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3 Answers

Any restrictions to not charging for flight instruction?

Asked by: 4599 views Flight Instructor, Student Pilot

Hi - I have a friend who will soon be a CFI. Eventually (after gaining some instructor experience) we would like for him to act as my instructor for my IFR training. He is a friend of more than 10 years, and I helped him financially in his initial/primary flight training for his private pilot ticket before his VA benefits kicked in. Since then he's done commercial and multi and is about to finish his CFI work. So, he'd like to "pay me back" so to speak by being my IFR instructor once he gets to that point in his training career.

Also important to note is that I own my own airplane and would receive any training in my own aircraft, so there's no commercial third party providing an aircraft for training in this case.

A couple questions: Can he provide flight training to me, in my own aircraft, for free? If he is also working as a CFI for a flight school under part 141, can he still train me (under part 61 and outside the 141 program)? I would think the insurance covering him as a CFI would be something to consider carefully, especially in the 141 school provides his insurance. Can the 141 school restrict him for providing training outside their program?

As a follow-on question, I plan to get my CFI eventually but only to train on the weekends and I'd like to train my stepson (he asks regularly and I say to be patient, that someday it will happen). So, a similar situation will come up with him at some point, only perhaps less complicated in nature - as I will obviously not want to charge him money for instruction in my airplane.

There might be other things to consider, as well. Please feel free to fill in any blanks or point out things I'm not bringing up that matter in this case. Thanks!

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3 Answers

  1. Wes Beard on Mar 31, 2011

    As an independent CFI, you are allowed to charge whatever you like for your time whether it is nothing or $100/hr.
    Since he is prividing training to you in your airplane., you cannot train under 141 rules; it has to be under Part 61 rules.  The 141 school may object to allowing their CFI’s to train outside their program (they see it as a loss of business) but if approached to the Chief carefully most likely it will be OK.  The CFI needs to make sure the chief knows what they are doing.  CYA.  I am sure you are aware but your CFI friend must have his CFII certificate to teach you instruments for the required 15 hours.  The other 25 hours can be with any CFI.
    Insurance is not a big deal.  I don’t think the 141 insurance will cover this situation but it doesn’t hurt to ask.  Simply call your insurance company and add your CFI friend to the insurance as a “named insured”.  If he flies with you under the open pilot policy he may not totally be covered.  I think Matthew Waugh has a good article on this subject.

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  2. Kent Shook on Apr 01, 2011

    Two corrections to what Wes said:
    1) It is possible to get trained under 141 in your airplane, but it has to be added to the school’s certificate, and subject to 100-hours and all that malarkey. (We recently were looking at doing this with one of our airplanes – Too much hassle.) But, it doesn’t sound like you’re wanting Part 141 training anyway, so this is pretty much a moot point in this case – Just wanted to have it here in case someone searches for it in the future.
    2) “The other 25 hours can be with any CFI.” It doesn’t need to be with a CFI at all, a safety pilot is good enough. That said, it’s probably better off to do all of it with a CFII, and in this case maybe your friend can use you as a guinea pig for his first bit of instrument instruction given, with the last 15 hours coming after he’s got the CFII rating.

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  3. Matthew Waugh on Apr 02, 2011

    You primary concern seems to be whether a person providing instruction must get paid. Of course the answer is no. You can instruct (and receive instruction) for free (or in this case actually for a variety of “other” forms of “compensation” such as flight time, but whatever). The question of who provides the aircraft is not relevant (to whether the instructor needs to be paid, it’s relevant to all sorts of other things).
    The Part 141 school can restrict your friends ability to instruct elsewhere. I’m not sure if there is an “hours of service” limitation specific to Part 141, but there certainly is for instructors (paid or not) and the Part 141 school can certainly require that only they have access to that pool of hours and your friend can’t go frittering them away flying with any old body.
    I guarantee you that when your friend is instructing you in your plane under Part 61 any insurance the Part 141 school carries on his actions is entirely dis-interested because there is no way it would be providing coverage.
    I appreciate the shout-out from Wes – here’s my treatise on insurance:
    One wrinkle not really covered there is it’s all very well your CFI friend being covered by your insurance, but there may also be clauses placing restrictions on who can provide instruction in the plane – so you may both be insured, but if there’s an incident the company MIGHT come back and say “you were in breach of your policy because THIS instructor is not qualified to provide YOU instruction even though apparently we’ll happily cover him to FLY the plane”.
    I mean that would be weird, but they might have a clause saying an instructor must have 20 hours in type. They “waive” the PIC requirement of 20 hours in type for your friend as a pilot (by naming them on the policy as an insured), but don’t specifically waive it for the instuctor clause (probably as an oversight). So a quality discussion with your insurance agent might be in order.

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