Welcome Guest. Sign in or Signup

3 Answers

PP & Small Business Owner

Asked by: 2313 views FAA Regulations

Based on my reading of the regs this seems to be a real grey area and I'd appreciate some experienced input...

If I own a business and am considering flying as one (of multiple) modes of transport to the location where business would ultimately be conducted am I somehow violating the restrictions of a PPL?  I should mention that I would be carrying small amounts of business related material BUT my compensation for products/services rendered would be , in no way, dependent on or related to my flying.  Essentially, I'd fly for recreation and in order to cover a long distance in a shorter period.


Ace Any FAA Written Test!
Actual FAA Questions / Free Lifetime Updates
The best explanations in the business
Fast, efficient study.
Pass Your Checkride With Confidence!
FAA Practical Test prep that reflects actual checkrides.
Any checkride: Airplane, Helicopter, Glider, etc.
Written and maintained by actual pilot examiners and master CFIs.
The World's Most Trusted eLogbook
Be Organized, Current, Professional, and Safe.
Highly customizable - for student pilots through pros.
Free Transition Service for users of other eLogs.
Our sincere thanks to pilots such as yourself who support AskACFI while helping themselves by using the awesome PC, Mac, iPhone/iPad, and Android aviation apps of our sponsors.

3 Answers

  1. Mark Kolber on Jul 19, 2014

    As a business owner who is contemplating something, professional advice is always recommended, not just for aviation questions.

    That said, there’s nothing in the FAR that prevents a private pilot from flying yourself, at your own cost, in furtherance of a business. Note that student, recreational and sport pilots cannot fly “in furtherance of a business” (I’ll let you find the FAR references yourself if you want to).

    And, if the flights are to be compensated for in some way your description sounds like it fits directly into 61.113(b)’s exception to the compensation prohibition for flights that are incidental to your business or employment. (And, you hopefully already know this, but if your business is set up as a corporation or LLC, your business is a legally separate person from you).

    Note, however, that there is a major limitation to the 61.113(b) exception: you may “not carry passengers or property for compensation or hire.” That has unfortunately been strictly construed by the FAA Chief Counsel to prohibit compensated business flights anyone otherthan yourself (Mangiamele Letter). Whether the FAA would be as strict about carrying business property, especially for resale, is hard to know.

    +1 Votes Thumb up 1 Votes Thumb down 0 Votes

  2. Daniel Tucker on Jul 19, 2014

    Thank you for your quick response, Mark.

    Is it your understanding, based on the statement in your first paragraph, that using an aircraft strictly for personal transport and then conducting any business upon arrival would be against the FAR interpretation for one operating under LSA rules?

    I don’t have either a PPL or LSA training at present, but I am retired Air Force and looking for the best way to combine my rec. flying aspirations with the obvious advantages of air travel as I look to expand my business in regions that are too far/cumbersome for ground transport.

    My initial thought has been an LSA with maybe a PPL to reduce operating restrictions. I welcome any thoughts, experiences, or recommendations.

    Also, my business is classified as an S-Corp. What impact would my business being classified as a “separate person” have in these scenarios.

    Thanks for the input!

    0 Votes Thumb up 0 Votes Thumb down 0 Votes

  3. Best Answer

    Mark Kolber on Jul 20, 2014

    The Sport Pilot rule is FAR 61.315(c)(3). The relevant Chief Counsel interpretation is the 2012 Allen Interpretation (“A flight would therefore be considered to be in furtherance of a business if it were conducted for a business purpose, even if the flight is only incidental to that business purpose.”)

    The “separate person” concept is part of the primary purpose of the entity – separating its assets and liabilities from yours. Literally think of it as a completely separate entity – as though owned by people other than you. So, for example, if you were an employee of Acme Widgets, Inc and flew yourself to a business conference and Acme reimbursed you for the costs of the flight, it would be compensation to you, although permissible under 61.113. OTOH, if you flew around delivering widgets to Acme’s customers with flight costs reimbursed, you would be acting as a private carrier, violating both 61.113 and Part 135. That’s a highly simplified version of the issue.

    If this is something you plan to do on a regular basis, I really do think basic business due diligence requires seeking a formal opinion from an attorney, tailored to your specific type of business and the operations you envision. Even without a clear answer (sometimes there isn’t one) you would at least have professional assistance in weighing the risks.

    +2 Votes Thumb up 2 Votes Thumb down 0 Votes

The following terms have been auto-detected the question above and any answers or discussion provided. Click on a term to see its definition from the Dauntless Aviation JargonBuster Glossary.

Answer Question

Our sincere thanks to all who contribute constructively to this forum in answering flight training questions. If you are a flight instructor or represent a flight school / FBO offering flight instruction, you are welcome to include links to your site and related contact information as it pertains to offering local flight instruction in a specific geographic area. Additionally, direct links to FAA and related official government sources of information are welcome. However we thank you for your understanding that links to other sites or text that may be construed as explicit or implicit advertising of other business, sites, or goods/services are not permitted even if such links nominally are relevant to the question asked.