Photo by James Williams
vehicles, too. But, let’s get back to where we started: saving a few dollars grabbing that hamburger.
Commercial certicate is the cure, right? By now, you may be starting to wish you had a commercial pilot certicate like that dashing young aviator lurking behind the sunglasses with an eye
rmly focused on a seat at a major air carrier. Surely that god/goddess of the sky can really be paid to y for anything they do. Not so fast, ace! One of the facts that many new commercial pilots don’t quite understand is that even though they may have commercial pilot privileges and can be paid to carry passengers or property for compensation or hire, they can’t act as an air carrier or commercial operator without also obtaining an operating certicate. A commercial pilot certicate does not authorize a person to become a commercial operator. Just because you have a commercial pilot certificate doesn’t mean that you can be paid for all of the flying you do.
All of this sounds pretty limiting and, frankly, it is. Basically, when a member of the public provides compensation for your services in piloting an aircraft, the public has an expectation that both the pilot and the operator will meet a standard of competence and provide a level of safety higher than that provided by a private pilot operating solely under the general operating requirements of part 91. In most instances where compensation is provided, the FAA has determined that this level of safety can
FAA Safety Briefing
only be achieved when the operation is conducted by at least a commercial pilot ying under the provisions of an operating certicate.
All pilots need to understand the dierence between those operations that can be conducted under the general operating rules of part 91 and those that must be conducted under part 135. Generally, if you’re being compensated for providing a service to another person and have “operational control” of the aircraft in which that service is provided, you’re going to have to be issued a certicate to conduct that operation under part 135 (or part 121 or 125 if larger aircraft and even more complex operations are involved). So, be particularly careful if you’re both the pilot and provider of an aircraft to someone for compensation—and remember the FAA will look at the actual nature of the relationship and not just at any written agreements you may have.
Exceptions Are Limited
ere are some exceptions to the general rules
requiring the issuance of operating certicates for commercial operations. But again, these exceptions are limited and apply to activities such as ight instruction, certain types of sightseeing ights, and aerial work operations. You can nd these exceptions in section 119.1 of part 119, which contains the regulations governing operations for compensation or hire.
ose kinds of operations that require an
operating certicate under part 135 typically involve some form of common carriage (holding out to carry persons or property for compensation or hire), however, an operating certicate can also be required for operations involving private carriage (a “limited” holding out to carry persons or property for compensation or hire) and non-common carriage (no holding out involved but persons or property are carried for compensation or hire).
Hold the Line on Holding Out “Holding out” can be as complex as publishing a
ight schedule for a major airline or as simple as
posting a notice on an FBO bulletin board (or the Internet) telling everyone you’re the one who will
y them to that prime vacation resort and make
their dreams come true. Many FAA inspectors also like to y for pleasure, and they read those bulletin boards, too. ey might not be too happy with your advertisement for Old Bessie’s “charter service” when they nd out you don’t have a part 135 certicate, but at least they won’t take you to task for promising to make your prospective client’s dreams come true.