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Is this part 91??

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Well-known member
Apr 6, 2005
These group of docs wanna buy a light twin and hire me to fly it for them to wherever there hearts desire. For some reason their lawyer said that this is a part 135 op but I have met with an aviation attorney who says as long as they are an NBAA member, meet inspections in accordance with the manufacturer and fill out some FSDO paperwork its a Part 91 op. I smell 91 all over it but what would make an attorney think 135? Anyone? Bueller?
Hard to tell based on your description. With this kind of deal, there are usually business/legal considerations that have nothing to do with the FAR. But those business considerations may lead to different ways of structuring the deal. And, depending on the way the deal is structured, it could be straight Part 91, Part 91 fractional ownership, or 135.

I can see it all three ways. Their lawyer may be looking at the business part of the deal in a way that would make it Part 135.

Your lawyer should be able to explain it to you.
"join NBAA and fill out FSDO paperwork?"

How about talking to FSDO and seeing what they think. (at the expense of making them aware of you...)

In reality, I think it depends mostly on their mission. If the flying that you would be doing takes the plce of them flying on airlines or them flying themselves or them flying on a part 135 operation, then I would say yes, it is part 91.

BUT: If they in any way hold out to the public that definitely falls under part 135. If say you take Bill's (an owner) cousin Jimmy to FL for a week, and Jimmy compensates bill for it, then you would in some way be holding out to the general public for a charter service... A big no-no from your FSDO buddies.

Most importantly, make sure to CYA... then look around and CYA some more.
The flying essentially is flying them outta a smaller town to places like Chicago, Memphis and such so they can catch a commercial flight where they need to go. There is absolutely no holding out for any public, just flying the docs where they want me to go. We will defenitely check with the FSDO should it happen.
I think you should check with the FSDO BEFORE you even think about making it happen....this could save lots of money. Like the rest said...It really depends on the fine details (eg. who owns the airplane, how costs are compensated for, etc.). I think that some people can be too conservative; remember a commercial opeeration involves is for compensation or hire, or holding out. If your aviation attourney and your local FSDO think that it is PART 91...I say go for it. Remember though...CYA!
Checking with the FSDO has entertainment value, but puts you on no more solid ground than seeking legal advice from a gumwrapper. The FSDO does not have the authority to interpret the regulation, and you cannot depend upon a reply by the FSDO (in writing or otherwise) to be defensible if you are caught doing something you should not.

Being a member of NBAA means nothing to the issue; it's fluff, and only confuses the topic.

That the flights take place at smaller airports is meaningless and irrelevant, as is the issue of weather those locations are served by airline traffic.

If the doctors own the aircraft and hire you to fly them, and only them, with no paying clients or cargo aboard to destinations other than the point of departure, then you should have no issues. If the doctors charge clients for transport of personnel or equipment, you have a problem.

A bigger issue right now is what the attorney for the doctors thinks. If the attorney is telling you something and you elect to ignore that counsel, then do so at your own peril.
RichardRambone said:
as long as they are an NBAA member...
Huh??? What does being a member of NBAA have to do with anything? Tell your doctor friends to hire an EXPERIENCED aviation attorney to draw up the partnership agreement and go for it. Their corporate or individual attornies will only screw things up royally.

Question....Where does enforcement on illegal charter stem??? FSDO if I may be correct. Having them on your side and getting to know Safety Inspectors may help grease the skids if anything should ever come up.

Not saying that this has to be a 'shady' operation or anything, but it never hurts to have the support of the FSDO.
Junior2 said:
Having them on your side and getting to know Safety Inspectors may help grease the skids if anything should ever come up.
Having the FSDO guys in your side will do you absolutely no good what so ever. There's a mistaken impression held by some of you that if an individual inspector blesses your operation or idea then you're good to go. Sorry, nothing could be further from the truth. It's sorta like taking tax advise from the IRS. If you do so, you do it at your own risk. Some of you guys are too new at this to remember the NASIP fiasco a few years ago. A lot of people found this out the hard way.

Junior2 said:
Question....Where does enforcement on illegal charter stem??? FSDO if I may be correct.
Well, yes and no. At first blush, AvBug's comment about the FSDO okay not being worth anything sounds like it ignores practical reality.

True, if the operation is okay with the local FSDO, you may be okay (especially if it involves paperwork that the local FSDO reviews).

But not necessarily. There is a big messy set of certificate actions (involving something other than Part 135) that have been going on for a year concerning an operation. Part of the background is that everything was cool with the local FSDO. Clean bills of health all the way through. So inspectors from another FSDO were brought in and found all sorts of violations.

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