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3 Answers

Pilot Privileges and carriages

Asked by: 798 views Commercial Pilot, FAA Regulations, General Aviation, Private Pilot

By far, I understand the privileges as commercial pilot  as follow:-


-You can act as a PIC of an aircraft that is carrying persons or property for compensation or hire (carriage?!)

-Act as PIC of an aircraft for compensation or hire.

So, it is very straight forward you can get paid for acting as a PIC in airplane and also for hire.

Now, I am very much concerned that the reg will apply different depending on whose airplane you are referring.

For example, I loan an airplane to someone who has commercial pilot and tell him to fly me to somewhere else. Also, isn't this referred as holding out because I am asking someone else I do not know? Is this legal? (private carriage?!)

It would be great if you provide quotations from FAR or any other source. 

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3 Answers

  1. Best Answer

    Mark Kolber on Jul 04, 2017

    What you are asking about is the difference between the privileges and limitations of a commercial pilot on the one hand and a commercial operator on the other. This is a copy and paste of a post I did on another forum in response to a question regarding answering these types of questions on a commercial checkride. Perhaps it will help; perhaps not:

    Commercial Pilots and Commercial Operators

    This is the way I teach it. It works better one-on-one since there are always questions, but FWIW, here goes…

    The single most important thing to learn is, there is a difference between the privileges of a commercial “pilot” certificate and the requirements for engaging in a commercial “operation.” If you fly for compensation, you are exercising a “commercial pilot” privilege. If you provide both pilot and airplane to transport other people or their property for compensation, you are engaged in a “commercial operation.”

    To give simple examples, if you are hired as a corporate pilot to fly a company airplane or to ferry someone else’s airplane, you are only providing them commercial “pilot” services. Their airplane; your services. OTOH, if you take your C182 and start doing air tours or start transporting cargo for someone, you are engaged in a commercial “operation.”

    Get that difference, and you are way ahead of most in understanding this stuff.

    From there, move to FAR 119.1(e). Most commercial “operations” (providing aircraft and pilot) require an operating certificate of some type. Might be Part 135 (charter and some smaller airlines), 121 (the big airlines) but some kind of operating certificate. FAR 119.1(e) is a list of commercial “operations” that do not require an operating certificate. That “air tour?” 119.1(e) says, “no operating certificate required,” although there are some other requirements. Transporting that cargo? No 119.1(e) exception, so you need an operating certificate.

    There are two other, related, concepts you need to understand. One is the difference between “common” and “private” carriage. “Carriage” just means providing airplane and pilot for transporting persons or property. “Common” means offered to the public, or, as the FAA puts it, a segment of the public. “Private” means only with a very select few. The difference between the two is the other concept: “holding out,” which just means “letting people know.”

    If all that leaves you thinking the lines are blurry, you are right. After all, how does anyone know you are available to transport them unless you let them know? The reality is, it’s so blurry, it doesn’t make any practical difference. FAR 119.23 says “private” carriage requires an operating certificate, with some exceptions. Bottom line, public or private, if you provide airplane and pilot for a purpose other than one listed in 119.1(e) , you need some kind of operating certificate. But you still have to understand the difference because it gets tested.

    I wouldn’t worry too much about more than understanding and being able to apply those basics – (1) your privileges are as a commercial pilot; (2) they don’t automatically allow you to engage in a commercial operation; and (3) there needs to be some specific regulatory authority to engage in a commercial “operation,” such as one of the activities permitted by 119.1(e) or under a Part 135 operating certificate.

    Yeah, I know. It’s complicated. That’s why lawyers get paid big bucks to draft things like leases between a parent company and its 100%-owned subsidiary that does nothing but provide flight services only to its parent designed to prevent the subsidiary from being treated as a Part 135 operation.

    Fortunately, it’s mostly about understanding the basics such as, “does your commercial certificate allow you to take your neighbor and his family to their vacation destination in an airplane you own or rent and be paid for it? The answer is no since that would be a commercial “operation” and require a Part 135 operating certificate. Truth is, most DPEs don’t understand more than the basics either.

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  2. connor on Jul 06, 2017

    Thanks for your help.
    Hey Kolber, I looked up 119,1(e) and noticed that it is exception for when you are exercising the privilege as an air carrier or commercial operator, or both in air commerce or (2) when common carriage is not involved. So this means that we can do this without the operating certificate by private carriage, for example, asking my friend to ferry the airplane from hangar to my home base?

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  3. Mark Kolber on Jul 10, 2017

    The opening sentence in 119.1(e) is a little tortured and can be hard to parse. Here’s what it says in simpler English:

    The following is a list of operations that may be done without an operating certificate.

    The list does not apply to operations which do not involve common carriage in airplanes having a passenger-seat configuration of 20 seats or more, or which have a payload capacity of 6,000 lbs or more.Those airplanes have different rules, which are in Part 125.

    That’s like most of the references to the other Parts – they are just telling folks, “don’t look at Part 119 for the answer if you fit in this category. It’s somewhere else.”

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