Private Pilot Reimbursement

Discussion in 'Flight Following' started by DrMack, Feb 13, 2012.

  1. Bob Noel

    Bob Noel Touchdown! Greaser!

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    The rule is still flawed if "common purpose" is the same as the completely insane definition used today.

    Don't get me wrong, I like the direction it's going. Maybe I'm hoping for too much to get "common purpose" rationally defined.
     
  2. DrMack

    DrMack Line Up and Wait

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    The key to success I believe will be how well we can build a firewall between private operation and common carriage, a concept with which I enthusiastically agree. The goal is to arrive at an arrangement where the use of private property (aircraft) can be used for private benefit in the same way that a privately owned vehicle can be used in connection with a business. Even with surface transportation the distinction exists (taxi, bus, limo and common freight carriers) and commercial operations that hold out to the public are subject to regulation.

    I am in contact with GA industry leaders across the country and an active dialogue is taking place. Consensus now is that federal legislation is indeed the way to achieve the relief as the regulatory (NPRM) and administrative law court roads are now considered dead-ends. Because of the poorly written regulation the FAA lawyers have ended up winding themselves into such convoluted logical Gordian knots with their published opinions on the matter that the agency is essentially hopelessly paralyzed. We believe that our best hope is to build a plural interest among the US House and Senate GA caucuses after the November elections.
     
    Last edited: May 21, 2012
  3. TMetzinger

    TMetzinger Final Approach

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    Man, that's sad. I'm opposed to legislators writing laws to dictate regulation, as they never get it right and give the regulatory agencies even less flexibility.

    I'm equally opposed to Administrators/Directors/Heads of regulatory agencies who don't have the stones to say "yep that was wrong and we're gonna fix it". In general the FAA's had a better than average track record when it comes to writing regs and refreshing them (compared to the rest of the gov't), but some of the interpretations that have come out of the Counsel's office in the last few years have made me wonder...
     
  4. Jim Logajan

    Jim Logajan En-Route

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    The FAA has done more that engage in tying Gordian knots; they also managed to supply simultaneous contradictory interpretations of their own rules. Several decades ago in "Administrator v. Marshall, 39 C.A.B. 948 (1963)" the court adopted a meaning for "incidental" that is at odds with more recent definitions by the FAA.

    Then a court found in 1999 in Alaska Professional Hunters v. FAA ( http://www.cadc.uscourts.gov/intern...9C50835B1B85256F15006C3F20/$file/98-1051a.txt ) that the FAA had been providing contradictory guidance to two sets of private pilot groups. (Hence an earlier joke by me about hunting for bears to avoid problems.)

    I'd suggest you consider what you can do to avoid the use of "incidental" because historically that word's meaning appears to have caused legal problems not only for pilots, but for the FAA as well.
     
  5. AuntPeggy

    AuntPeggy Final Approach

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    Will this affect those guys in the ultra-lights that escort cranes from Canada to Florida?
     
  6. Jim Logajan

    Jim Logajan En-Route

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    They aren't covered by Part 91; that would require changes to Part 103.
     
  7. poadeleted20

    poadeleted20 Deleted

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    None.
     
  8. gismo

    gismo Touchdown! Greaser!

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    This is pretty much how I always treated business use/reimbursement.
     
  9. gismo

    gismo Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Is that based on a pessimistic expectation that the FAA isn't about to get any more reasonable/logical than they've been in the past or do you have some inside knowledge that this change is going nowhere?
     
  10. bflynn

    bflynn Final Approach

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    Probably pretty much zero
     
  11. poadeleted20

    poadeleted20 Deleted

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    The former, as well as knowing that the final paragraph simply will not get past the FAA's lawyers no matter what. Nevertheless, I think there is a good chance the Mangiamele interpretation will be modified or replaced, and the business flying restrictions in it will be relaxed, and AOPA is working with the FAA to accomplish that. But I believe a proposed regulation which talks about "pilot's discretion" on such matters will be dead on arrival.
     
  12. dell30rb

    dell30rb Final Approach PoA Supporter

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    If they'd just drop the darn 10 hours in a complex airplane, it would cut the cost and hassle in half (or more) for your average joe 172 private pilot to obtain a commercial license. Anyone who flies on business regularly would be able to do this and not have to tip toe around the regulations.
     
    Last edited: May 22, 2012
  13. gismo

    gismo Touchdown! Greaser!

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    I have a commercial certificate but that doesn't solve the reimbursement issue when I use my airplane for business and carry others on the trip.
     
  14. dell30rb

    dell30rb Final Approach PoA Supporter

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    really, can you explain? is this an issue with your company reimbursing you or an FAA regulation issue?
     
