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91.147 sight seeing operations

pilotyip

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Anyone ever set up a Part 91 sight seeing operation? I am planning on putting program in effect next year to fly our DC-3 locally on sight seeing trips to generate revenue. I would be interested in seeing a sample letter to request operations under 91.147, and how to set up a drug-testing program.
 

HSDriver

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I'm confused when I read 91.147. Does it apply to local airplane rides in general? Is it illegal now to charge 20 bucks to give an airplane ride at the local FBO unless you are on a drug testing program and have been given a letter of authorization? If so, its sad.
 

JAFI

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No problem. I spend a bit of time searching on FAA web sites. I think you should find much of what you need on that drug testing site.
 

A Squared

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I'm confused when I read 91.147. Does it apply to local airplane rides in general? Is it illegal now to charge 20 bucks to give an airplane ride at the local FBO unless you are on a drug testing program and have been given a letter of authorization?

Yes. Don't know about the letter of authorization, but the requirement for drug testing has been in effect since at least 1995.. I say "at least"; it's been around longer than that, but the revision history is harder to track down online before that.


135.1 (a) (5) Nonstop Commercial Air Tour flights conducted for compensation or hire in accordance with §119.1(e)(2) of this chapter that begin and end at the same airport and are conducted within a 25-statute-mile radius of that airport; provided further that these operations must comply only with the drug and alcohol testing requirements in §§120.31, 120.33, 120.35, 120.37, and 135.39 of this chapter; and with the provisions of part 136, subpart A, and §91.147 of this chapter by September 11, 2007.
 

svcta

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I looked in to this a little for T-6 rides a couple of years ago. My understanding (with some input from a former Fed) was that as long as you were on a drug testing program and the airplane had a normal type-cert, and you stayed within 25 (as I recall) NM from the departure airport then you were good to go. I had a local charter operator agree to put me on their drug program as long as I paid the costs of a test if my name were drawn. I would get the FSDO's blessing just to be sure, but it was as simple as that.

Now I'm prepared to be proven wrong by the FI complication squad.
 

Amish RakeFight

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When I instructed out of NYC, a lot of the CFI's would do the NYC Hudson river tour and make it a quasi lesson on airspace (like Class B ops), radio ops and anything else during the flight phases which might be construed as an element of a flight lesson. As a flight school with no 135, no one was required to be drug tested. I'm sure this was not technically legal, but it was done with students and sometimes as a demo or intro flight. It wasn't advertised but definately pushed to the prospective student. Also, I guess if the student does some or most of the flying it makes it less likley to be considered a sight-seeing operation.
 

JAFI

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In the final analysis it is what the Judge says what is legal or not. If you can convince the judge that you were giving a lesson to a student on class B airspace then have at it. If your Class B airspace lesson is Lesson number one you might have a harder time.
 

igneousy2

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Try to call a couple of the drug testing companies around the airport. I set one up for the flight school I worked for and the drug testing company (for a fee of course) put all the indiividuals in one pool and ran the drug test program. It seemed to work pretty well and was a whole lot easier than having to come up with your own drug testing program.

And yes...the operation described over the hudson was definetly illegal. it was a big problem in Hawaii so a couple of flight schools got called by the FSDO as a test to see what they would do and they didn't pass...if someone calls asking for sight seeing it isn't worth it to steer them into a "flight lesson". If someone calls asking for flight lessons...then have at it.

The better way to do it is to just setup the stupid drug testing program...it's a pain to start but it really isn't a big deal once it's going.
 
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