PPL solo X-country... am I allowed to plan my own route?

Discussion in 'Flight Following' started by azblackbird, Mar 25, 2017.

  1. azblackbird

    azblackbird Cleared for Takeoff

    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2017
    Messages:
    1,448
    Location:
    Colorado Boonies
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    azblackbird
    My business is totally automated and is a very simple business. I don't have employees (all contract), I don't have an office building, fleet of vehicles, etc. to complicate things. I do my all own accounting/taxes and have my CPA buddy just give them the once over. It's not rocket science!

    Just an FYI @Shawn... a good rule of thumb if you're going to use your airplane for business/recreation and expense it as such, you should at least use it 75% of the time for business. The other 25% for recreation you can't deduct. It gets real iffy if your 50/50. Then you could easily end up as audit bait.
     
  2. azblackbird

    azblackbird Cleared for Takeoff

    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2017
    Messages:
    1,448
    Location:
    Colorado Boonies
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    azblackbird
    You guys need to get off this reimbursement and compensation kick. It's really getting comical.

    I'll throw this out there. Let's say I have clients in Wilcox, AZ. I rent a plane for the day and fly down and meet with them. During our business meetings I write $3000 worth of advertising business. I get back and am billed $700 for the plane rental.

    According to some of you Einsteins here, I would have made $3700 for the day because I was being "compensated" or "reimbursed" for the airplane expenses.

    On my planet... I really only grossed $2300 for the day, as the $700 airplane rental was an expense I incurred to conduct that business. No different whether I drove my truck and incurred a $100 fuel bill plus the minimal depreciation and other misc. expenses. It all goes in the expense column.

    Are you all beginning to get it now?
     
    Bobanna likes this.
  3. Shawn

    Shawn En-Route

    Joined:
    May 6, 2013
    Messages:
    3,700
    Location:
    Santa Cruz, CA
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Shawn
    I am on your side...but this is clearly one area that you have demonstrated that you do not "get it". "Compensation" in the FAA's eyes is not just monetary benefit in this context. If you are able to pay less than your pro rata share and being fully reimbursed or company is paying for the direct flight expenses...the "compensation" is not only the $700, but also the free flight time and hours logged which you were paid to fly by being reimbursed by the company which is strictly regulated. Even just flight time in the eyes of the FAA is "compensation" as stupid as it sounds regardless if you are using those hours to further a rating or not.

    Heck, the FAA will not even allow volunteer Young Eagle pilots to receive a discount on gas for flying kids as that is considered a form of "compensation" for flying outside a CPL.

    That is all separate from the ability to write that $700 off from the IRS as a business deduction.

    Are you beginning to get it now?
     
    Last edited: Apr 8, 2017
    DesertNomad likes this.
  4. azblackbird

    azblackbird Cleared for Takeoff

    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2017
    Messages:
    1,448
    Location:
    Colorado Boonies
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    azblackbird
    My use of an airplane is a business transportation tool to get from point A to B in the most efficient manner possible. Rather than spending all day on the road driving and incurring fuel/hotel expenses etc.. It's way easier just to fly down, do my business, and fly back all in one day.

    Nobody is paying me to fly, nor am I getting "reimbursed" or "compensated" from the company... I am the company! As you said... show me one case of the FAA busting a legitimate business owner for using an airplane as a business/transportation tool.
     
    Last edited: Apr 8, 2017
    Bobanna likes this.
  5. Shawn

    Shawn En-Route

    Joined:
    May 6, 2013
    Messages:
    3,700
    Location:
    Santa Cruz, CA
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Shawn
    But that is the catch and what you are not comprehending...unless you individually are paying for the direct flight expenses you are indeed being "compensated" according to the FAA, but there are a few loopholes that still allow it as a PPL and the owner of the aircraft.

    If you do not own (or rent) that plane as the individual, then the "company" is providing you the free flight time as compensation which is not permitted as a PPL per the FFA.

    The FAA regulations regarding PPL/CPL limitations and privileges and your ability to deduct the expense per the IRS are two separate sets of issues.

    Buy an hour of consultation with a legit independent aviation lawyer and aviation specific CPA to make sure it is structured properly especially of you wanna purchase...rather than your CPA that gave it a "once over". It is indeed Rocket Science with all the nuance.
     
    Last edited: Apr 8, 2017
  6. mtuomi

    mtuomi En-Route

    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2013
    Messages:
    3,055
    Location:
    Dallas, TX
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    dera
    But if you don't log it, you should be fine.
     
