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2 Answers

Another compensation for hire question

Asked by: 1557 views Private Pilot

So I am a private pilot and can't find the right anwser for this situation on the internet. So I coach a golf team and me and the other coach often travel around the region for meetings . We are paid to drive at 55 cents a mile. I suggested that we fly (we haven't done it yet). I know i can be compensated if it is incidental to business, but to what degree. Can I collect the 55 cents per mile? Can I only collect up to my pro rata share? Can I collect the full amount of costs from the school (They are okay with it because it means no hote which = lower expenses). What are everyone' opinions? I am not being hired to fly, just flying to get there faster and lower the total expenses, i feel like that is incidental. Thank you

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2 Answers

  1. Mark Kolber on May 02, 2013

    There are multiple exceptions to the no-compensation rule in 61.113. And you are asking about two different ones, so let’s take them one at a time.

    1. Incidental. I can’t paraphrase the rule ane better that the rule itself is worded:

    A private pilot may, for compensation or hire, act as pilot in command of an aircraft in connection with any business or employment if:
    (1) The flight is only incidental to that business or employment; and
    (2) The aircraft does not carry passengers or property for compensation or hire.

    Notice that the rule doesn’t say reimbursement for a flight incidental to a business is =not= compnesation; it just says it is =permissible= compensation. If you carry a passenger and are reimbursed, you are not carrying a pasenger for compensation in violation of the limitation in #(2) of the rule.

    So the answer to your question about you and the other coach going to meetings together is abeing reimbursed is, “no.” To fit under the “incidental” exception to compensation, you may not carry any passengers. That includes the other coach.

    This is contrary to what most people for years “thought” the rule was. Unfortunately, the FAA Chief Counsel’s office made it clear in 2009 in the Mangiamele opinion – http://goo.gl/X782R. There’s been a movement to get the Chief Counsel to change the opinion but, so far, no dice.

    2. Shared expense. Here’s the rule:

    A private pilot may not pay less than the pro rata share of the operating expenses of a flight with passengers, provided the expenses involve only fuel, oil, airport expenditures, or rental fees.

    It’s worded a bit backwards but, through the years, it’s been consistently interpreted to mean that a pilot may share the operating costs of a flight with his passengers on a pro-rata bases so long as the pilot and the passengers have a common purpose – what the FAA has described as “a joint venture for a common purpose.”

    You and the other coach appear to have the same reason for being in the same place at the same time and so it’s a pretty safe bet you share a common purpose for the flight. So, under this part of the rule, you and the other coach can share the operating costs of the flight.

    So, on this particular flight, in general, yes to sharing but no to reimbursement from the organization.

    That “in general” is intentional. It means I don’t know all of the details of your situation and small details can make a big difference. So I can’t give legal advice about it, and can only talks in terms of broad generalities.

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  2. Mark Kolber on May 02, 2013

    Another reason for disclaimers is bad typing. I typed:

    If you carry a passenger and are reimbursed, you are not carrying a pasenger for compensation in violation of the limitation in #(2) of the rule.

    In addition to misspelling “passenger,” the word “not” shouldn’t be there. The correct statement (which you can probably tell from the rest of the post) is:

    If you carry a passenger and are reimbursed, you =are= carrying a passenger for compensation in violation of the limitation in #(2) of the rule.

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