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11 Answers

Paid to fly as SIC or just right seater

Asked by: 4035 views , , , , ,
Commercial Pilot, FAA Regulations

I was recently approached by a friend around the airport, he knows I am a Commercial ASEL and offered to pay me if I would fly right seat with him on a long cross country. Unable to find what I needed to know in the regs I just flew with him for free, seeing as how he was a friend and it was going to be a fun trip. :) Should that situation arise again in the future, I really WOULD like to know if I can accept payment for that, I am thinking yes. But just want to know for sure. 

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11 Answers



  1. John A Lindholm on Jan 11, 2011

    You can accept payment, but you can’t log any of the time as SIC…. or PIC unless you are flying the aircraft instead of him.

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  2. James MacGregor on Jan 11, 2011

    .. You can log it PIC if one of you is “under the hood”, as a safety pilot (the guy not under the hood) you are responsible for the safety of the flight, where as the guy underth hood is the sole controller of the AC. The only requirement is both people have to be able to act as PIC on that AC, neither of you even need to be instrument rated

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  3. Kent Shook on Jan 12, 2011

    What John said, with the addition that if he wants to get some hood time, you can log the time he’s under the hood – SIC or PIC will depend on what you both agree to as to who is acting PIC.
     

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  4. Wesley Beard on Jan 12, 2011

    Kent is correct.  The safety pilot will either log SIC or PIC depending on whether or not he is the LEGAL pilot in command of the flight.  This means the safety pilot must be current per the regulations and wants to take the blame for any stupid things (i.e accidents, airspace infractions, etc…) the pilot under the hood does.  The pilot who will be the legal pilot in command will need to current (recency of experience, medical) while the other pilot only needs to be appropriately rated (PP ASEL but not current and no need for medical).
     
    Probably thinking that if this happens, then the safety pilot will only log SIC time to CYA.  True… sounds reasonable, but remember if there is a precedence in your logbook the FAA investigators will probably believe you didn’t originally have that intention.  If both pilots have logged dual PIC before on many flights, it will create a precedent stating that the safety pilot is the LEGAL pilot in command.  If anything happens after that precedent is set, the LEGAL pilot in command will be at fault.  
     
    Think about it, your other pilot friend probably doesn’t want a violation either and just saw you through them under the airplane, I mean bus.  It could come down to your word versus their word and your logbooks will have the final say.  You do sign every page, right?
     
    This doesn’t preclude other NTSB rulings finding the pilot with the more experience (higher certificate level, hours for type of operation, etc…) from also being dually held responsible along with the legal pilot in command.
     
    I’m not saying don’t log dual PIC time, it is a great and legal way to build time quickly and very cheaply.  What I am saying, is choose wisely who you share this time with.

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  5. John A Lindholm on Jan 12, 2011

    Very good advice, Wesley.  With the new hour increase for Part 121 flying, you can bet the logbooks will receive closer scrutiny.  Many pilots have significant logbook errors because they were not taught properly what constitutes legal logged time.

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  6. Micah on Jan 12, 2011

    Wesley, maybe a typo but you state that the SIC/safety pilot does not need a current medical, but the safety pilot is still a required crewmember and does require a current medical certificate.  Otherwise, seems correct and good advice.

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  7. Wesley Beard on Jan 12, 2011

    You’re correct Micah!  I don’t believe that I forgot that part.  My thought process was on the pilot under the hood who is not the legal pilot in command.  I believe in this instance, that pilot does not have to be current or have a current medical to log PIC time.  I incorrectly applied that logic to the safety pilot without thinking through the rest of the sequence.  Thanks for the clarification.

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  8. John A Lindholm on Jan 12, 2011

    If the pilot under the hood is not 90 day current and/or doesn’t have a current medical, the safety pilot is definitely the “acting” PIC and can log PIC….  and must be landing and aircraft type current… with current medical.

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  9. Nick Zerbe on Jan 12, 2011

    Mmmm ok I think were getting a bit off topic with the PIC/SIC thing… its not really a matter of logging the hours or anything. Its wether or not I can be paid to sit there and look pretty, and be able to assist if necessary. 

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  10. Kent Shook on Jan 13, 2011

    You’re a commercial pilot, you’re not supplying the airplane (ie not Part 135) – Sounds like a perfectly legal situation for accepting compensation to me.

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  11. Matthew Waugh on Jan 14, 2011

    I agree with Kent – you are a commercial pilot, and you are being paid for your piloting skills.

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