How to do this? Do I need CPL? Do I need an op cert?

Discussion in 'Flight Following' started by Rykymus, May 21, 2017.

  1. Rykymus

    Rykymus Line Up and Wait

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    My brother owns a software company that is growing. He travels at least twice per month for sales and meetings with clients, mostly western half of US.

    I have PPL/IR, with about 600hrs PIC. I'd like to get a larger plane, preferably a pressurized twin, but have trouble justifying the cost of operation, since currently the majority of our flights are up and down the west coast, and only a few hours in length.

    My brother is suggesting that we form an LLC and buy the aircraft, sharing the cost of ownership and operation between his business and my own. Although 90% of my flights would be pleasure, 90% of his would be business. The kicker is, he does not have, nor does he desire to get, a pilot's license. He wants me to do the flying. (Which I would love.) I would not get compensated, however the fuel expenses for his trips would be paid by himself. (Or his business, whichever the case.)

    This arrangement is appealing to me for a number of reasons. First, I would get to fly a twin and make longer trips with my wife, without feeling guilty about the added expense of owning/operating it. Second, I would have more missions to fly, and would be able to maintain proficiency in the twin. Lastly, I'd be able to afford to keep my current plane for the short hops that we frequently make, for which the twin would be overkill.

    What I'm wondering is:
    > Is this plausible (from an FAA legal point of view)?
    > Do I need a CPL? (Which I am not opposed to getting)
    > Do I need greater than Class 3 Medical?

    Thanks
     
  2. gsengle

    gsengle Pattern Altitude

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    You need a CP-AMEL-IA and then your brother can legally 'hire you' to fly the aircraft under part 91....


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  3. RyanB

    RyanB Administrator Management Council Member PoA Supporter

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    If you're just using it for transportation to get to and from the places of need, then a CPL is not required and can be legally done with a PPL-IA.
     
  4. simtech

    simtech En-Route

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    I'm not totally sure but he is not paying you. You and him just happen to own a plane together and he doesn't have a certificate to fly. So you fly him...but I can also see it as do you have a common reason to go and are you paying pro rata share of fuel. I think that is what is going to hurt since he will be paying for the fuel when he needs to go somewhere.

    So..im going to say get ye commercial and call it good. Maybe his company can pay for it?
     
  5. Checkout_my_Six

    Checkout_my_Six Touchdown! Greaser!

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    how are you able to do this for free?....are you retired?
     
  6. Rykymus

    Rykymus Line Up and Wait

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    Nope. Self-employed. I was thinking about getting AMEL and CPL, just for the hell of it. And although I wouldn't mind doing a ferry gig once in awhile, I have no intention of ever making flying a career. (It would be a huge pay cut, even if I were flying for a major airline.)

    My biggest concern is that when I fly him, the only reason I'm going is to get the hours to keep my skills up. I have no reason to go to his destinations other than to fly him there.

    For example; I fly him from Sacramento to LA. He pays for that gas. I fly back home. I pay for that gas. A few days later, I fly down to pick him up. I pay for that gas. I fly him back to Sac, he pays for that gas.

    If I can do such flights just getting my CPL/AMEL/IR and using my third class med and under part 91, I'll likely go for that arrangement. If I have to get some type of operating certificate, and/or carry a higher medical, probably not.
     
  7. citizen5000

    citizen5000 Ejection Handle Pulled

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    There is no requirement for an aircraft owner or part owner to be a pilot. If you own it together you guys can easily figure out how to split costs and expenses and you fly the plane with him in it. The business use side of it will allow you to take depreciation and other cost expense deductions. Make sure to talk to an aviation lawyer first.
     
  8. JOhnH

    JOhnH Touchdown! Greaser!

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    I have heard people say this before, but I am not sure I agree, so convince me.

    Owning a second plane means an additional annual, additional insurance, additional hangar (or tie down) space, and I am sure there would be additional expenses.

    So what part of flying the twin would be overkill as compared to the expense of having a second plane that gets much less use now? It seems to me you would be much better off selling your current plane and putting the revenue and the savings toward the operating expenses of the twin. I guess if your current plane is paid off, not worth much, you own the hangar and you are an A&P, then it might make sense.

    Or, if money is no object, then sure, keep both of them. I know many people that do just that. But I can't believe it is more economical that way.
     