  15. gismo

    gismo Touchdown! Greaser!

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    A commercial certificate allows the pilot to be paid to fly an airplane owned by or supplied by the payee, it does not allow a pilot/owner to charge or be reimbursed for flights made on behalf of a 3rd party if other persons and/or cargo is carried on the flight. In my case the airplane is "owned" by a corporation and I suppose that technically the corporation could rent or lease the plane to my employer (which in my case is me) and pay me as the pilot but I suspect that the FAA might not see things that way.
     
  16. dell30rb

    dell30rb Final Approach PoA Supporter

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    It was my understanding that your workaround listed there is acceptable so long as you don't have leases with several companies and thus, it begins to smell of "holding out"
     
  17. DrMack

    DrMack Line Up and Wait

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    You are right about the "pilot's discretion" language so we dropped it from the present iteration.

    It is important to note that the proposal is for statutory relief, not regulatory, though the regulation will necessarily be crafted to comply with the statute. The final rule as it appears in the FAR may not be exactly as we have it laid out here but the language in the statute will be very close to what you see here. If we do this right in the legislative process, how it gets codified by the FAA lawyers is almost moot.
     
  18. JeffDG

    JeffDG Touchdown! Greaser!

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    What, again, is wrong with the current reg, as written?

    I'm talking about how it's on the books, not the nutso interpretation given in Manimele.
     
  19. DrMack

    DrMack Line Up and Wait

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    The regulation begins with a prohibition, followed by an exception, followed by an exception to the exception. That has left the door open to nutso opinions like Mangiamele to breed like fleas. It will never end until the statutes spell out the true intent of the legislators.

    There are other exceptions such as carriage of political candidates, charities and aircraft sales demos. What would be ideal would be a consolidation of all exceptions as prohibitions under a rule that explicitly allows reimbursement for direct expenses. That would enable us to operate in freedom unless specifically prohibited. In the present case we have no freedom unless we are granted permission by exception.
    Sent from my SPH-M930 using Tapatalk 2
     
    Last edited: May 22, 2012
  20. dell30rb

    dell30rb Final Approach PoA Supporter

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    How about a flying club? I pay a wet rental rate.. and share planes with 200 other members. If I put the rental fee on the company card, and fly the plane myself (with a CPL) is that sufficient? The club does specify that aircraft can be used for business use, though with a disclaimer that pilots may not use aircraft in a manner that looks like, or is, charter.

    I'm interested in finding out what is necessary to get to a situation where I can get my company to pay for trips. There are insurance concerns but I think the board is possibly willing to work toward a reasonable solution if there is one to be had. The club has 2mil smooth coverage, I wonder if this covers any liability my company might encounter if I were to fly on business.

    Two of our board members are pilots and I think they'll be open to a solution if I can present one.

    I was researching the NBAA site and I thought it might be good to join but it looks like their membership is targeted toward companies that own or lease A/C
     
    Last edited: May 22, 2012
  21. JeffDG

    JeffDG Touchdown! Greaser!

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    That's fine, the company is renting the plane. Even if you do the actual rental, you're (as an employee of the company) acting as an agent of the company.
     
  22. dell30rb

    dell30rb Final Approach PoA Supporter

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    Thanks, that's nice to know!
     
  23. poadeleted20

    poadeleted20 Deleted

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    You mean you want to get Congress to change Title 49 of the US Code to include that language? Well, it worked for the airline pilots and drone people, but for this issue, it was tried before and never got to the batter's box, no less first base.
     
  24. poadeleted20

    poadeleted20 Deleted

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    As long as you're not getting reimbursed or otherwise paid/compensated by anyone for that flight, there is no issue at all.

    As far as the FAA is concerned, that's perfectly OK as long as you're the only one in the plane (the Mangiamele restriction).

    That's not the FAA's concern.
     
  25. poadeleted20

    poadeleted20 Deleted

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    That is not fine. If he's acting as the company pilot with only a PPL, he's violating 61.113 (for starters). If he just goes out and rents the plane himself, then gets reimbursed by the company for his travel expenses, he's completely legal as long as nobody else is in the plane.
     
  26. DrMack

    DrMack Line Up and Wait

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    Whether it's codified or dropped into the Statutes at Large is irrelevant to us, though it most probably would end up amending the FAA act of 2012 and would thus end up in 49 U.S.C.
     
  27. dell30rb

    dell30rb Final Approach PoA Supporter

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    Ron I think you missed the part where I asked if I could use a club plane with a CPL (not my current private license) to fly myself and other employees. Basically I wanted to know if renting a club plane through my club membership violated any sort of rule there.
     
