route

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    Thank you?
     
  26. Tarheelpilot

    Tarheelpilot Final Approach

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    Please understand it wasn’t meant to be insulting.
     
  27. Lindberg

    Lindberg En-Route

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    Ok. I wasn't insulted.
     
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  28. Half Fast

    Half Fast Final Approach

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    How many trophy points are awarded?
     
  29. Tarheelpilot

    Tarheelpilot Final Approach

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    No idea. I have trophy points so it must not take much :)
     
  30. denverpilot

    denverpilot Tied Down PoA Supporter

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    Let's get everyone all stirred up and ask if cost sharing rules kick in when instructing for no money in the wrong category airplane.

    Lol. Kidding. Have fun with that.

    (No really. Kidding. It's still instruction. Don't go there. Hahaha. I just want to invoke the ghost of FlyteNow to visit the thread.... LOL...)
     
  31. steingar

    steingar Taxi to Parking

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    You guys do realize you break the law every time you throw a light bulb in the trash? True, it's hazardous waste due to the stuff in it. All kinds of laws you run afoul of every day, but they're not out prosecuting everyone. I agree that there is a bit of a mess right now, but I maintain that the FAA isn't going to come down on anyone who isn't trying their best to follow the regs and carry out a safe operation. They have neither the budget nor the personnel.
     
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  32. Salty

    Salty Final Approach

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    That's not going to stop it from being far more difficult to get appropriate training. Many instructors will opt out because of the lack of clarity.

    This idea of a government agency not "coming down on anyone who isn't trying their best" is naive and ignorant of history. Quite the opposite. Laws are laws, they can't be enforced optionally. In fact, optional enforcement is unconstitutional, inherently unfair, and is exactly how corruption gains a foothold.
     
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  33. wsuffa

    wsuffa Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Except that...

    You don't have to keep a signed log of each light bulb you install and each one you trash. Flight instruction, you do. In fact, from the agency perspective, that's part of the reason to require logs - to make it administratively convenient to enforce rules because the logs can be used to incriminate you.

    Here's how it worked with another agency: if the inspector found something wrong (say maintenance that had to be logged), they would cite you for not doing the maintenance. The licensee would think that's a pretty stiff violation, so they'd often come back and say "well, we did it but we didn't log it". Bingo. Admitted to the violation and could be admonished or fined.
     
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  34. Palmpilot

    Palmpilot Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    I think the prosecution and law enforcement budgets would have to be expanded hugely in order to make that a reality.
     
  35. Salty

    Salty Final Approach

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    I didn’t say that every infraction must be detected. That’s a different subject.
     
  36. Half Fast

    Half Fast Final Approach

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    Explain that one to the insurance companies who cover instructors and flight schools. Also consider that if there's an incident, an insurance company may refuse to pay if the insured is in violation.
     
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  37. DaleB

    DaleB Final Approach

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    So, another vote for “Just ignore the regs we find inconvenient, they’ll probably really do anything about it”.

    Or am I misunderstanding something?
     
  38. Half Fast

    Half Fast Final Approach

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    Well, that approach would solve a lot of FAA medical issues, too, wouldn't it?
     
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  39. Lindberg

    Lindberg En-Route

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    One, you only have to log instruction if you need it for a rating. Two, it's not instruction that's prohibited.
     
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  40. Palmpilot

    Palmpilot Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    True, but my understanding is that prosecutorial discretion is considered to be legitimate in some circumstances, and I think the budgetary issue I mentioned is part of the reason for that.