  9. Palmpilot

    Palmpilot Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    I'm not a legal expert, but besides the AMEL rating, I think you would need a commercial pilot rating and a second class medical certificate, because you would be flying to benefit his business, not yours, and because he would be paying the expenses of the flight, thereby compensating you for your piloting services (with the compensation being the free flight time in your log book).
     
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  10. midlifeflyer

    midlifeflyer Touchdown! Greaser!

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    @gsengle gave a pretty good short answer. He's right.

    Generally speaking assuming separation of ownership of your business, your brother's business and the airplane, you get into two separate issues.

    One is, you are right, making the flights on your brother's company business (no "common purpose") and the company paying for the fuel, probably puts you squarely in the "flight for compensation" arena, with its need for a commercial pilot certificate and a 2nd class medical.

    The other is, yes, you can probably keep it Part 91, but that would require consideration of such things as dry vs wet leasing ("wet" having nothing to do with who pays for fuel), who has "operational control" over a particular flight, and something the FAA calls the "flight department rule." If you would be looking into that route, a business lawyer with an understanding aviation law (or vice versa ;)) should be a mandatory consultation.
     
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  11. Checkout_my_Six

    Checkout_my_Six Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Meh....if you guys own it....and you fly him sometimes.....I'd just leave it at that and not make it more complicated.

    I own things with family members....and we have a joint bank account that we use for that purpose. I'd just spend out of that account for this....
     
    Last edited: May 21, 2017
  12. eman1200

    eman1200 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    I'm no pro but I mostly agree with this.

    I'm actually more concerned with the OP HAVING to fly now, or at least feeling more obligated to fly because he doesn't wanna let his bro down. And how that could impact their relationship.
     
  13. gsengle

    gsengle Pattern Altitude

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    Yes but with the commercial it's not complicated and totally legal even if not common purpose, which it really isn't...


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  14. Rykymus

    Rykymus Line Up and Wait

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    You may be correct about this. And if so, I'll likely end up selling the smaller plane. Even though I could afford it, I'm never comfortable spending money that doesn't NEED to be spent. (Especially since life has a nasty habit of throwing expensive surprises at you.)

    Thing is, technically, I am one of the shareholders in my brother's business. (I helped fund his startup.) So flying the aircraft for HIS business needs is also benefiting ME as a shareholder.

    I am definitely going to need to consult with an aviation attorney about this, as well as an aviation accountant.
     
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  15. Rykymus

    Rykymus Line Up and Wait

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    This is also a good point. (An excellent one, really.) I'm sure we could come up with an agreement about when I'm NOT obligated to fly him. Would it also be possible to hire a pilot for flights he needs to make, but I am not available to do so? (I am putting my nephew, who works for me, through flight training so that I have a built-in safety pilot for my own needs.)

    All I'm really looking for is a way to have the nicer plane, and reduce the cost of ownership so that I don't feel guilty about the expensive hobby.
     
  16. citizen5000

    citizen5000 Ejection Handle Pulled

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    It's even better that you own a little of the business that the plane services IMHO. But definitely get guidance and help from a pro. They deal with this stuff everyday.
     
  17. gsengle

    gsengle Pattern Altitude

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    The reality is if you're trying to fly under the schedule of a business you should want a capable well equipped well maintained plane *and* a commercial certificate. The training will make you an even better pilot - the most important thing is getting there safely.


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  18. MikeELP

    MikeELP Pattern Altitude

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    Agreed!!
     
  19. jallen0

    jallen0 Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Wouldn't there be an issue if is his brother wanted to bring an employee along as well. Now you are bringing two "employees" of the company along.
     
    Last edited: May 21, 2017
  20. FastEddieB

    FastEddieB Touchdown! Greaser!

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    I recall that the FAA has ruled that just getting free flight time can be ruled as compensation, correct?
     
  21. MikeELP

    MikeELP Pattern Altitude

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    Yes
     
  22. Shepherd

    Shepherd En-Route

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    Tell your brother to send me the money for flying him around.
    I'll keep 10% and send you the rest for "software support".
    Now you don't need anything from anyone.
     
  23. denverpilot

    denverpilot Tied Down PoA Supporter

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    This.

    Be very careful saying you're just wanting to fly a bigger faster airplane for fun when dealing with business travel.

    I'd feel better if your attitude was, "I want to be trained to at LEAST the MINIMUM standard required of any stranger who would fly my brother around for business purposes. Commercial rating. Aircraft flown and maintained professionally."

    Advice, take it or leave it...

