expense share

Would like to share expenses for cross country. Interest South Eastern states. (instrument rated but not current) 

15 Replies
Ronald Levy
1407 Posts

You might want to review the FAA's guidance on expense sharing and then rethink whether you want to publicly post an offer which doesn't appear to involve “common purpose.”

Thanks I will review common purpose intently and rewrite the ad in keeping with their examples. 

Ronald Levy
1407 Posts

Most importantly, specify the date you plan to travel and the destination to which you are going.

The “common purpose” thing is tricky. It has to be clear that you and your passengers share a common purpose. Something general like “interest in Southeastern states” isn't good enough. If you and your passenger want to do some Fall leaf color flying over the mountains near your home base, you share a “common purpose” since you both have the same destination in mind. The same logic holds true if you and your passengers want to fly to an airport and have lunch in a nearby restaurant. One key element is that the pilot selects the destination rather than the passengers and that the pilot would make the same flight without passengers. One thing that you don't want to do is to “hold out” or invite others in a public forum. That makes the flight “common carriage” and in-violation of Part 91 rules. This forum is public so posting here to invite others is not a good idea. Take a look at AC 61-142 that Ronald posted above to understand the rules better.

Andrew is spot on with these two concepts - One key element is that the pilot selects the destination rather than the passengers and that the pilot would make the same flight without passengers.

When members call and ask about this, the two litmus tests I discuss are:

  1. The first point is that the pilot must select the destination. When passengers select the destination, you have what I call a de facto charter flight as that is exactly what charters are - the passengers tell the company where they need to go. If the passengers bail out at the last minute and the pilot cancels the flight, there was no common purpose.
  2. The second point is that the pilot would still make the flight even if the passengers do bail out at the last minute. A pilot planning  a trip to the beach invites three buddies along. They all accept and agree to share in the expenses. The morning of the flight, all three buddies cancel and the pilot still flies to the beach. In other words, the flight was not dependent on the three others chipping in for fuel and expenses. There was common purpose for this flight.
Ronald Levy
1407 Posts

And the third litmus test is “holding out” – see paragraph 10 in the AC linked above.  The post at the top could easily be construed as "holding out".