What do I need?...CPL Question.

Discussion in 'Flight Following' started by Shawn, Feb 6, 2021.

  1. Shawn

    Shawn En-Route

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    “Hypothetical” Commercial ticket question and regulation nuance:

    I currently own a 182 as an individual and instrument rated.

    Scenario:

    I have a buddy that owns a business and as a total side gig for me and to solve a problem for him at a make it worth my while price he wants me to fly a box of widgets from one end of the state to another about once a month on a flexible schedule that I could dictate as PIC weather permitting. Product fits within the W&B envelope of the 182 for the mission. Sometimes he would tag along to visit the customer, other times it would be drop of widgets and return to home base.

    Liability aside for the moment, regulatory speaking is that as simple as a Commercial ticket and proper insurance coverage or is there a lot more nuance/regulation involved since a delivery of a widget is involved and/or since I also own the plane?
     
  2. Martin Pauly

    Martin Pauly Pre-takeoff checklist PoA Supporter

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    The problem is that you own the 182. As a commercial pilot, your friend can rent or buy an airplane and then hire you to fly it. But you cannot fly AND provide the plane; that would make it a different operation (e.g. charter).
     
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  3. DesertNomad

    DesertNomad Pattern Altitude

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    I would think that if he hires *you* to transport these widgets, and you make the decision as to how to get there (your own car, your own plane, your own bicycle, buy a bus ticket etc), it would be ok. He is your buddy so you are not holding out to the general public here. I am not an expert on this so this advice is worth what you paid for it.

    If he hires you to *fly* it there, then you have a problem as you own the plane.
     
  4. JScarry

    JScarry Pre-takeoff checklist

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    There are literally dozens of FAA Regulatory Opinions and case law that say you are wrong.
     
  5. DesertNomad

    DesertNomad Pattern Altitude

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    There are also FAA opinions that indicate if the plane is incidental to the task at hand, then it is ok... as in commuting to a job site for example.

    If I am paid as part of my job to transport a box every Saturday from my office to an office 30 miles away (where I then work the rest of the day) and I normally ride my bike but one day decide to fly my plane, I would think that is ok. It may depend on if I have another purpose for being there and just happen to bring a box with me.

    Obviously you should be allowed to bring whatever you need to do the job, but if you leave it at the destination, it may well become transport of goods.

    Can you point to an FAA opinion that covers this situation?

    In re-reading the Mangiamele letter, it does seem like if the point is to transport property that is not ok, but if it is to get you to a job site, it is ok.
     
    Last edited: Feb 6, 2021
  6. Shawn

    Shawn En-Route

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    As also a business owner myself, yes...if I fly myself to a jobsite or client and even carry items for sales purposes I can be 100% reimbursed by the company for all the direct flight expenses even as a PPL so long as I am the only soul on board and the flying is incidental to the business, but that is different from transporting a widget for delivery and being compensated above the direct flight costs in this scenario.
     
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  7. DesertNomad

    DesertNomad Pattern Altitude

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    I suppose your buddy could rent a plane and then hire you to fly it, but not many people are going to rent a plane to a non-pilot.
     
  8. Clip4

    Clip4 Final Approach

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    I would get the CPL so you receive training on how you can’t do what you propose.
     
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  9. DavidWhite

    DavidWhite Final Approach PoA Supporter

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    If you're a CFI he can rent the plane from you for "lessons"
     
  10. MauleSkinner

    MauleSkinner Final Approach

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    The OP’s “hypothetical” is about as straight-up Part 135 as it gets.
     
  11. Shawn

    Shawn En-Route

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    So that is my question...since I own the plane and delivery of a widget it would fall under part 135 operations?

    Everyone so far has said it can't be done with a simple CPL but no one has explained what is required and WHY for it to be possible.
     
  12. MauleSkinner

    MauleSkinner Final Approach

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    Yes.
     
  13. mondtster

    mondtster En-Route

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    It can be done if you have a commercial pilot certificate and a 135 certificate. For what you propose however, the expense and effort required to get a 135 will far exceed any revenue you’d get off that operation.
     
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  14. Racerx

    Racerx Line Up and Wait

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    So, hypothetically say there was no compensation involved...
     
  15. Capt. Geoffrey Thorpe

    Capt. Geoffrey Thorpe Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    Thank God that the FAA is protecting us from sort of thing.
    It's for the children.
     
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  16. Shawn

    Shawn En-Route

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    Yeah, that's the stupid part in a scenario like this...the client can rent a plane then pay me to fly it if I had a CPL but because it is MY plane...no dice even with proper ratings...he can't pay me for that.
     