  7. DesertNomad

    DesertNomad Pattern Altitude

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2013
    Messages:
    1,816
    Location:
    Northern NV
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    DesertNomad
    And if the company owns the plane and rents it to you, it may well need 100-hour inspections. The IRS is not the issue but rather the FAA. I think you are on thin ice with many of your plans.
     
  8. WannFly

    WannFly En-Route

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2016
    Messages:
    4,489
    Location:
    KFAR
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Priyo
    He has made it clear as day that he doesn't give a rats behind about regulations, so it won't matter

    Sent from my SM-G935V using Tapatalk
     
    denverpilot likes this.
  9. Shawn

    Shawn En-Route

    Joined:
    May 6, 2013
    Messages:
    3,700
    Location:
    Santa Cruz, CA
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Shawn
    No, he has just made it clear that he does not UNDERSTAND the regulations and it nuance and established interpretations which is needed to propperly structure what he wants to do legally...which is possible, but it has to be done correctly.
     
    Ryanb likes this.
  10. citizen5000

    citizen5000 Ejection Handle Pulled

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2016
    Messages:
    855
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    citizen5000
    The fastest, safest and most direct way to find out if what you want to do is viable is to call a FSDO and ask. The same applies to the IRS. Ask them before you assume and get into a bind.
     
  11. azblackbird

    azblackbird Cleared for Takeoff

    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2017
    Messages:
    1,448
    Location:
    Colorado Boonies
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    azblackbird
    Ahhhh... now you're getting it. I'm a one man/sole proprietor/owner operator of my business. Any income/expenses etc. for my company(s) is all on me.

    And don't get started on the sole proprietor vs. LLC vs. S-Corp vs C-Corp BS... my bases are covered. ;)
     
  12. Shawn

    Shawn En-Route

    Joined:
    May 6, 2013
    Messages:
    3,700
    Location:
    Santa Cruz, CA
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Shawn
    As a Sole Proprietor it is indeed a heck of a lot easier to do what you want to do holding just a PPL but you can only write off/deduct/reimburse the full flight expenses if you are flying SOLO.

    The legal entities distinction is not at all "BS" when it comes to legally flying. It all matters. If that distinction was not explained by your aviation "advisor' then you bases are not at all covered. Income/expenses have noting to do with it...FAA regulations do which is what we are trying to help you understand.

    That arrogance is why you get so much criticism from the peanut gallery.:D

    On the widget issue..you can not carry cargo for hire. Here is how it was explained to me based on the FAA's interpretations:

    Pilot A is a videographer. He travels to a client with his camera and gear, shoots, then hands the footage to a the client on a thumb drive. Legal. The flying was incidental to the business.

    Pilot B is SELLS thumb drives. Client buys a thumb drive and Pilot B delivers it using his plane. Regardless of what else went on with business. NOT legal. Delivery of the thumb drive was part of the business.
     
    Last edited: Apr 8, 2017
  13. azblackbird

    azblackbird Cleared for Takeoff

    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2017
    Messages:
    1,448
    Location:
    Colorado Boonies
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    azblackbird
    @Shawn ... He knows my legal entity. Never discussed the ramifications involved if I incorporate, hire employees, open satellite offices, etc, etc. It was a short simple conversation. I gave him my current business scenario and how I was going to apply the use of an airplane for the business. He said no worries, I'm good to go. Same goes for my CPA. Only he advised if I actually were to purchase an airplane and want to expense/depreciate it for business use, I should try to stay above the 75% threshold. Concerning rentals, I just expense those flights that were for business purposes only. ;)
     
  14. Ravioli

    Ravioli Final Approach

    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2014
    Messages:
    6,798
    Location:
    Fort Worth
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Pasta Man
    Probably the best advice for @azblackbird is: Get an actual certificate, violate all the regs you plan to, and stop talking about it on the internet so the trail can go cold in the investigation.

    Probably step 3 is the most important for the members here.


    And just read your latest jibberish... how are you renting planes today, with no certificate? All of the regs about commercial use would be if you were the pilot. If you are paying someone to fly a rented plane you are okay. Assuming of course they follow the regs you seem to prefer to subvert.
     
