Paid to fly with only a PPL?



I met a guy who flies a 182 busting speeders for the Ohio Highway Patrol this summer. We got to talking about how he got the job and what not. I asked him what certificates are needed in order to fly for them, I was assuming he'd say the regular PPL, IR, and commercial. Well he told me that all that was needed is the PPL, and that is all that he had.

Is that legal? He is flying an airplane and getting compensated to do so. I thought about it for awhile and could not figure out how they are able to pull it off legaly. Any ideas?

Yeah that does sound illegal and violates the 61.113.

Love the new avatar, Go Sioux! My buddy (#9) scored two goals last night, too bad I wasn't there too see it. Are you going tonight because I think I am.

Yea I'll be there tonight, was there last night too. We were in Sweeney's uncle's box last night, freakin great. Free food and plenty of free Miller Lights as well. We have seats right on the glass tonight so should be a good time. Maybe I'll see ya there.
Was he a trooper or just a regular civilian employee? If he was a trooper, perhaps someone judged it falls under 61.113.b.1 and the flying is just incidental to his being a trooper (in other words, he's being paid to be a cop, not to be a pilot). If he's just a civilian, it seems suspect to me, but I'm no lawyer.
Lucky Guy,

If I am thinking right, you are sitting in Sweeny's seats down by the glass on the goal line. I had those seats for one of the CC games last year when we scored twice in a couple mintues to send it to overtime. Those seats are so nice friggin' awesome.

You are right about the suites, really fun with all the free stuff you want, especially the beer. I am not sure if my roommate was up there or not last night with John, I know he was last week though. Maybe I'll swing down and talk to you at the game.

He is a trooper as well. Apprently before getting the job it is mandatory that the trooper have experience on the road first. I just looked at the reg to and it looks like that is how they are pulling it off. Thanks for the info.
Well, they are the LAW. So that probablly helps. Im sure that law enforcement officials can get some sort of a waiver to regs like those in part 61. Plus, if they are paying him as a "police officer" and not as a pilot, then the only compensation is free flight time. That in itself represents a gray area. But like I said, when you are the LAW, things are a little easier to get away with.
Yeah, it sounds like to me, if it matters, he is acting as a police officer, who just happens to be using his flying skills to assist him. He isn't being compensated to be a fly, he's being compensated to be a cop. It probably is gray, but like he says.. He's the LAWWWW..
Government ops (not just military) have some different operating allowances. The specifics to this case, I'd have to research.
Here's the link to the information on FAA's website, I hope it helps.


P.S. If this is too long just tell me and I'll edit it out.

§ 61.113 Private pilot privileges and limitations: Pilot in command.

(a) Except as provided in paragraphs (b) through (g) of this section, no person who holds a private pilot certificate may act as pilot in command of an aircraft that is carrying passengers or property for compensation or hire; nor may that person, for compensation or hire, act as pilot in command of an aircraft.

(b) A private pilot may, for compensation or hire, act as pilot in command of an aircraft in connection with any business or employment if:

(1) The flight is only incidental to that business or employment; and

(2) The aircraft does not carry passengers or property for compensation or hire.

(c) A private pilot may not pay less than the pro rata share of the operating expenses of a flight with passengers, provided the expenses involve only fuel, oil, airport expenditures, or rental fees.

(d) A private pilot may act as pilot in command of an aircraft used in a passenger-carrying airlift sponsored by a charitable organization described in paragraph (d)(7) of this section, and for which the passengers make a donation to the organization, when the following requirements are met:

(1) The sponsor of the airlift notifies the FAA Flight Standards District Office with jurisdiction over the area concerned at least 7 days before the event and furnishes --

(i) A signed letter from the sponsor that shows the name of the sponsor, the purpose of the charitable event, the date and time of the event, and the location of the event; and

(ii) A photocopy of each pilot in command's pilot certificate, medical certificate, and logbook entries that show the pilot is current in accordance with §§ 61.56 and 61.57 of this part and has logged at least 200 hours of flight time.

(2) The flight is conducted from a public airport that is adequate for the aircraft to be used, or from another airport that has been approved by the FAA for the operation.

