June 2012 Aviation Articles

FAA Defines "In Furtherance Of Business" Limitation On Operations By A Sport Pilot

In a recent Legal Interpretation, the FAA Office of the Chief Counsel responded to a request for a definition of what it means to be "in furtherance of a business" in the context of the limitation upon sport pilot privileges. As you may know, FAR § 61.315(c)(3) prohibits an individual exercising sport pilot privileges from acting as pilot in command of a light-sport aircraft when he or she is (1) carrying a passenger or property for compensation or hire, (2) operating for compensation or hire, or (3) operating in the furtherance of business.

The Interpretation notes that, rather than actually defining "sport and recreational flying", the intended limitation on sport pilot operations, it made more sense to define the types of operations that were not permitted for a sport pilot. This was "intended to better clarify [the FAA's] original intent and align the privileges and limitations of a sport pilot certificate with those of a recreational pilot certificate found in FAR §§ 61.101(e)(3) through (5) (prohibiting a recreational pilot from acting as pilot in command of an aircraft "in furtherance of a business.")

The FAA also wanted to distinguish the sport and recreational pilot privileges and limitations from those of private pilots under FAR § 61.113(b) (permitting a private pilot to act as pilot in command of an aircraft for compensation or hire in connection with any business or employment if the flight is only incidental to that business or employment and the aircraft does not carry passengers or property for compensation or hire.) The Interpretation observes that "[f]lights typically permitted to be carried out by a private pilot under the provisions of § 61.113(b) would not be permitted to be engaged in by a person exercising sport pilot privileges."

To further explain this limitation, the Interpretation notes that "flights in which transportation is provided for a business purpose, 'even if incidental to your employment or the business you intend to conduct, and not required by your business or employment would be considered in furtherance of a business.'" Thus, if a flight is conducted for a business purpose, even if it is only incidental to that purpose, then the flight would be considered to be "in furtherance of a business" and could not be conducted by a sport pilot.

Finally, it is important to note that "the restriction on the use of a light-sport aircraft in furtherance of a business is not based on the certification of the aircraft being used but rather on the certification of the airman operating the aircraft." As a result, light-sport aircraft may be used in furtherance of a business etc. provided the flights are operated by an airman with a private pilot or higher certificate.



American Airlines’ 737 to depart, arrive at AirVenture grounds as part of ‘Salute to Veterans’
EAA AVIATION CENTER, OSHKOSH, Wis. — (June 26, 2012) — EAA, American Airlines, and Old Glory Honor Flight, Inc., have joined together once again to give World War II veterans the opportunity to visit the powerful memorials dedicated in their honor with an Old Glory Honor Flight departing from EAA AirVenture 2012 on Friday, July 27.

The 60th annual edition of “The World’s Greatest Aviation Celebration” will take place July 23-29 at Wittman Regional Airport in Oshkosh. The Old Glory Honor Flight is just one of the endless attractions, activities and forums as part of “Salute to Veterans Day,” presented by Sikorsky Aircraft Corporation, on July 27.

On the morning of Friday, July 27, the special American Airlines yellow-ribbon 737 aircraft, “Flagship Liberty,” will fly approximately 80 World War II veterans from the AirVenture grounds to Washington, D.C. After a reception greeting them at Reagan National Airport, the veterans will be taken on a day-long tour of memorials honoring the sacrifices they made preserving freedom, including the World War II Memorial and Arlington National Cemetery.

“All of us at American Airlines are excited to be a part of this year’s EAA AirVenture, and especially to have the opportunity to fly some of our nation’s greatest treasures – World War II veterans – to see their memorial in Washington, D.C.,” said Captain Jim Palmersheim, Director of Veterans Military Programs for American Airlines. “American has a long history of supporting our troops, veterans, and their families. It is an honor to serve the members of ‘The Greatest Generation’ who have given so much for this country.”

The Old Glory Honor Flight veterans will return to AirVenture on Friday for a scheduled arrival shortly after 6 p.m., when they will be greeted by thousands of AirVenture attendees on Phillips 66 Plaza and receive a welcome home reception that many did not receive more than 60 years ago. "We at Old Glory Honor Flight live by the motto that it is never too late to say 'thank you,' and we are honored to be conducting our third annual AirVenture Honor Flight in partnership with EAA and American Airlines," said Drew MacDonald, President of Old Glory Honor Flight, Inc. “It is truly a unique and spectacular way of showing our admiration, respect and gratitude for America's military veterans."