    Ryanb likes this.
  15. DesertNomad

    DesertNomad Pattern Altitude

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2013
    Messages:
    1,816
    Location:
    Northern NV
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    DesertNomad
    I think it makes a big difference sole-prop. vs corp. If the corporation owns the plane and lets you fly it (even if your corporation is just you) then you are getting compensated if the corporation paid for fuel and other expenses. You can't do that with a PPL. If the corporation lets you rent it and then you pay for the fuel, that is ok, but it will require 100-hour checks and might affect your insurance too.

    This is all just pie in the sky until you get a certificate... which will require actual lessons.
     
  16. WannFly

    WannFly En-Route

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2016
    Messages:
    4,489
    Location:
    KFAR
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Priyo
    Who said u NEED a cert to fly? It's a suggestion, like the constitution, speed limits etc

    Sent from my SM-G935V using Tapatalk
     
  17. Ryanb

    Ryanb Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2010
    Messages:
    10,547
    Location:
    Tennessee
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Ryan
    Agreed. Nearly 300 posts later and the horse is still taking abuse. Why is this still being argued? :dunno:
     
  18. azblackbird

    azblackbird Cleared for Takeoff

    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2017
    Messages:
    1,448
    Location:
    Colorado Boonies
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    azblackbird
    Actually I would hope that there are some FAA inspectors and IRS officials that are reading these threads. I'd love nothing better than to hear their opinions straight from the horses mouth per se. ;)

    @DesertNomad you're exactly right. If you are getting directly reimbursed or compensated from your corporation/company for flying an airplane, then you could be in some sticky situations. There are numerous counsel letters on that exact matter.

    As a sole proprietor I am the company. All expenses/income flow directly through me and are not under a separate company/corporate umbrella.
     
  19. Shawn

    Shawn En-Route

    Joined:
    May 6, 2013
    Messages:
    3,700
    Location:
    Santa Cruz, CA
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Shawn
    Because we all keep creating scenarios that do not apply to his situation...mainly to make sure the regulations are understood.

    As a sole proprietor business owner flying SOLO where the business is incidental to the flying a PPL can indeed legally fully expense all the direct costs of a flight and log the hours without being in violation of the FAA...but it is a VERY narrow band to be able to operate within.
     
    birdus likes this.
  20. azblackbird

    azblackbird Cleared for Takeoff

    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2017
    Messages:
    1,448
    Location:
    Colorado Boonies
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    azblackbird
    THANK YOU!
     
  21. Acrodustertoo

    Acrodustertoo Ejection Handle Pulled

    Joined:
    Nov 9, 2014
    Messages:
    2,046
    Location:
    BFE Montana
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Buford T. Justice
  22. labbadabba

    labbadabba Pattern Altitude

    Joined:
    Aug 12, 2014
    Messages:
    2,255
    Location:
    Lawrence, KS
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    labbadabba
    Right, but it still wouldn't be Part 135...
     
  23. PeterNSteinmetz

    PeterNSteinmetz Cleared for Takeoff

    Joined:
    Sep 9, 2015
    Messages:
    1,075
    Location:
    Tempe, AZ
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    PeterNSteinmetz
    Well, we did get up for a nice flight a few years back. I'm left wondering if azblackbird ever did get to do any lessons though. He was fun to fly with and fairly well informed about GA flying.
     
  24. Tantalum

    Tantalum En-Route

    Joined:
    Feb 22, 2017
    Messages:
    4,484
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    San_Diego_Pilot
    I wonder what ever did happen.. seemed like a nice guy, I never did understand the desire to do 1,500 nm XC pre-PPL but hey we can all dream!

    @azblackbird are you still around friend? Care to give us an update?
     
  25. PeterNSteinmetz

    PeterNSteinmetz Cleared for Takeoff

    Joined:
    Sep 9, 2015
    Messages:
    1,075
    Location:
    Tempe, AZ
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    PeterNSteinmetz
    The long trip was sort of paralleling a motorcycle trip he had done long ago, as I understand it.
     
  26. alaskan9974

    alaskan9974 Pre-Flight

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2017
    Messages:
    79
    Location:
    Alaska
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    alaskan9974
    He should ask Jerry
     
    DesertNomad likes this.
  27. Crashnburn

    Crashnburn Line Up and Wait

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2018
    Messages:
    594
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Crashnburn
    Thanks to all the respondents to the OP. I doubt he learned much, if anything, but I learned a lot, so your responses weren’t a complete waste of time.