    You need to approach this differently, mentally, IMHO. Think hard about this. Flying for fun is great, but this isn't really flying for fun anymore, if you're wanting to step up to a pressurized cabin class twin.

    This is step up time. Professional training schedule, recurrent training schedule, and not just some way to fly something "big and cool" and "not feel guilty" about it.

    Just thoughts. No judgemental sentiment implied. Just a plea to take this flying you're wanting to do, very seriously. You're both putting your businesses and family's futures on the line.

    All the owner/operators I know who fly cabin class twins for business purposes have a very deep sense of the responsibility they're taking, versus simply hiring a professional crew. Think about it this way, if you applied to be the corporate pilot for your brother's company, would their Board hire you to fly him around?

    Better plan to meet minimum standards. At least. Preferably higher.
     
  24. gsengle

    gsengle Pattern Altitude

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    Well said @denverpilot


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  25. John221us

    John221us En-Route

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    Mark, @midlifeflyer , is an attorney and is an expert in this area. This topic has been debated many times on this board. For some fun reading search for "Mangiamele".
     
  26. PPC1052

    PPC1052 En-Route

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    If you put this aircraft in a separate LLC from the business (a "sole asset" llc) then that LLC must have a 135 certificate unless there is a qualifying dry lease agreement. That will require you to hire a lawyer that knows what is required to write the lease, but it can be done. The pilot will need a commercial and at least a 2nd class medical.
     
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  27. flyingcheesehead

    flyingcheesehead Touchdown! Greaser!

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    According to the FAA, unless you're paying at least half the cost of each flight, you are being compensated. Free or even reduced price flying = compensation in their eyes, even if you aren't planning on a career in aviation.

    It can be...

    Yes. You will be flying "for compensation or hire" and thus you need the Commercial.

    Yes. To exercise the privileges of a commercial pilot certificate, you need a second class medical.

    However, the second class is barely more than the third, and usually costs the same. IIRC from when I first got mine, the only additional test for a second class is for phoria (stereo vision thing. I'm not a doc.)

    Only if the pilot needs to be there, separate from the act of piloting.

    Example: I'm a consultant and I frequently fly for work. I'll fly the partner(s) of my company around as well... But when I do this, my presence is required, because the two of us are going to meet the same client and we'll both be talking, usually with me giving a demo of a proof-of-concept I've developed over their data.

    However, if we were going to two different clients in the same city, or if he wants to go to a client and I want to visit a relative or something, there is no common purpose and it is a commercial operation.

    Since it sounds like the OP doesn't work for his brother's business, there is no common purpose and it cannot be done with a private pilot certificate.

    What you see it as is irrelevant - What the FAA thinks is what matters; Since this is one of the most frequently "bent" parts of the FARs there are tons of regulations and Chief Counsel interpretations and case law around it.

    So, *IF* your brother or his company owns part of the airplane, you can operate under part 91 and will not need an air carrier certificate. You get your Commercial, he hires you as his company pilot. Fairly simple.

    If he does not own at least part of the airplane, then you would need a Part 135 air carrier certificate. Not worth it, but it doesn't sound like that's what you're planning. It also sounds like you are planning to talk to an aviation lawyer about this - Good move, as there is surely some fine print. ;)

    So:
    1) You do not need an "operating certificate" as long as he owns at least part of the airplane.
    2) You *do* need a commercial pilot certificate.
    3) You *do* need a second class medical, but that's easy if you don't have trouble getting a 3rd class.

    Good luck.
     
  28. Rykymus

    Rykymus Line Up and Wait

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    Absolutely no insult at all. In fact, your frankness is very much appreciated. I do try to take all my flying seriously, and I do constantly train and practice everything, especially those skills that I rarely use on flights for travel. The idea of stepping up a notch and taking it even more like a professional is very appealing to me, in that I simply want to be the best, most qualified pilot I can be, for the flying that I will be doing.

    I have always wanted to fly twins, but I take seriously the warnings I have read that flying twins safely requires that you maintain proficiency. I would love going through the regular recurrent training that any commercial pilot that his corporation would hire would be required to go through. And I know that my wife would greatly appreciate it as well. She became a lot more comfortable flying with me after I got my instrument rating, as she felt that I was flying more like a "real pilot" than just goofing around in the sky.
     
  29. PPC1052

    PPC1052 En-Route

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    Here is an FAA advisory circular that discuss the lease requirements, and issues of operational control:

    https://www.faa.gov/documentLibrary/media/Advisory_Circular/AC_91-37B.pdf