(3) No aerobatic or formation flights are conducted.

(4) Each aircraft used for the charitable event holds a standard airworthiness certificate.

(5) Each aircraft used for the charitable event is airworthy and complies with the applicable requirements of subpart E of part 91 of this chapter.

(6) Each flight for the charitable event is made during day VFR conditions.

(7) The charitable organization is an organization identified as such by the U.S. Department of Treasury.

(e) A private pilot may be reimbursed for aircraft operating expenses that are directly related to search and location operations, provided the expenses involve only fuel, oil, airport expenditures, or rental fees, and the operation is sanctioned and under the direction and control of:

(1) A local, State, or Federal agency; or

(2) An organization that conducts search and location operations.

(f) A private pilot who is an aircraft salesman and who has at least 200 hours of logged flight time may demonstrate an aircraft in flight to a prospective buyer.

(g) A private pilot who meets the requirements of § 61.69 of this part may act as pilot in command of an aircraft towing a glider.
I believe the term is Public Use Aircraft. Like Mike D says the Gov't (local and Federal) get to operate under a different set of rules, for instance: A Military pilot does not need to have a pilots license to fly ( Military ). Plus when we fly in the Military we are not subject to any FAA actions. I can bust altitude by 6000 ft. ( not that I have ever done that ... honest! ) and the FAA can't even ask me my name. They can file a complaint with the appropriate Military folks and you may hear about it in a month or two, with your command makeing a recommendation to you. I saw a past commander get called on the carpet for an alledged violation once it went like this:
COL: Jim did you really do that?
CW5: Yea, stupid of me wasn't it.
COL: You know I have to answer Washington on this.
CW5: Yea, stupid of me wasn't it.
COL: Yea, stupid of you, don't do it again, consider yourself flogged.
Public Use was the term I was thinking about. Govt entities have some different stipulations they can operate under, depending on the operation.
Thanks for all the info guys. Geuss I won't be able to report the HP to the feds after all...DAMN!!

Bearcats!?! Alright I'm from Ohio and still have an undying hate for that "C". When it comes to college hoops though. GO DEVILS!!!
I just cheer for the Bearcats cause there the local team and I attend the University of Cincinnati so it's all kinda outa default.

I think that we suck at football but were definately better at basketball. But my real college basketball team is the University of Arizona Wildcats. I think they also suck at football.

My department is looking into getting an air unit within the next couple of years, so this arguement has been thrown around quite a bit. We fall under the military type government ops. But, most departments around the country require the pilots to have comm/inst in either fixed or rotary depending on what they fly. CHP requires you to be an Officer on the street for at least three years before putting in for a pilot position. However, you need at least 1500 hours with 1000 in turbine helicopters to even be considered. Needless to say, the job goes to alot of former military pilots/current reserve or guard. For Arizona DPS, they look for pilots first Comm/Inst/Multi and or Rotary Comm/Inst/ Turbine with a ton of time... Then they send them to the Police Academy and get them certified (about 4-5 months). Starting Salary for the pilots there is about 45K to start I believe.

I don't know about you guys, but as a City or State agency I would probably not want to turn the keys of a 2 million dollar helicopter to a private pilot with about 100 hours TT. We will probably find a helicopter pilot/Officer from another agency and have them start up our program
For Arizona DPS, they look for pilots first Comm/Inst/Multi and or Rotary Comm/Inst/ Turbine with a ton of time... Then they send them to the Police Academy and get them certified (about 4-5 months). Starting Salary for the pilots there is about 45K to start I believe.

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Problem with Arizona DPS is that, although Pilot is a separate paygrade from Officer with about 5 or so steps, the pilots top out at about a mere 53K/year. Pretty measley if you ask me. Also, addition to the hours DPS wants, they want it in mostly Bell 206/OH-58 typew time; perfect when there were many Vietnam helo types coming out into the industry, but not too feasible anymore.

Phoenix PD requires you to be a street cop first, then apply for their air program, and they do all their training in house. You could start with zero time.

Border Patrol requires about the same (street time), but wants you to have the quals too.

Only US Customs hires you as a pilot on the federal side, I believe.