    I figure when I’m ready for my XC solo, I’ll want to keep it as short as possible to minimize plane rental costs. Also, I’ve wondered about building up endurance for long distance flights and I got some stories about actual experiences.

    So, thanks guys (and gals if any).
     
  28. Matthew

    Matthew Touchdown! Greaser!

    Joined:
    Apr 18, 2005
    Messages:
    15,699
    Location:
    kojc, kixd, k34
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Matthew
    Don't short yourself on your XC just to save a buck. It's a great experience - yeah, you can do the minimum and there's no shame in it, but allow yourself at least one long flight to not worry about the cost.
     
    Bobanna likes this.
  29. Salty

    Salty En-Route PoA Supporter

    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2016
    Messages:
    4,916
    Location:
    FL
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Salty
    Not to mention, adding 30 minutes to a flight costs a lot less than taking another 30 minute flight some other day. Especially when you factor in your time to get to the airport, time taxiing, etc.
     
    Bobanna and Matthew like this.
  30. Crashnburn

    Crashnburn Line Up and Wait

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2018
    Messages:
    594
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Crashnburn
    OK Thanks for the advice.
     
  31. Matthew

    Matthew Touchdown! Greaser!

    Joined:
    Apr 18, 2005
    Messages:
    15,699
    Location:
    kojc, kixd, k34
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Matthew
    And keep close track of your XC time. Don't be that guy that lands 0.1 hr short and has do to another XC to cover the shortage.
     
  32. geneseib

    geneseib Line Up and Wait

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2008
    Messages:
    645
    Location:
    Eldridge, MO
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Gene Seibel
    Oh man, I forgot to do that back in 1977. ;)
     
    denverpilot likes this.
  33. Crashnburn

    Crashnburn Line Up and Wait

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2018
    Messages:
    594
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Crashnburn
    Ok, so it’ll be from KRHV to Harris Ranch then to Buttonwillow and great BBQ at the Willow Ranch Inn, then back. And for my comm solo XC Chino airport and Flabob Airport, if not Catalina Island
     
  34. asicer

    asicer En-Route

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2015
    Messages:
    4,455
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    asicer
    BTW I estimate Hobbs time by entering the flight into skyvector's flight planning box and then adding 0.5 hours to each leg for start up, run up, taxi, take-off and pattern entry/exit.
     
  35. apr911

    apr911 Pre-takeoff checklist

    Joined:
    Feb 22, 2015
    Messages:
    397
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    apr911
    Dont know where Buttonwillow is but KRHV to 3O8 is more than enough distance on its own; good eats at Harris Ranch too.

    For your Commercial XC, keep in mind you need 3 stops and 2 legs, one of which must be >250NM with the whole trip covering 300NM. Chino/Flabob would cover your distances nicely but definitely recommend getting out to Catalina if you can swing down that way (especially since they have a new runway) as its a unique experience. Also dont forget you need to do 2x 2hour 100NM XC with an instructor, one at night one during the day when you get to Commercial.

    I also recommend you consider a trip crossing the Sierra Nevada's. If you're looking for an interesting airport to go to on the other side, L06 Furnace Creek is a cool one to check out. Quiet, no real activity, located in a National Park, it is the lowest airport in North America.
     
    Last edited: Jun 3, 2019
  36. david.h

    david.h Pre-takeoff checklist

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2011
    Messages:
    179
    Location:
    Boerne, TX
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    david.h
    Oh man, when I did my long XC, I noticed that the Hobbs needed to tick over one more time after I landed. I made sure the before engine shutdown checklist took a few minutes that day.
     
  37. Matthew

    Matthew Touchdown! Greaser!

    Joined:
    Apr 18, 2005
    Messages:
    15,699
    Location:
    kojc, kixd, k34
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Matthew
    Before mine, my CFI and I added up all my time. My instructions were clear, "Whatever you do, don't land before the Hobbs says 'x.x'. Do slow flights, s-turns, 360s, fly around some more and come back."

    It was a little while later I saw another student head out on a >50NM XC because he was .1 or .2 hrs short.
     
  38. Crashnburn

    Crashnburn Line Up and Wait

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2018
    Messages:
    594
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Crashnburn
    Thanks for the tips. Button Willow is almost due west of Bakersfield. Willow Ranch BBQ blows Harris Ranch out of the water with respect to BBQ!

    Oh, and it'll be a while before I'm ready for any of these trips, but (from South Pacific) "If you don't have a dream, how you gonna make a dream come true?"