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Thread: FAA Court Ruling on Instruction, etc

  1. #1
    Farmboy's Avatar
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    FAA Court Ruling on Instruction, etc

    https://www.flyingmag.com/story/trai...n7nJXOhiZyt2XM


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    Not identified in the article, but hinted at, is tat a lot of Flight Instructors now operate under Basic Med. Based on this ruling, an instructor providing flight instruction for hire would now need a second class medical in addition to all the Commercial Operator Part 135 crap. Sure hope all the alphabet groups jump in on this one, the ruling needs to be appealed to the next higher court.

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    skywagon8a's Avatar
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    The author Gretta Thorwarth appears to be mixing apples and oranges. In order for a pilot to fly as pilot in command of a large warbird, in this case a P-40 he must be authorized with a Letter of Authorization (LOA). A flight instructor has never been required to posses a medical certificate or an advanced pilot certificate unless his student is not rated in the category, class or type of aircraft in which he is receiving the instruction. Since the student was receiving dual for the purpose of checking out in the P-40 the instructor must have the credentials to act as pilot in command.

    Now if that student already had his LOA and was only receiving further instruction, the instructor would not need a medical. This has always been so.

    The question here seems to be: Why did the FAA classify the particular flight as something other than flight instruction? Perhaps the "student" wasn't really a student and was just paying for a ride in the P-40? If so, I don't see why the court's decision would effect the actions of CFIs across the industry?
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    Quote Originally Posted by skywagon8a View Post
    The author Gretta Thorwarth appears to be mixing apples and oranges. In order for a pilot to fly as pilot in command of a large warbird, in this case a P-40 he must be authorized with a Letter of Authorization (LOA). A flight instructor has never been required to posses a medical certificate or an advanced pilot certificate unless his student is not rated in the category, class or type of aircraft in which he is receiving the instruction. Since the student was receiving dual for the purpose of checking out in the P-40 the instructor must have the credentials to act as pilot in command.

    Now if that student already had his LOA and was only receiving further instruction, the instructor would not need a medical. This has always been so.

    The question here seems to be: Why did the FAA classify the particular flight as something other than flight instruction? Perhaps the "student" wasn't really a student and was just paying for a ride in the P-40? If so, I don't see why the court's decision would effect the actions of CFIs across the industry?
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    Farmboy's Avatar
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    Pete, I think the issue with the particular outfit has been long standing.
    But the fear is that the precedent set by stating that “flight instruction is the same as carriage of persons for hire” or something to that effect immediately makes most current flight schools illegal, would it not?

    Carrier for hire is part 135?


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    Farmboy's Avatar
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    Actually I think the key is the word “limited”.

    “No person may operate a limited category civil aircraft carrying persons or property for compensation or hire.”

    However, flight instruction is not, and never has been until now, considered the “carriage of persons…for compensation or hire.” The order and ensuing case in Warbird Adventures centered around whether the flight school was required to obtain an exemption from 91.315 in order to provide instruction in the P-40 for “compensation or hire.” The only reason an exemption to 91.315 would be necessary to provide compensated flight instruction would be if paid flight instruction was considered the “carriage of persons.” And until now, the answer to that question has been a definitive “no.”


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    All they need to do is re-define a few terms, like the "carriage" at issue. The court, finding no definition other than the words, had no choice but to interpret them as their ordinary meaning. FAA could make short work of that if they want to.

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    Yawn. Add it to the pile of rules they can hang a pilot on anytime they want.
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  9. #9
    RaisedByWolves's Avatar
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    Can't you make a donation of substantial amount and get a free airplane ride?

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    Quote Originally Posted by RaisedByWolves View Post
    Can't you make a donation of substantial amount and get a free airplane ride?
    LOL. That sounds pretty dicey.

    On the original question, this 2017 letter of interpretation seems pretty clear:

    "In general, when a flight involves the carriage of persons or property for compensation or hire, the operator must hold a part 119 air carrier or commercial operator certificate and operate such flights under part 121 or 135 rules. However, § 119.l(e) excepts from the certification requirements of part 119 several categories of operations that involve the use of an aircraft for compensation or hire, such as student instruction, training flights and nonstop commercial air tours, provided certain conditions are met...."


    https://www.faa.gov/about/office_org...rpretation.pdf

    I suspect the whole issue relates to the status of the warbird more than anything else. I can't believe that the folks appearing in the court proceedings were not aware of the general FAA policy stated above.
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  11. #11

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    Warbird operators have been skirting the rules for years, using "flight instruction" as a way to sell rides. The "Living History Flight Experiences" ride exemption from the FAA was very exclusive in that once the big players had their certificates the FAA placed a moratorium on issuing new certificates.

    They have been after this particular operator for some time and apparently this is the only way they could shut him down.

    91.146 covers "Passenger-carrying flights for the benefit of a charitable, nonprofit, or community event." They key here is it requires a standard airworthiness certificate, which in the warbird world is very limited.

    I agree that the language they use can have serious ramifications in the flight instructor world but that is not their intention and it will probably get revised.

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