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A site devoted to aviation law, safety and security.

July 07, 2015

What Not To Do When You Register an Aircraft Owned by an LLC

These days more and more people are using LLC's to own aircraft. Liability, organizational and tax benefits all make this entity an attractive option for aircraft ownership. However, when you register an aircraft owned by an LLC with the FAA, you need to make sure you give the FAA what it needs. For more information on some of these requirements, please read my latest article on the topic: Keeping the FAA Happy When Registering an Aircraft Owned by an LLC.

Posted by Greg

June 02, 2015

May A Pilot Continue to Act as Pilot in Command Despite a Lapse in § 61.58 Currency?

If you fly an aircraft that is type certificated for more than one required pilot flight crewmember or is turbojet-powered, you know that 14 C.F.R. § 61.58(a) requires that you have regular proficiency checks. Specifically, within the preceding 12 calendar months you need to have completed a proficiency check in an aircraft that is type certificated for more than one required pilot flight crewmember or is turbojet-powered, and within the preceding 24 calendar months you must have completed a proficiency check in the particular type of aircraft in which you will serve as PIC that is type certificated for more than one required pilot flight crewmember or is turbojet-powered.

So, when do you actually need to complete each proficiency check? Well, if you complete the proficiency check in the calendar month before or the calendar month after the month it is due, Section 61.58(i) states that "the pilot is considered to have taken it in the month in which it was due for the purpose of computing when the next pilot-in-command proficiency check is due." This means you have a "grace month" within which to complete the 12- and 24-month proficiency check requirements. But, are you permitted to continue to act as a PIC in an aircraft that is type certificated for more than one required pilot flight crewmember or is turbojet-powered during the grace month after the proficiency check has lapsed?

The answer is "Yes." According to the FAA in a recent Legal Interpretation, a pilot may continue to act as pilot in command of an aircraft that is type certificated for more than one required pilot flight crewmember or is turbojet-powered during the month after a Section 61.58 proficiency check is due. But keep in mind that when a pilot completes a Section 61.58 proficiency check during the grace month (either before or after the proficiency check is due) he or she is considered to have completed the proficiency check during the month it was due for the purpose of calculating the due date for the next Section 61.58 proficiency check.

Also, pilots and operators shouldn't use the grace month as a way to regularly extend a 12-month proficiency check to a 13-month proficiency check. However, this interpretation is certainly helpful to those pilots who are unable to complete their recurrent training/proficiency check requirements in the month in which they are due.



Posted by Greg

April 20, 2015

When Are Fees "Incurred" Under EAJA?

If the FAA pursues an enforcement or civil penalty action against you and then loses, the the Equal Access to Justice Act (“EAJA”) allows you to seek reimbursement from the FAA for your attorney’s fees and expenses if certain conditions are met. One of those conditions is that the fees must be "incurred." What does that mean? For the answer to this question and a discussion of EAJA in general, please read my latest article on the topic: Equal Access to Justice Act: When Are Fees "Incurred"?

Posted by Greg

March 06, 2015

DOT Revises First Half 2015 SIFL Rates

The U.S. Department of Transportation has revised the Standard Industry Fare Level (SIFL) rates for the six-month period from January 1, 2015 to June 30, 2015. These rates are needed in order to apply the IRS's aircraft valuation formula to compute the value of non-business transportation aboard employer-provided aircraft and impute the income of the employee as required by the Internal Revenue Service Rules Section 1.61-21(g). The SIFL rates for the six-month period from January 1, 2015 through June 30, 2015, are: 0500 miles $0.2490; 501-1,500 miles $0.1898; over 1,500 miles $0.1825; and Terminal Charge of $45.52.

If you are an employer and an employee or a non-employee guest or family member is flown on your aircraft, the flight is potentially taxable to the individual receiving the ride. The aircraft valuation formula applies on a per-flight, per-person basis and will be calculated using the distance in statute miles from where the individual boards the aircraft to where the individual deplanes.

Posted by Greg

January 06, 2015

Safety Pilot Questions Answered

If you are looking to build time, or if you are simply looking for an excuse to fly more and maybe share some of the expense, one way to do that is to act as a safety pilot for another pilot in simulated instrument conditions. But with the benefits of that arrangement come certain responsibilities and limitations. Unfortunately, the regulations don't necessarily provide a clear explanation of those responsibilities and limitations. As a result, I am frequently asked questions regarding safety pilot operations. I have compiled a number of those questions and the corresponding answers in a new article: Safety Pilot Questions Answered. I hope the article clears up some of the confusion. If it doesn't, feel free to send me a message and I'll be happy to try and explain further.

Posted by Greg

December 02, 2014

Should You Buy Replacement Aircraft Identification Plates on the Internet?

These days, when I want to buy something, aviation related or otherwise, usually the first place I look is the internet. It is amazing what you can find and buy from the convenience of your computer. However, what happens is you need a replacement identification plate for your aircraft or one of its components? Is the internet a good bet? Probably not. But for a more detailed explanation of why it might not be the best bet, please read my latest article on the topic: Should You Buy Replacement Aircraft Identification Plates on the Internet?

Posted by Greg

October 02, 2014

Do You Know What "Pilot Performance" and "Professional Competence" Mean Under PRIA?

If you are an employer who receives Pilot Records Improvement Act ("PRIA") requests, you know that it can sometimes be hard to determine exactly which records do and do not need to be disclosed. If you are pilot, not only do you want to make sure that the proper records are disclosed, but you also want to be sure records that may adversely impact your chances of getting hired by the requesting employer are not disclosed if it is not required. This situation was recently addressed in a legal interpretation issued by the FAA's Office of the Chief Counsel. For a discussion of this interpretation, please read my latest article: When Does an Individual's Employment Record Relate to "Pilot Performance" or "Professional Competence" Under PRIA?.

Posted by Greg

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