Should my company buy a plane?

deek

New Member
Just cause I'm currently working on my Ins. ticket and I work for a company of about 30 people spread over 5 offices around Texas, we spend a great amount of time hopping around on Southwest getting back and forth to meetings, sometimes its only one person going, but other times it's 2 or 3. Our company is doing great business right now, we're actually out looking for more employees cause we can't keep up with the work load. I'm wondering when would it be beneficial to get our own plane? I'm thinking something like a Cessna 402 or Piper Navajo. Something cheap, twin engine, able to hold 4-5 people easily and able to fly around Texas and could go anywhere with a few pit stops. Anyone with some insight would be most helpful. I'd like to bring it up since my boss now knows I'm taking flight lessons, and I had one employee ask me to fly him to a meeting already.
 

Michael95U

Well-Known Member
something cheap, twin engine, able to hold 4-5 people easily
Unfortunately, you aren't going to find anything that fits those parameters. Even a Navajo is going to have significant operating costs these days. I would look at either a Navajo-CR or 414 for this type of mission.

Michael
 

deadstick

Well-Known Member
Chieftain (sp?) is unpressurized and you can get a good gross wt increase with a VG STC (368 lbs comes to mind), but you are looking at 40-45 gph. The 414A is pressurized, with a little less burn (I think), but I don't think it has the same useful load.

Just how far (nm) are your destinations and have much baggage are the people carrying?
 

JEP

Malko In Charge
Staff member
Just cause I'm currently working on my Ins. ticket and I work for a company of about 30 people spread over 5 offices around Texas, we spend a great amount of time hopping around on Southwest getting back and forth to meetings, sometimes its only one person going, but other times it's 2 or 3. Our company is doing great business right now, we're actually out looking for more employees cause we can't keep up with the work load. I'm wondering when would it be beneficial to get our own plane? I'm thinking something like a Cessna 402 or Piper Navajo. Something cheap, twin engine, able to hold 4-5 people easily and able to fly around Texas and could go anywhere with a few pit stops. Anyone with some insight would be most helpful. I'd like to bring it up since my boss now knows I'm taking flight lessons, and I had one employee ask me to fly him to a meeting already.

And without your commerical ticket, your response was......? ;)

Sounds like a good position to be in if the opportunity arises.
 

ladder360

Well-Known Member
It might be hard to make the numbers work - especially since it's cheap to fly SWA around TX. I would think though, a good case for value might be made in the work-hours saved.
 

JEP

Malko In Charge
Staff member
Why would he need a commercial ticket?:confused:
a couple of things....first did you not see the ;)?

My comment was basically a play on the OP's words:

I'd like to bring it up since my boss now knows I'm taking flight lessons, and I had one employee ask me to fly him to a meeting already.
reading his comments above you could assume that he has his goals set on MAYBE flying the plane for the company......which at some point may require the commercial ticket....


anyhow....
 

Itchy

Well-Known Member
As long as the company owns the airplane, and he is flying for the company on company bizz, a private will work, will it not?
 

OldTownPilot

Well-Known Member
As long as the company owns the airplane, and he is flying for the company on company bizz, a private will work, will it not?
No.

If you owned the airplane and you flew (and was not paid more than expenses) then you can do it. And that is only if you are the one that has to be there.
 

deek

New Member
We'll my response was sure, but I could only charge you 50% of the costs.

I like the company a lot, but I would leave once I get all my ratings, but this would be a win win (minus still living in Texas). But the flying would be mostly around the state, and baggage would be mostly briefcases, maybe a few overnights, but rare. Actually you could leave early in the morning, which would mean less hotel stays the night before for early morning meetings.

Like today for instance, my boss from from Houston to Dallas for a 2 hour meeting. Probably spent 3 hours additional just driving to the airport and waiting through security. And then what if a meeting gets out early, you still have to wait around till your scheduled flight, but with your own plane, whisked back to the office ASAP.

I agree the costs would be more than SWA, but the benefits of no security, and coming and going whenever you want might actually lead to more productivity (isn't that what all corporate flight departments say).

It's just something rattling around my head, but would be fun to bring up to my boss once I get my commercial, you know, put together a nice power point slideshow with pie charts and graphs showing costs/benefit analysis and such (might have to wear a tie for that one).

PS. today is my birthday, so drinks are on me!
 

deadstick

Well-Known Member
No.

If you owned the airplane and you flew (and was not paid more than expenses) then you can do it. And that is only if you are the one that has to be there.
I'm not too sure about that first part. The company can own the plane and the employee can fly it (this is the second part of your statement).

