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2 Answers

Start my own helicopter business under part 91

Asked by: 1895 views , , , ,
Commercial Pilot, FAA Regulations, Helicopter

I recently finished my training to become a commercial helicopter pilot. My plan is fairly simple. I want to open my own business with one helicopter and operate under part 91. As far as I understand it, I can do everything that is listed under 119.1 (3); Student instruction (I can't do that since I am not a certified instructor),  Nonstop Commercial Air tours, Ferry or training flights (again I can only do the ferry flights), Aerial work, Nonstop flights for parachutes. What I want to do is Photo Flights and Airtours within a 25 miles until I have enought hours to apply for 135 certification. Provided I have a base of operations and a helicopter could I (theoretically) start tomorrow and do those two things? Can I "hold out" to the public? Meaning offering the services on my webpage and flyers? If the answer is yes, how do I start this process? Do I have to notify the FAA? Are there application forms? Does anyone else need to know or approve it? I am looking forward to your answers.

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2 Answers



  1. Kris Kortokrax on Sep 02, 2015

    Yes, you can start your business.

    However, for the sightseeing rides, see 91.147 and Part 136, Subpart A. You will need to be in a drug testing program and apply to your local FSDO for a Letter of Authorization to conduct the rides. It is a very simple process. Also, note that it is a 25 Statute mile radius, not Nautical mile.

    You may want to consider other things like the cost of insurance for the helicopter while using it for commercial purposes.

    Good luck.

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  2. Mark Kolber on Sep 03, 2015

    Kris makes a good point about insurance.

    Other things you may want to consider are the rules and standards of the airport you are basing the business from (which may include such things as minimum required insurance and other expenses). There may also be state and local laws and regulations that apply. Remember that although it is a aviation-related business, it is still a business and state laws that apply generally to business activities will apply.

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