  28. gismo

    gismo Touchdown! Greaser!

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    I'd be surprised if your club will rent a plane to a non-member (i.e. the company you work for) and I'd be doubly surprised if the club insurance would cover such a flight even if flown by a member. But if I'm wrong about that I think you'd be OK FAA wise unless they concluded that your membership in the club was too cozy a relationship to qualify as "arm's length".
     
  29. dell30rb

    dell30rb Final Approach PoA Supporter

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    Let me rephrase this.

    I charge the rental fee to a company card and fly myself and another employee to a business function and back. Club's fine with it as long as I am PIC, and the rental is made through my account.
     
  30. gismo

    gismo Touchdown! Greaser!

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    And there's the rub. If I were in charge this would be promoted but I suspect the current thinking at the FAA is uh-uh. If you want to know for sure, ask your friendly FSDO if they think it's OK (and get it in writing if they say yes).
     
  31. poadeleted20

    poadeleted20 Deleted

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    The club may be fine with it, but it is definitely contrary to the Mangiamele interpretation no matter what anyone at the FSDO tells you. And that is already in writing from the office which gets the final say on the matter.
     
  32. dell30rb

    dell30rb Final Approach PoA Supporter

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    Remember we are assuming i have a commercial license. Still contrary to the interpretation?
     
  33. JeffDG

    JeffDG Touchdown! Greaser!

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    He specifically said "with a CPL"
     
  34. dell30rb

    dell30rb Final Approach PoA Supporter

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    The club thing is an interesting situation. I'll probably ask the fsdo about it. I pay a wet rental fee, am not responsible for maintenance (money for mx comes out of the rental fees) so its a lot like renting from an FBO
     
  35. poadeleted20

    poadeleted20 Deleted

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    Sorry, missed that. If you have a CP, you can be the company pilot just like you said. However, you'll have to rent the plane in the company's name, not yours. Otherwise, you're providing both plane and pilot for transportation of passengers for compensation/hire, and that requires a Part 135 operating certificate. Whether the club will allow the paperwork to show the plane rented by/to the company rather than you is another story between you, the company, and the club.
     
  36. DrMack

    DrMack Line Up and Wait

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    I think this is a good example of a firewall between private and commercial operations that is working. We as a society want it to be hard to offer commercial services. Carriage on a commercial flight CAN be a condition of employment or business contract. Possession of a pilot license (CPL or ATP) CAN be a condition of employment or business contract. The commercial side of the market seems to be working fairly well. My complaint is that the private side is not working because of inept government intervention.

    We are denied the freedom to use our private property for PRIVATE benefit by a government prohibition. Government can never grant us freedom, it can only deny us our freedom and that is what has happened to us with 61.113(b). I am just trying to get the freedom restored to us that we possessed not that long ago.
     
  37. jlberglu3369

    jlberglu3369 Filing Flight Plan

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    I'm glad I found this post - lots of good information on something I'm trying to figure out -

    Part of my job is to travel around the state collecting water samples from city wells. This is always a 1-person job, and I usually drive, but I've brought up the possibility of renting a plane to make these trips, on the grounds that some of the sites are so far away that I could visit 2 or more sites in a single day rather than multiple days. I remember from PP training that as long as the flight as incidental, then being reimbursed for flying is alright, as I could just as easily drive, or take a motorcycle, or a boat - my agency has different reimbursement rates for those things. After some digging, I even found they have a reimbursement rate for personal aircraft (to the HR lady's surprise - apparently nobody's used it since she's been here). I've used that personal aircraft reimbursement rate as evidence that, at some point, people have used it before. My supervisor thinks it's a great idea, and I've been tasked with writing an actual agency policy specific regarding use of private aircraft for this kind of fielwork. Everything seemed fine - I'd be flying myself between sites, no passengers, and the airplane is just a mode of transportation.

    The one issue that's come to mind (after reading through these posts) would be the water samples. I collect a few bottles of water at each site, and we test them back where I work. Would this then be in violation of Mangiamele's intepretation of 61.113(b)(2)? Are the water samples somehow "delivering freight", even though really I'm just delivering them back to my own agency?

    -JB
     
  38. Fly-Fla

    Fly-Fla Pre-Flight

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    Fedex the samples back to the office.
     
  39. dell30rb

    dell30rb Final Approach PoA Supporter

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  40. Ateaist

    Ateaist Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Just have your policy specify that for purposes of 61.113(b), the water samples collected remain the property of the municipality from where they were collected, and are not deemed the property of the agency. ;)