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6 Answers

Flying For Business Question

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FAA Regulations

I work for a company (I do not own it) in which my role requires me to travel alot.  I am an IFR rated private pilot. What are the FAA rules around me renting an airplane to fly to a business meeting and expensing the airplane rental cost (as I would a rental car cost or airline flight)? and then what if I took a co-worker with me?

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6 Answers



  1. John D Collins on Sep 03, 2013

    This is a commonly asked question.

    If you rent an airplane, don’t carry passengers or property and the flight is incidental to your job, then you can get reimbursed for the rental. If you carry a passenger, you may not get reimbursed, but may split the cost of the rental with your passenger.

    Read FAR 61.113, quoted in part below for your convenience:

    Sec. 61.113

    Private pilot privileges and limitations: Pilot in command.

    (a) Except as provided in paragraphs (b) through (h) of this section, no person who holds a private pilot certificate may act as pilot in command of an aircraft that is carrying passengers or property for compensation or hire; nor may that person, for compensation or hire, act as pilot in command of an aircraft.

    (b) 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.

    (c) 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.

    There are several questions and opinions from the FAA Chief Counsel on this subject. You can search for them at http://www.faa.gov/about/office_org/headquarters_offices/agc/pol_adjudication/agc200/interpretations/

    Put 61.113 in the search argument

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  2. Ryan on Sep 03, 2013

    so as soon as I bring along a co-worker who need to go for business purposes to, I can no longer get reimbursed or are you saying I can only ask for reimbursement for HALF the cost and he/she has to ask for the other half?

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  3. John D Collins on Sep 03, 2013

    Ryan,

    I gave you information to look up the FAA General Counsel opinions on this subject. It answers your question very clearly. See http://www.faa.gov/about/office_org/headquarters_offices/agc/pol_adjudication/agc200/interpretations/data/interps/2009/mangiamele%20-%20(2009)%20legal%20interpretation.pdf and draw your own conclusion.

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  4. Mark Kolber on Sep 03, 2013

    John, no conclusion need to be drawn from Mangiamele on that question. It’s been asked since, as well as a number of others.

    http://www.faa.gov/about/office_org/headquarters_offices/agc/pol_adjudication/agc200/interpretations/data/interps/2010/lamb-2%20-%20(2010)%20legal%20interpretation.pdf

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  5. Ryan on Sep 03, 2013

    Carrying yourself: OK to get reimbursed

    Carrying a coworker: Not OK to get reimbursed

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  6. Mark Kolber on Sep 03, 2013

    Essentially correct, Ryan. The sort of exception is that, for the co-workers, they are on a joint flight for a common purposes, so they can share the cost of the flight, although, according to the rules as interpreted by the Chief Counsel, neither should be able to be reimbursed by the employer.

    (That, btw, is one of the problems of the Mangiamele line of interpretations. Suppose the co-worker asks to be reimbursed for his shareand the employer agrees. Now the pilot is potentially placed in violation of a FAR based on actions by other people he has no control over).

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