The Old Glory Honor Flight, the Northeast Wisconsin hub of the Honor Flight Network, recognizes World War II veterans for sacrifices and achievements by providing a memorable, safe, and rewarding tour of Washington, D.C., memorials at no cost. Additional information on the Old Glory Honor Flight is available at www.oldgloryhonorflight.org.

About EAA AirVenture Oshkosh
EAA AirVenture Oshkosh is “The World’s Greatest Aviation Celebration” and EAA’s yearly membership convention. Additional EAA AirVenture information, including advance ticket and camping purchase, is available online at www.airventure.org. EAA members receive lowest prices on admission rates. For more information on EAA and its programs, call 1-800-JOIN-EAA (1-800-564-6322) or visit www.eaa.org. Immediate news is available at www.twitter.com/EAAupdate.

Owner Assist to Reduce the Bill (Side-effect: Intimate Knowledge of Your Aircraft)

Smart business as well as living an organized life usually involves a certain amount of budgeting and knowledge. Ownership of a personal aircraft is a large financial responsibility that demands attention on the part of the owner. This astuteness of an aircraft owner is also mandated by the FAA through the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR), though I believe that the most important reason for knowing your aircraft for reasons ‘over and above’ mere regulation compliance is the confidence that the safety and security of you, your passengers and the people and property that you are flying over is properly protected by your aircraft being maintained in an airworthy as well as a flightworthy condition.

The CFR, from the FAA reads as follows: “...as an aircraft owner you are responsible for compliance and familiarity with the applicable 14 CFR part(s) concerning the operation and maintenance of your aircraft...As an aircraft owner, you should be familiar with the provisions of 14 CFR Part 43, Maintenance, Preventative Maintenance, Rebuilding, and Alteration, and 14 CFR Part 91, General Operating and Flight Rules.”

14 CFR FAR Part 91 allows its followers to get away with a lot in maintenance...okay that sounds bad and this article is not meant to cause discomfort to its readers, therefore let me illustrate what I am trying to say by looking at the maintenance responsibilities of an owner who allows his aircraft to flown under 14 CFR FAR Part 135 instead of 91:

• All Airworthiness Directives and Mandatory Service Bulletins must be complied with
• An Annual Avionics Check in addition to the Transponder, Altimeter and VOT checks required every 24 months and 30 days (VOT) respectivel
• The aircraft must be reweighed every 36 months

These three line items on first perusal appear fairly reasonable to most FAR Part 91 owners, until the Service Bulletins for your aircraft are pulled off the shelf and reread. Now you will find that every five or seven years and/or every 4,000 to 5,000 hours your propellers must be overhauled including the associated prop speed governors. Also the TBO of your engines become hard-time-line targets that cannot be crossed without OEM approval, worse for you yet, you will be mandated to overhaul base upon calendar time (10 to 12 years) as well as the hourly requirements.

So with this said, and hopefully it has not been too much of a shock for the readers who haven’t had an engine or propeller overhaul within the last 25 years, the primary reference that an Inspection Authorized FAA A&P Mechanic (I.A.) will use to get your Annual or 100 Hour Inspection started with is to check what compliances are required based upon the certification of your aircraft are specified in the FAA issued Type Certificate Data Sheet (TCDS) for the specific model of your aircraft, plus any modifications to this base ‘birth certificate’ document through a Supplemental Type Certificate. You can download the TCDS for your aircraft straight from the FAAs website by clicking the following web-hyperlink: https://rgl.faa.gov/Regulatory_and_Guidance_Library/rgMakeModel.nsf/MainFrame?OpenFrameSet

As an example let’s take a look at TCDS A7SO for a mid 1990’s Piper PA-34-220T Seneca IV (start at page 7 on the TCDS.) The basis of the certification of this aircraft was in accordance with FAR 23, amendment 6 and Parts: 23.207, 901, 909, 959, 1041, 1043, 1047, 1143, 1305(b)(c)(h)(p) and 1527; plus many, many more references. When you follow the aforementioned references by looking them up and following them into further referenced documents, you will learn in detail what the true limitations are for your aircraft. Unfortunately it is rather like a scavenger hunt because all of the requirements are interlaced with each other, with one reference quoting another. Certainly in the pre-internet days this type of research was gruelling; now though after a couple of hours reading the body of all quoted references you will build an excellent dossier on your aircraft.

