Private Pilot Reimbursement

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

  1. DrMack

    DrMack Line Up and Wait

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    The federal government DOES allow federal employees to use private aircraft for official federal business but 61.113 applies to them as well.
     
  2. poadeleted20

    poadeleted20 Deleted

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    Where I think the FAA would have heartburn would be the issue of proving that one were a bona-fide employee of the company, doing a regular job and not there to be a pilot, and that this wasn't just a way to get around Part 135 by providing both pilot services and the aircraft, especially where there's no "second opinion" on the condition of the aircraft. IOW, it would open too many holes for people to try to slide through in contravention of the FAA's fundamental policy. The FAA has a lot of fish to fry, in many ways more than their pan will hold, and they don't want anyone creating a way to throw more fish in their fry pan like that.

    You'll notice that many of the cases, interpretations, and regulation changes on this issue over the years have been to tighten gaps through which people tried to wriggle. Every time someone tries that, it creates more work for the FAA in the private GA sector, which is their lowest priority, and takes resources away from their top concerns which are airlines and other public pay-for-transport operations. The FSDO's are already overworked and they don't want their Inspectors' time taken up dealing with whether or not someone is properly operating under the sort of rules you suggest or just sneaking around the 135 rules. Giving a flat "no" to such operations (i.e., saying they are all "pay for transport" which brings in the higher standards) makes it easy to enforce the underlying rules.

    Not saying you can't sell it to Congress, but I can't imagine what motivation Congress would have to do something which appears to lower safety standards where payment for air transportation is involved. As I said earlier, the airlines convinced Congress to pass the age 65 rule, no doubt with scare stories of inexperienced pilots flooding into their cockpits to replace the highly experienced but aging baby boomer generation. Accidents like Colgan at Buffalo provide ammunition for such arguments. But what argument could you make which would say that an equivalent level of safety is provided under your proposal? I just don't see it -- not enough oversight if the individual pilot provides his/her own plane compared to three parties (employee/pilot, rental agency, and employing company) are involved. But good luck anyway.
     
  3. DrMack

    DrMack Line Up and Wait

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    Cap'n Ron: You have raised some excellent points and have adroitly presented your arguments without resorting to any personal disparagement. Thank you for that. This is precisely the sort of public discourse I was hoping to find here at PoA.

    Motivation: I am an economist so I am naturally predisposed to seek out factors that make sense from a societal welfare perspective. If we could stimulate general aviation flying by just a single percentage point the macroeconomic multiplier effects would not be trivial. Even on a microeconomic scale the impact could be significant when we consider what more flying would mean for FBOs, maintenance providers, airplane and parts manufacturers, flight schools, fuel suppliers, government tax revenues, and the list goes on to include businesses small and large who would be able to take advantage of all the benefits of the general aviation infrastructure, much of which is unnecessarily idled by inefficient government policy.
     
  4. poadeleted20

    poadeleted20 Deleted

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    I try, and occasionally I succeed.

    I guess the FAA's perspective is that societal welfare is best served by minimizing the unnecessary deaths of members of the society, and they've seen too many unnecessary deaths of the unsuspecting at the hands of the unscrupulous/incompetent, e.g., the deaths of the unsuspecting Holly, Valenzuela, and Richardson at the hands of the incompetent Roger Peterson (a Commercial Pilot in a rented airplane) back in 1959.
     
  5. denverpilot

    denverpilot Taxi to Parking

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    Really? We're now going with the "poor FAA is too busy and overworked" defense of poorly written and poorly interpreted law? ROFL.

    Let me get you a tiny towel to cry for them, strung up by their own giant rulebook. ;)

    Still haven't seen anyone explain why I can pack four "poor unsuspecting" passengers into the airplane the day after a Private checkride and fly 2000 miles in weather to dinner, but can't fly to the County Fair if the boss says he'll buy.

    Y'all claim there's a higher safety standard to hit, but that intrinsically means that when I load up and head for lunch with passengers, their safety is lower. I can give examples all day of unsafe things a Private Pilot can do five minutes after passing their "checkride" that deemed them "safe to carry passengers".

    I'm WAY more likely to kill someone in the first scenario and we, and the FAA *know* it. It's not like it's a secret that newly minted Private Pilots often aren't anywhere close to ready to do certain things.