  17. DesertNomad

    DesertNomad Pattern Altitude

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    Without the government, how could we safely transport widgets?
     
  18. DavidWhite

    DavidWhite Final Approach PoA Supporter

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    Yes, hypothetically. Or his pro-rata share of expenses is REALLY high because you only use boutique AVGAS in your plane. Hypothetically.
     
  19. MauleSkinner

    MauleSkinner Final Approach

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    Compensation is only one of the things the FAA looks at to determine the legality of an operation, and this scenario quacks like a duck in other areas. They also define compensation such that it may still apply even if no money changed hands.

    Pro rats (spell Czech strikes again!) wouldn’t apply, but for the most part, if someone chooses to fly a trip for his friend at his own expense out of the goodness of his heart with no expectation (real or imagined by the FAA) of favors returned, it could be done legally.
     
  20. Paul V

    Paul V Filing Flight Plan

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    The FAA has a broad interpretation of what constitutes “compensation” including the ability to log flight time meaning even if no money exchange takes place, one can still be in violation of the FARs.

    Under certain circumstances the operation may be possible under part 91 if there is a common purpose of flight and if the individuals involved each paid a pro-rata share of the direct costs of the operation. This means if you were going to go to the destination (specific site) anyway and you brought along someone who pitched in to the costs equally it *may* be possible but there are so many land mines with this it is most likely not worth it.

    It really fits the definition of a Part 135 operation to the T.
     
  21. DesertNomad

    DesertNomad Pattern Altitude

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    So if a friend (not holding out) pays you to deliver a box to his client with the expectation on both sides that you will be doing so in your car, and on the morning of the trip, your car won't start so you take your plane instead (you live on an air park), that would require a 135 certificate?
     
  22. MauleSkinner

    MauleSkinner Final Approach

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    Yes.
     
  23. Snowmass

    Snowmass Line Up and Wait

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    I don't think you even need a commercial license to use your plane in business. You could simply be an employee and have him pay you enough salary to make using your plane worthwhile. How you take the widgets is your business and make the widget delivery incidental to your sales/goodwill trip.
     
  24. DesertNomad

    DesertNomad Pattern Altitude

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    So I guess if my brother left his jacket at my house and I agree to bring it to him the next time I see him, if I use my plane, I should make sure that he doesn't pay for my lunch. :D

    Good to know - I am working on my CPL so just getting into all this stuff too.
     
  25. Shawn

    Shawn En-Route

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    No doubt there are ways to run under the radar with the simplicity of the scenario...but when the plane crashes into a school bus of children and widgets are strewn about...that's when the Feds come a knockin and just wondering how many ducks are no longer in a row!

    ...I know, I know...don't aim for the school bus...
     
  26. MauleSkinner

    MauleSkinner Final Approach

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    Assuming the employment part (which is different from the OP’s scenario), widgets are still carrying property for compensation or hire, which is specifically prohibited.


     
  27. DesertNomad

    DesertNomad Pattern Altitude

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  28. MauleSkinner

    MauleSkinner Final Approach

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    If you throw “family” into the mix, as long as it’s not your brother’s business that you’re doing the flight for, most of the compensation/holding out, etc., is invalidated.

    unless you have a really dysfunctional family. ;)
     
  29. MauleSkinner

    MauleSkinner Final Approach

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    What if the FAA determines you’re doing all of this just to skirt the 135 rules?

    If said friend was truly a part owner in the airplane, it would probably work. Otherwise, it falls into the same sink hole that many people have tried to fill before.
     
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  30. DesertNomad

    DesertNomad Pattern Altitude

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    Indeed.
     
  31. Paul V

    Paul V Filing Flight Plan

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    There is no clear cut way to do it legally. Others have tried and failed.

    Besides the obvious limitations in the FARs which have been discussed here and elsewhere, if OP was to have an incident or accident their insurance may (and most likely would) deny coverage if the claim was made for an operation that falls outside of personal and business (part 91) coverage. The operation would require commercial insurance which costs substantially more. This would also open up OP to potentially massive liability if an accident or incident led to the injury or death of anyone or to the destruction of property while conducting an operation that was not permitted based on the certification (or lack thereof).

    Rather than try and skirt the regulations, which opens the door to a lot of risk, look into getting a single pilot Part 135 certificate. It isn’t “easy” but is much easier and less expensive than a basic or standard 135.

    Also- the fact one may have a commercial vs private certificate is irrelevant. All the CPL does is let someone get compensated by an operation holding a commercial certificate (135, 121, etc) or for performing an operation under 119.1.
     
  32. MauleSkinner

    MauleSkinner Final Approach

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    Specifically 119.1(e)