Avionics News July 2020 - 30

industry

FAA ISSUES NEW
GUIDANCE TO
PILOTS ON FLIGHT
EXPENSE SHARING
S T O R Y

I

B Y

L I N D S E Y

f you are a pilot, do you share flight expenses with your
passengers in order to save money? Are you confident
you're splitting expenses in accordance with Federal
Aviation Administration regulations?
The FAA recently issued new guidance related to
aircraft expense sharing, found in Advisory
Circular 61-142, Sharing Aircraft Operating
Expenses in Accordance with 14 CFR
§61.113(c). The AC provides guidance
to pilots wishing to share flight
expenses with passengers and is
another part of the FAA's work to
eliminate illegal charter operations.
"Education is key," said Ryan
Waguespack, vice president of
operations for the National Air
Transportation Association, explaining
many pilots share flight expenses not
fully understanding the restrictions. The
NATA is an active partner with the FAA in
identifying illegal charter operations and educating
pilots on related regulations to keep them compliant.
In most cases, it's actually a case of pilot reeducation.
Private pilots learn in training that they are not allowed to
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avionics news

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july

2020

M C F A R R E N

accept compensation for flying services. Years later, this
prohibition or the definition of "compensation" might slip their
minds. Likewise, commercial pilots learn they may accept
compensation under certain circumstances but might forget
what those conditions are.
The new AC comes after Flytenow, a website
that connected pilots with passengers to share
expenses on Part 91 flights, took the FAA
to court to challenge legal interpretations,
which attempted to clarify §61.113.
The company appealed an FAA legal
interpretation deeming the Flytenow
methodology to be noncompliant
with regulatory requirements. The
Supreme Court declined to hear
Flytenow's appeal.
AirPooler Inc., Blackbird, and others
used similar models, all of which the FAA
determined to be accepting compensation for
flights and holding out to the public. In several
of those legal interpretations or notices, the FAA
cautioned pilots conducting flights through these models of the
potential violations and subsequent penalties they might face
for participating in these schemes.



Avionics News July 2020

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