    We now put limits on teen drivers. Will we see similar on pilots? Will there be a carrot if pilots stay current and fly more? Dovetails nicely into the uselessness of Wings thread... How about a Wings with teeth... Participate in some curriculum, you can fly incidental business passengers... No 135 certificate required.

    We even call it a "license to learn", but from whom? And when? That is conveniently left out of the process. Smart folks figure it out on their own.

    The rating system is built to crank out Commercial pilots, military-style, but lost the military "instant wash-out" teeth it was modeled after. Many of you lived through watching the exact same system we have today, kill a bunch of folks in the 70's and 80's and drive the entire industry under with liability costs.

    I'd gladly take a harder curriculum for lower prices. Some insurers do it on specific tricky aircraft types, but let's see it for spam can drivers.

    Wouldn't a simple higher standard for currency cover incidental private transport? Should a 135 Certificate really be necessary? Again, FAA is behind the power curve so the industry and insurance "fixed" it. Most employers get a boilerplate insurance policy that excludes employee aviation. Finding even an aviation industry employer who allows personal flights is virtually impossible.

    What the FAA really is saying is they don't have a clue how to really rate pilot skill. And the industry let that slide so long the insurance companies fixed it for everyone.
     
  6. Clip4

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    Are you proposing an expansion for charitable flights or all flights?
     
  7. ronnieh

    ronnieh Cleared for Takeoff

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    Flights covered by 61.113 especially paragraph b
     
  8. acrophile

    acrophile Line Up and Wait

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    No. It doesn't mean their safety is lower. It means that the safety standard that their flight is required to meet is lower. Which indeed it is.
     
  9. DrMack

    DrMack Line Up and Wait

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    All flights that are incidental to business or employment.

    As for charity, I am a volunteer pilot for Angel Flight South Central. I cannot receive compensation for my flights (and I wouldn't seek it anyway) but I can fly people I do not know across the country. AFSC does by definition, hold out, but has received an exemption from Part 119. Maybe it doesn't matter because most of the patients we transport are soon to die anyway? BTW, I am NOT advocating that compensation should be made available to such operations. It is after all, a charity.
     
  10. ronnieh

    ronnieh Cleared for Takeoff

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    Denver, it is fine that you agree with Dr. Mack. It has been explained numerous times that you can take the passengers the 2000 miles as long as you don't get compensation. You can not take them to lunch if you are being compensated. You may disagree with the FAA's reasoning as does Dr. Mack and try to get it changed. However I see no reason to mock Ron in his attempt to have an honest discourse about this situation. He is simply trying to explain the FAA's mindset. His explanations have been spot on. The FAA have little interest in what a PP does as long as it just harms the PP. The get a little more interested when a passenger is hurt. When any money changes hands then they get very interested.

    As Ron says congress has mandated this policy for the FAA for decades. Your displeasure with the FAA's policies should be directed at congress and the FAA, not disparaging remarks at a fellow POA. Just my $.02
     
  11. DrMack

    DrMack Line Up and Wait

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    Now for some Mangiamele fun:

    Two pilots fly together who happen to be employees of a company that allows the use of a privately owned airplane for travel that is incidental to business and is happy to reimburse the private pilot for direct operating costs. At one point in the trip the PF dons a hood for two minutes to intercept and track a VOR in order to satisfy her IFR currency requirements. So now we have a private pilot and a required crew member aboard. In this scenario there are no "passengers". The company reimburses the PF owner of the airplane for the full direct costs and there's no violation, right?
     
  12. poadeleted20

    poadeleted20 Deleted

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    Nate seems to think this is all personal. It's not -- it's just business, and the FAA has to regulate 600,000 pilots out there, and the system to handle that is what we've got. Nate suggests raising the standards for all Private Pilots so a few can meet the standards necessary to get paid for flying, and that the standards for maintenance of all planes be raised to that point to allow all planes to be used for paid flying. Ain't happening.

    The FAA has tried very hard to create a least common denominator to allow people to do various things at various levels of safety standards so I can go fly my own Tiger around without having to meet the same standards of both pilot and aircraft qualification I used to meet when I was flying Part 135. At the same time, there are even higher standards for pilots and aircraft in common carriage (airline) operations which I've never met.