I think the catch phrase is whether the flying is "incidental to the job." If the full-time engineer flies the plane with 2 other employees to a meeting, it's ok. In aircraft sales, the salesman flying a demo flight is not a commercial operation even if the aircraft is sold. It's all incidental to the business and the pilots are not being paid as pilots.
 

Itchy

Well-Known Member
^^^^Eggzackly.

There are MANY company owned aircraft being flown by company employees that are private pilots. You usually don't see heavier iron flown like this, but it does happen. I know of a kingair being flown by a private pilot. And a pilatus.
 

wrxpilot

New Member
Sounds like a good case for a navajo/chieftain. With the Boundary Layer Research STC, the max t/o weight is 7368 lb. This gives a useful load of around 2500 lb. With the inboards topped, you'll still have a payload of almost 1900 lb to carry and around 1.5 hrs range w/ reserves. If you have a fast Chieftain, it'll do around 180 kt TAS at 40 gal/hr at 7000 - 9000 ft msl. Top the outboards, and the range is pretty good (but you have to start watching the weight and CG).

Depending upon the people you have on board (hourly rate), you'll easily come up money ahead compared to the wasted time of airlines (particularly for short, intra-state missions). Plus the Chieftain is a very wx capable airplane and will operate out of pretty much any kind of airport.

Just make sure the pilot has the experience to match the plane - and - more importantly, the mission requirements. Flying on demand is much more difficult than typical PPL flying.
 

ppilot

New Member
No.

If you owned the airplane and you flew (and was not paid more than expenses) then you can do it. And that is only if you are the one that has to be there.
I disagree. I think that 61.113 (b) (1) says that he could.

(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.


And I second the Chieftain idea. It may be a little too much airplane for you at this point though.
 

deek

New Member
Thanks for the response peoples, I agree anything besides a warrior or 152 is beyond my abilities now, I'm just concentrating on my instrument flying at the moment, but in the future who knows, I still give this a 2% chance of happening, but it was something I was rolling around the noggin.

So let me get it straight, if I fly my boss to a meeting, wait till he's done and fly him back, I can only charge 50%? But if I'm required to be at the meeting as well as my boss, I can charge 100%?

Either way, I think once I get my instrument I'll at least ask my boss if it might be something he'll consider to do in the smaller planes.

But the Chieftain looked like a nice idea, looking for something comfortable, cheap to operate, with decent speed and enough range to get from one side of texas to the other, say 1000nm or so with 3+1 people.
 

typhoonpilot

Well-Known Member
NBAA used to have a kit that you could use to justify a corporate aircraft. I once put together a proposition for a compnay to get a King Air with the kit. It is fairly good and would help you think about all the costs and benefits. It gives you a professional manner in which to present the proposal.



Typhoonpilot
 

ppilot

New Member
So let me get it straight, if I fly my boss to a meeting, wait till he's done and fly him back, I can only charge 50%? But if I'm required to be at the meeting as well as my boss, I can charge 100%?
No. If the company owns the plane, and the plane is used for work-related business (no dropping the boss off at Denver for a vacation or anything) you could do it as a private pilot and be compensated. Whether the insurance company will allow it is another question.


But the Chieftain looked like a nice idea, looking for something comfortable, cheap to operate, with decent speed and enough range to get from one side of texas to the other, say 1000nm or so with 3+1 people.

That's a very long flight for a Chieftain. Just to rule of thumb it, it's a 3.5 hour, 650 mile airplane.
 

wrxpilot

New Member
That's a very long flight for a Chieftain. Just to rule of thumb it, it's a 3.5 hour, 650 mile airplane.
Agreed. Over that, and it's probably time to get something like a King Air. A nice C90 would be perfect for occasional 1000 nm trips combined with short hops.
 

Nihon_Ni

Well-Known Member
So let me get it straight, if I fly my boss to a meeting, wait till he's done and fly him back, I can only charge 50%? But if I'm required to be at the meeting as well as my boss, I can charge 100%?
No, in cases where you are splitting the cost you can never EVER pay less than your pro rata share of direct operating costs incidential to the flight, regardless of your certificate level. You're mixing sharing expenses (61.113(c)) with the provisions that allow you to fly for compensation as a private pilot (61.113(b)).

BTW, even if you had a commercial ticket, you still couldn't go out and rent an airplane and fly your boss to a meeting and have him pay for it. That's considered "holding out" and is not a commercial privilege. You could work for an air taxi service who has the operator's certificate required for that type of service.

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61.113
(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.
 
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