Is this legal?

Murdoughnut

Well sized member
Here's one to pick your brains ...

My wife is an attorney and has a court appearance to make on the other side of Florida. She gets $500 from her client to reimburse her for expenses related to the trip.

She's asked me to fly her out there and back the day of her appearance. She said she would give me the portion of her travel reimbursement commensurate with what it costs me to fly her down there.

So if I take the $300 or so that it costs me, am I breaking the FARs for not having a CPL? Techincally I could not take the money, but then just have her pay my share of bills the next month to get around it.

Honestly I don't really care too much about the circumstances (I'm going to take the money anyways), but I thought it was an interesting case for discussion.

So discuss :)
 

upup89

Well-Known Member
You don't have a commercial so the most you are allowed to accept is a pro-rate share of the expenses. If (2 people go then you pay half. If four people go then you pay 1/4.) But it sounds like you've made your mind up anyway.
 

jtrain609

Uniting the black vote.
She's not going to pay you for anything.

Her company will not pay you for anything.

You will happen to want to go to lunch at the airport resturant where your wife needs to go. She's asking to tag along, and because you're a nice guy and enjoy getting laid every once in a while, you're going to give her a free ride. Free!

Her company happens to pay her $500 for travel expenses, that she now doesn't need to spend! Amazing!

Conversely, when all this happens you decide after the flight that you will be withholding sex until she shares part of her travel expenses, which had nothing to do with the flight, with you. Now it isn't about the flying, it's about a maritial problem.

There, we've just turned this from paying for a flight to paying for sex. One illegal activity to another :)
 

Firebird2XC

Well-Known Member
She's not going to pay you for anything.

Her company will not pay you for anything.

You will happen to want to go to lunch at the airport resturant where your wife needs to go. She's asking to tag along, and because you're a nice guy and enjoy getting laid every once in a while, you're going to give her a free ride. Free!

Her company happens to pay her $500 for travel expenses, that she now doesn't need to spend! Amazing!

Conversely, when all this happens you decide after the flight that you will be withholding sex until she shares part of her travel expenses, which had nothing to do with the flight, with you. Now it isn't about the flying, it's about a maritial problem.

There, we've just turned this from paying for a flight to paying for sex. One illegal activity to another :)

Now THAT made me laugh. Two points for the Train! :nana2::nana2::yup::yup:
 

loubetti

Pays to fly
This has been discussed a zillion times over at the AOPA forums, and the end result is:

It's legal.
 

Murdoughnut

Well sized member
She's not going to pay you for anything.

Her company will not pay you for anything.

You will happen to want to go to lunch at the airport resturant where your wife needs to go. She's asking to tag along, and because you're a nice guy and enjoy getting laid every once in a while, you're going to give her a free ride. Free!

Her company happens to pay her $500 for travel expenses, that she now doesn't need to spend! Amazing!

Conversely, when all this happens you decide after the flight that you will be withholding sex until she shares part of her travel expenses, which had nothing to do with the flight, with you. Now it isn't about the flying, it's about a maritial problem.

There, we've just turned this from paying for a flight to paying for sex. One illegal activity to another :)
Haha - nice! I like the way you think. :)
 

Murdoughnut

Well sized member
You don't have a commercial so the most you are allowed to accept is a pro-rate share of the expenses. If (2 people go then you pay half. If four people go then you pay 1/4.) But it sounds like you've made your mind up anyway.
Don't get me wrong - I'm not one to break the FARs, but this was a case where the money to pay for the trip would come out of my joint account with my wife. Even if someone told me it was in violation, there would be a legal way to work it out.
 

germb747

Well-Known Member
The simplest way I understood it was that it's perfectly fine as long as the transportation is incidental to the business transaction (and not part of the business transaction itself). In other words, it wouldn't make any difference to the client if your wife arrived via car, boat, airplane, or bicycle. No money is being made off providing air transportation, so it should be completely within the scope of a PPL's privileges.

What really kills me is people who somehow equate "free flight time" to "compentation". The FAA has actually won cases in federal court against PPL's because a they took that kind of "compensation" without paying for it. Rediculus, imo.
 

tonyw

Well-Known Member
I don't think it's illegal, but even if it was, how would they know?

If you've got a joint account and you pay the expenses to fly her across the state out of that joint account and she just happens to put the travel reimbursement in that joint account, how could they say it was payment for that?

You wrote the check out for the expenses from that account, sure.

But you also wrote the check out for the mortgage, the car payment, the insurance, etc out of there. So who's to say that the $500 she got for expenses wasn't used to pay that?
 

Maurus

The Great Gazoo
Well I can see how this seems illegal as the company is paying traveling expenses, not just a bonus check or something. Sure it goes to your wife, but technically the company is paying for the flight which is not legal for a private pilot.

Now if the company were to giev your wife money for something other than travel expenses it would work well.
 

fly6785

Well-Known Member
I don't see anything wrong with this BUT if it is illegal... your wife is a attorney right???:nana2:
 

upup89

Well-Known Member
Don't get me wrong - I'm not one to break the FARs, but this was a case where the money to pay for the trip would come out of my joint account with my wife. Even if someone told me it was in violation, there would be a legal way to work it out.
If I were in the same position then I would do the flight too. Gotta keep the wife happy. But is it legal. Not really. I thought the money was coming from her travel budget from her firm? Anyway I thought you were asking whether or not it was legal not a what would you do?
 

dpgtime

Well-Known Member
The FAR states that you must share the expenses....so have your wife pay half ($500), you pay half ($0)..Simple economics....So go take the flight and don't worry about the Feds Against Aviation (FAA).

This reminds me of a intellectual quote given by President Bush

"It's your money, you paid for it".

-George Walker Bush
 

USMCmech

Well-Known Member
But is it legal. Not really.
Actually it is.

Since the spouse would be traveling anyway, and reciving the 500$ travel pay regardless. There is no compensation for flying. This would also cover any pilot who wanted to fly themselves, the FAA terms this "incidental to their buisness"

Also since it is his spouse, there is no transfer of money. What's hers is his, she could tell him that she will pay him 499$ to fly, and it is irealevant since it's his money already.
 

LarryinTN

Well-Known Member
It's legal because it's your wife and she doesn't have to "pay" you anything for the flight. The expense check is deposited into your checking account and the airplane rental is paid out of your checking account. It's like if you were an unemployed student and your attorney wife's income was used to pay for your flight/flight training. You're a family. Once the money comes in it's no longer earmarked for a particularly purpose. As long as the transportation is incidental to the business, which it is, you're fine.

If this was someone outside your family then they'd have to give you the money to pay for the airplane rental and that would be illegal. It would also be illegal even if you had a CPL as you would be providing the airplane. If the passenger provided the airplane then they could hire you (with a CPL) to fly them in it but they can't come to you for the airplane and pilot services without the operation coming under part 135.
 

nosehair

Well-Known Member
It is technically illegal.

You cannot carry a person from A to B for any compensation without a "taxi license", or a 135 certificate, as well as a Commercial Pilot Certificate.

Even a private pilot must be already planning on going on a trip himself to be able to share expenses. He cannot carry a person from A to B for shared expenses unless he also has an intention to make the trip even if the pax does not go.

That is the black-and-white of it.

However, as Midlife says, The FAA is not after these personal family and friends type arrangements, and would not seek judgement on this case.

Unless....
 

Murdoughnut

Well sized member
I'll be back at FAA HQ in OKC on 9/2 - maybe I should knock on doors and ask :)

Of course that's after the flight - they may ask me for my ticket right then and there.
 
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