    That concept allows the majority of folks here to fly for fun (and not money) in their own planes without being required to prove their own skills or equip/maintain their aircraft to the level where the FAA is willing to let them get paid for giving air transportation. Upgrading noncommercial standards that way would really kill general aviation. Instead, the FAA has actually lowered the standards (Light Sport Aircraft and Sport Pilot) in order to open aviation to an even wider audience at lower cost -- within strict limits designed to allow fun flying without compromising the standards for higher levels of aviation.

    If Nate really wants to get paid for giving air transportation, the requirements are well-established, and he has only to demonstrate compliance with them at that level -- by getting commercial pilot and/or operating certificates documenting his compliance with those higher standards. But the idea that the FAA should somehow grant him some special status by letting him do these things without having documented, demonstrated compliance with all those standards merely on the basis of his saying that he's better than the certificates he holds say he is? Or raising the Private Pilot and Part 91 maintenance standards to that point so what he has is enough? Not happening in this world.
     
    Last edited: Aug 13, 2013
  13. ronnieh

    ronnieh Cleared for Takeoff

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  14. Clip4

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    Would assigning an employee to travel with private pilot employee be voluntary and incidental to business?
     
    Last edited: Aug 13, 2013
  15. JeffDG

    JeffDG Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Under a plain reading of 61.119(b) right now, that is fully permissible within the language of the regulation.
     
  16. poadeleted20

    poadeleted20 Deleted

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    I guess my problem is 61.119 is one of those secret regulations the FAA has that we don't know about until we violate it.

    However, if you're reading 61.113(b):
    ...it is, in the Chief Counsel's opinion, not legal, since the PIC is being compensated (paid regular salary plus reimbursement of expenses) for carrying those other company employees.

    IOW, your supposedly plain reading of 61.113(b) and the Chief Counsel's plain reading of the same paragraph are not the same. That's why we have courts -- to settle the matter when two people's "plain reading" of the law isn't the same.
     
  17. DrMack

    DrMack Line Up and Wait

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    NO. Directing that an employee fly with a private pilot would be prohibited under the proposal. The passengers must consent to do so. The same goes for the owners of any property carried. The pilot must also consent. If the pilot or passengers do not consent to fly and instead choose some other mode of transportation (airline, 135, automobile, train, bus, whatever) the employer or business that would desire to have the authority to direct the use of an airplane flown by a private pilot, would be explicitly prohibited by law from doing so and any any attempt to penalize the non-consenting pilot, passenger or property owner would be punishable under the statute.
     
  18. denverpilot

    denverpilot Taxi to Parking

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    It's personal because all laws are personal. They're my laws and your laws. FAA exists at our pleasure.

    I also NEVER recommended higher standards for ALL Private Pilots. Please re-read.

    Exactly my point. If the least common denominator rating isn't "safe" enough to carry passengers, it isn't safe enough, period. There's absolutely no difference triggered by who's paying for the flight other than that being the best completely arbitrary "safety" standard all the minds at FAA can come up with.

    The assumption you're missing in your head is that higher standards for Private business-related carriage can co-exist with all of the above.

    It already DID happen for DECADES before a lawyer's OPINION changed it. Just because there's less and less of us who remember it, doesn't change history.

    FAA never made not proved the case that the re-engineering of the regulation by a lawyer actually added to nor detracted from safety.

    I don't want to provide "Air Transportation". Note the capital letters. The FAA's version. I want to be able to use my aircraft like my car. I don't need a Commercial Driver's license to get reimbursed by any organization for the use and operation of my wheeled vehicle but I do have to carry appropriate insurance since its MY responsibility. I don't have to paint a DOT number on the side.

    DOT doesn't believe their role is the individual safety of every person who gets in a privately owned automobile. FAA shouldn't either.

    I have an unrestricted private driver's license. I also have an unrestricted private pilot's certificate.

    If the agency that's responsible for issuing the driver's license isn't responsible if I do something stupid and kill someone, why is the agency that issues the pilot's license?

    I already mentioned that we restrict teenager's driver's licenses. Why not do the same to pilot's certificates?

