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4 Answers

Can a CFI provide flight instruction in an Experimental aircraft at no charge?

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4 Answers

  1. Mark Kolber on Sep 07, 2014

    Yes. The prohibitions in 91.319 specifically involve compensation.

    In addition, while FAR 91.319 appears to prohibit flight training for compensation in experimentals after 2010, the related FAA Order (which was last amended in 2011) says that the limitation applies to the cost applicable to the aircraft, not compensation for instruction in it. Interesting and I don’t have an opinion at this point on the dichotomy.

    (BTW, an instructor in Hickory, NC was recently issued a LODA under 91.319(h) to receive compensation for training in a Bearhawk)

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  2. Kris Kortokrax on Sep 07, 2014

    The aircraft referred in 91.319(e) (built before January 31, 2010) are the “fat ultralights” that were used for instruction under an exemption which has since expired.

    The LODAs are discussed in Order 8900.1, Volume 3, Chapter 11, Section 1. The instruction allowed is quite limited. Instruction toward any certificate higher than a Sport pilot certificate may only be conducted in a gyroplane.

    LODAs for instruction toward a Sport pilot certificate will only be issued if there is no SLSA (non-experimental) aircraft in the district. There is a list of SLSA on the FAA website. It lists 168 different aircraft. The odds of finding an FAA district where there are no SLSA available for instruction are slim.

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  3. Mark Kolber on Sep 08, 2014

    Thanks Kris. That clears up the discrepancy. To answer the question directly, yes, a CFI is permitted to provide flight instruction in an Experimental aircraft at no charge. A CFI is also permitted to charge to instruct a pilot in the pilot’s experimental (I’ve given a flight review in one).

    The problem comes in when the CFI gives the instruction in the CFI’s experimental. That’s essentially where the LODA is required for experimentals and which the LODA issued to the CFI in Hickory addresses.

    The SLSA issue aside, the LODAs themselves tend to be limited. For example, the Bearhawk LODA is, to simplify, limited to transition training to familiarize the pilot with the type’s general flight characteristics and not for such things as training for a certificate or for, in the Bearhawk’s case, a tailwheel endorsement. It also requires the CFI to follow a set syllabus which was approved in the LODA.

    The FAA Order both Kris and I are referring to is here: Use of Aircraft Issued Experimental Certificates in Flight Training for Compensation or Hire

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  4. Jared Yates on Oct 11, 2014

    I’m the Bearhawk instructor that Mark mentions. As he says, the authorization is very limited and is really intended only to provide type-specific transition training to an already current and qualified tailwheel pilot. If you’d like to read the exact wording of the authorization, I have it here: http://bearhawktraining.com/loda.pdf

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