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The latest news and information on private aircraft ownership and operations

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Federal Excise Tax Changes For Charter

Effective January 19, 2021, new tax regulations clarify how the charter industry should address the Commercial Aviation Federal Excise Tax (“FET”) with managed aircraft. The new regulations will give the charter industry a new sales tool:  charter flights for owners in their own aircraft will not be subject to FET. 

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Will 2021 Change the Business Aviation Tax Code?

“No bucks, no Buck Rogers.”  This quote from The Right Stuff neatly sums up the interrelationship between business aviation and the tax code.  Many years ago, Bob Dole was a Senator from the airplane-building State of Kansas.  Senator Dole was a commanding presence in the Senate, particularly when it came

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Tail-End Ferry Fatigue – Get-Home-Itis Isn’t the Only Factor

In September, the NTSB published a Final Report with a very simple determination of probable cause: “The pilot’s loss of helicopter control as a result of fatigue during cruise flight at night.” The flight was a “tail-end ferry flight.” Unlike FAR Part 121 operations, charter operators under FAR Part 135

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Sharing Aircraft Under Part 91

When Does “Sharing” Become Illegal Charter? The FAA Reauthorization Act of 2018 contains a section entitled “Report on Illegal Charter Flights.” The law includes several requirements to identify and combat illegal charter flights. The FAA has been revising inspector guidelines. They even sent a letter to every pilot on record

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Base Inspections for Part 91 Flight Departments

The FAA is Coming For years the FAA’s lack of budget dictated cut backs on “non-essential travel” to places like: airports. Budget cutbacks also resulted in Flight Standards Offices (formerly known as FSDOs, or GADOs if you are older) migrating from convenient airport office buildings to cheaper office parks that are

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NTSB Accident Investigations

The NTSB Investigates, It Doesn’t Enforce The National Transportation Safety Board is unique within the massive federal organization chart. One might expect to find it next to the FAA among the “subsidiaries” of the Department of Transportation. The NTSB was originally established in 1967, but in 1974, Congress reestablished the

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Back into the Fireswamp

Rewriting FAR Part 135 Rest & Duty In one of my favorite movie scenes, a swashbuckling pirate is about to lead the beautiful princess into a dark morass of vegetation. The princess stops short and says, “We can’t go in there! It’s the Fireswamp! We will never come out alive!”

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Bad Behavior in the Back

If You See Something, Say Something(?) TSA signs at the airport decree If You See Something, Say Something! But once you take your seat in the cockpit, the Non-Disclosure Agreement (“NDA”) that you signed when you were hired decrees that what happens in the cabin, stays in the cabin. There

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Contract Pilots

Taking the Long View on Short Term Solutions Contract Pilots Taking the Long View on Short Term Solutions With more business aircraft pilots joining the scheduled carriers, the importance and appeal of temporary contract pilots is gaining attention. What are the operational, insurance and legal considerations for these pilots and

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