    Example of pragmatic solutions: Fly less than 100 hours a year, you aren't current to carry business passengers incidentally. Fly less than 24 instrument approaches a year, same thing IFR. Just arbitrary numbers, but no worse than arbitrarily allowing a lawyer to effectively ban an activity that was fine by everyone you asked prior to them writing a letter.

    I think all Chief Counsel opinions should be required to be signed by the department that actually wrote the original rule as "we agree" or "no, the lawyers are off on a bender again".

    In fact, they should be REQUIRED to go through the NPRM process, considering they're effectively quite often changing how existing law is applied.
     
  19. Clip4

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    If you omit (b)(2).
     
  20. Tom-D

    Tom-D Taxi to Parking

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    I have often wondered why an aircraft must be maintained to a higher safety standard simply because the PAX are paying, Shouldn't they be just as safe if they didn't pay?

    I also wonder why a pilot must train to a higher standard just because the PAX are paying. If they are riding with a private pilot are they less safe.

    And Why does the FAA care who bought the gas or lunch?

    No one I know that has a private aircraft are trying to get rich using it to transport their friends, and who really cares if the Pilot had reason to go there too.

    It is simply over bearing BS regulation that is choking an already dying industry.
     
  21. RotorAndWing

    RotorAndWing Final Approach

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    Here's the real problem. "Give them an inch and you'll see the tail lights as they go over the horizon".

    There have been, and still are so many out there that have tried and are still trying to find more creative ways to circumvent Part 135. It's safe to say there are more illegal charter operators than Part 135 ones. I've personally known a few of these people, and two that come to memory were private pilots doing "134.5" charters.

    "We have met the enemy and he is us". Pogo
     
  22. ronnieh

    ronnieh Cleared for Takeoff

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    Could be.

    Appears we agree to disagree. Some are simply convinced the people hauling freight in an 18 wheeler should be trained to the same level as the soccer mom. (just kidding, sort of) Not really, the truck driver's primary purpose is to move freight. I maintain if I am paying for an airplane and pilot even third party for someone else's use, I am going to expect more than minimum PPL standards and aircraft maintained to minimum standards for personal aircraft. That is just me.
     
    Last edited: Aug 13, 2013
  23. flyingcheesehead

    flyingcheesehead Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Ron,

    Can you please clarify? For example, if I'm going to a client that I have to be at anyway, and I take a coworker who also has to be at that same client at the same time, and I do it in my airplane and I have a commercial pilot certificate... How is that 135? I have not held out to the public, I am not there merely as a means to transport someone else (IE the company isn't paying me to fly only my coworker to the client, they need me there too), and we'd need to go to the client regardless of the mode of transportation.

    Looking at Part 135, 135.1 immediately redirects us to Part 119. FAR 119.1 states that Part 119 applies to

    (2) does not apply here (I've never flown a plane that big), so now we need to find the definitions of the three terms in (1). For those, we look to 1.1:

    So, since this is incidental to the business (It's just a means of travel and we'd both have to get there anyway whether via car, airlines, or GA) clearly the "commercial operator" tag does not apply. That means that I'd have to be intending to operate as an "air carrier" in "air commerce". The 1.1 definitions are somewhat ambiguous here, but again, as this is incidental to the business, I don't see how they could call it "air commerce".
     
  24. ronnieh

    ronnieh Cleared for Takeoff

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    Dang Cheese, that is a heck of a question?:dunno:
     
  25. denverpilot

    denverpilot Taxi to Parking

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    Always good to enact corporal punishment via Attorney, than to just go after the bad ones.

    Or think about trying different rules.

    FCC had some big problems a while back. They found, like everyone else already knew, that money talks. Big fines against INDIVIDUALS really cleaned up the yard, and made them money to spend, too.

    The "we have met the enemy and he is us" line also goes for not reporting all these yahoos and not enforcing.

    The same debate HAS come to automobiles recently. Start ups using the Internet to "ride share". In those cases, it looks like if you give the government their money they'll probably allow them to continue.

    But they're waffling since they don't want to **** off the Taxicab unions who vote and donate to campaigns.

    How much did NBAA pay for their exemption I wonder.
     
  26. Clip4

    Clip4 En-Route

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    Well Doc, do you really think most employees are going to tell their employer they are refusing that trip? How would they know they have the right to do so?
     