Now back to the main premise of this article: ‘reducing your bill.’

Unfortunately there are few, if any deals in life. As Sir Isaac Newton stated in his third law of motion, (my words follow) ‘for every action there is an opposite and equal reaction’ thus applying this physical law to ourselves - one easily sees that if a good result is hoped for, then an amount of effort must be input to the situation to achieve a good outcome. Fortunately for any aircraft owner willing to roll his or her sleeves up and get a little grimy, during the performance of the next 100 Hour and Annual Inspection on your aircraft, then this is possibly a time when you get to meet one of those very rare: ‘few deals in life.’

Apart from following the 31 items list of allowable maintenance functions that can be performed by the owner of a non-experimental or sport pilot category aircraft (read a previous article that I wrote for Globalair.com here on this topic: https://blog.globalair.com/post/Owner-Performed-Aircraft-Maintenance.aspx you are legally able to perform almost anything else on your aircraft as long as you are able to comply with 14 cfr FAR 43.3 which reads as follows: “Persons authorized to perform maintenance, preventive maintenance, rebuilding, and alterations....

...(d) A person working under the supervision of a holder of a mechanic or repairman certificate may perform the maintenance, preventive maintenance, and alterations that his supervisor is authorized to perform, if the supervisor personally observes the work being done to the extent necessary to ensure that it is being done properly and if the supervisor is readily available, in person, for consultation. However, this paragraph does not authorize the performance of any inspection required by Part 91 or Part 125 of this chapter or any inspection performed after a major repair or alteration.”

So how does this translate into a money savings for you after your Annual or 100 Hour inspection has been signed off?

Shop around for a knowledgeable, good natured and willing I.A. who won’t mind supervising you in the teardown and re-put-together of your aircraft before and after the inspection, as well as showing you how to do simple minor repairs yourself that he/she is willing to inspect and approve after these tasks have been completed under his/her tutelage and supervision.

Average labour rates per man-hour is $100+, so why not save yourself several hundred dollars by ‘owner assisting’ on your next major maintenance event so you can ‘reduce the final bill’ as well as reaching and exceeding the knowledge that you are required to have regarding the maintenance of your aircraft as specified by the FARs?

Can You Justify Your Business Aircraft?

Most of us in our workday make use of technologies like cell phones and computers. Yes, sometimes we use those devices for personal tasks, but it is rare that you have to justify their expenses. Not so with the business airplane. The aircraft is a relatively large “target” used by few in the company. Any non-business use can easily be amplified and the user, vilified. Unless you own both the company and the aircraft (how sweet), someone will always be looking at the business aircraft as a perk, not as a tool.

Can you justify your aircraft?

A rational, well thought out aircraft justification is a necessity. It should be clear to everyone in your company that the business aircraft is an essential business tool. Even if you do won the company! You should be able to say, "Yes, our aircraft is an essential business tool without which our company would be a competitive disadvantage in today's rapidly changing economic environment." And prove it, too.

There are many tangible benefits to having an aircraft. Which of these apply to your use of the aircraft?

Reduced Travel Time
Flexibility and Reliability of Operations
Productivity while traveling
Ability to support your customers in an effective manner
Ability to attract and retain key personnel

Do you have a document outlining why you need an aircraft and why you chose the aircraft that you have? The justification outlining the reasons for your aircraft's (and your job's) existence doesn't need to be a 300-page dissertation. In fact, a paragraph or two signed by the CEO is much more powerful!

Do you maintain documentation as to the effectiveness of your aircraft in the accomplishment of the company's business objectives? Reduced travel time, reduced wear and tear, increased efficiency? Document it. Every time the aircraft has made a positive impact, you need to document it. So when the current chairperson retires or moves on, you can brief the incoming chair with solid facts.

You also need to document and manage your operating costs. Are you operating as cost-effective as you can? Do you understand the nature and behavior of your costs? Do you have sufficient details in your costs to enable you to manage them?

If the mission of your company aircraft doesn't fit in with the overall focus of the company, then you may have a problem. If your aircraft supports the corporate mission, then life is good. Ask the questions and find out the answers.

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