Charging for Avionics Training

Can a PVT/INST pilot charge for avionics training in an aircraft? No logbook endorsement would be made.

What I am looking to do is train other pilots in the proper use of their avionics.  I don't have a Commercial or CFI rating.

I know I can do this for free, but am I allowed to charge for this service?  Is there anything I need to be aware of? 

I would not be PIC, but may become SafetyPilot.

5 Replies
1669 Posts

@Lee Rosenbaum
Giving people training on the operation of their avionics in flight sounds uncomfortably close to giving flight training, whether you're getting paid or not.  You'd have to be very careful to get agreement from the trainee that this is NOT “flight training” per the FAA.  An attorney might even suggest getting that in writing to avoid a potential “he said/you said” before the FSDO if it ever came to that (Mark might comment on that). And make sure there's nothing in their pilot logbook (or yours)suggesting that there was flight training given or received.

However, acting as safety pilot while being paid (even if you agree that you're only getting paid for teaching him avionics, not for providing pilot services or flight training) leaves me hearing that duck quacking a trifle too loudly for my personal comfort without  a Commercial Pilot certificate in your pocket.

All things considered, my recommendation is to go get your Commercial Pilot and Flight instructor certificates if you really want to do this.


@Ronald Levy
Ron:  Agree, now that I think about it. I can't be paid while being a Safety Pilot even if the payment is for the Avionics instruction. And even if I don't log the Safety Pilot time.  Too risky.


@Lee Rosenbaum
Pretty much anything you get paid for while flying requires a Commercial or ATP certificate. The exception is when you are sharing the cost of a flight as a Private Pilot with your passengers. There are some tricky criteria for doing that, too (i.e., direct flight costs, common purpose, not holding-out publicly, etc.) You have to be a CFI to provide any kind of flight training. Skating the edges of the FARs by weasel-wording what you are doing isn't worth the risk to your certificate.


Even if you get all the agreements between you and the trainee as recommended, I would suggest the best training comes from a ground based flight simulator, assuming you have access to one. If not, hook up the aircraft to a ground power unit and train on the ground in the cockpit. 


@Prometheus At AOPA
Thanks for all the comments.

What I was trying to do is help people learn their advanced avionics like G1000, IFD550 or Dynon Skyview….

Many people either buy a plane or have a panel upgrade and don't know how to fully use their equipment.

Some have iPad simulators, but many do not.