  27. DrMack

    DrMack Line Up and Wait

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    No different than today. I own an airplane. I am a private pilot. I am employed. If my employer came to me and directed me to fly, even alone, and I didn't want to do it (maybe I have a hangover :) ), I refuse to fly it. If I am punished by my employer for refusing, then the FAA will be calling the employer for an "orientation" on the law. There will be a few test cases in the beginning but eventually word will get around, or at least among the corporate lawyers.
     
  28. Clip4

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    I will be looking forward to public comment on your proposal.
     
  29. cowman

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    Why can't an employer simply pay the employee a reasonable "travel stipend" or whatever you want to call it and leave it in writing that the means of travel is up to the employee.

    Why is it the employer's or the FAA's business if I transport myself from point A to B in my personal airplane or my personal car?
     
  30. ronnieh

    ronnieh Cleared for Takeoff

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    Fine as long as you don't take a passenger. The stipend if applied to aircraft DOC would prevent carriage of passengers.
     
  31. denverpilot

    denverpilot Taxi to Parking

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    You can. You just can't load up a co-worker.
     
  32. DrMack

    DrMack Line Up and Wait

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    We have deliberately avoided NPRM and gone straight for the statutory jugular so the only public comment will be subcommittee hearings and ceremonial floor debate if it reaches the floor.
     
  33. gprellwitz

    gprellwitz Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Are you sure? I can think of at least two instances, and both involve the Oshkosh area!

    Now, back to the topic at hand! It really is interesting, and I find myself on both sides of the fence. One side emotionally, the other side logically and pragmatically.
     
  34. RotorAndWing

    RotorAndWing Final Approach

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  35. Clip4

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    Do you have a Bill number yet?
     
  36. DrMack

    DrMack Line Up and Wait

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    No, it first must be introduced and that means getting a sponsor. We are currently in discussions with the legislative staff of GA caucus member Pete Sessions (R-TX32) and hope to get his sponsorship for the introduction. Then it's on to the House Subcommittee on Aviation where we hope to have an opportunity to make our case. The AOPA legislative affairs staff is also reviewing it. There are a lot of moving parts and many parties with an interest. Our primary rallying cry is jobs--jobs in the aviation industry and jobs in the economic halo of the aviation industry. ANY stimulation of GA would have a positive effect on that issue and it would be nearly costless to the federal government. Any stimulus of GA would also help slow the erosion of the GA airport infrastructure in the United States, a great deal of which was built during and just shortly after WWII. We are not building airports anymore and once an airport closes it is usually gone forever. An excellent source of information on that issue is the Alliance for Aviation Across America: http://www.aviationacrossamerica.com/
     
  37. poadeleted20

    poadeleted20 Deleted

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    Clearly Nate does not accept the division of powers in the US Constitution, the Administrative Procedures Act or the legal definitions of things like "air transportation". Absent common ground within the basic framework of aviation law, I cannot continue to respond to his posts.
     
  38. poadeleted20

    poadeleted20 Deleted

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    You are providing air transportation (flying your co-worker) for compensation/hire (being paid by your employer) on demand. See 119.3:
    That only takes you out of the realm of Part 121. As noted in 119.3, even private carriage falls under 135 if compensation for the provision of air transportation is involved, and in this case, the company is compensating you for providing air transportation to your co-worker.

    Doesn't matter. The reg has no exceptions for the fact that you also have to be there.

    The FAA Chief Counsel doesn't see it that way. As R&W said, they've had too much trouble with camels trying to get their noses into the tent, so they zip the tent shut as much as they can and poke a sharp stick into the nose of any camel who tries.
     
  39. poadeleted20

    poadeleted20 Deleted

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    Take a look at all the lawsuits against employers for sexual harassment and the like. The courts recognize the power employers have over employees, and the employees' perception of that power, such that employees often feel they cannot decline to do something even if the law says they don't have to do it.
     
  40. DrMack

    DrMack Line Up and Wait

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    Agreed, but the condition exists today for any private pilot. If the employer of a private pilot directs the pilot to fly in connection with the business, the private pilot, invoking the privilege of PIC, can refuse and may reasonably expect no employer retribution for doing so. Our proposed legislation would not alter this present condition.