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The latest news and information on private aircraft ownership and operations

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Declaring an Emergency – Maydays Should be Free

I compete in Formula One air racing, so one week out of each year, CFR means “Crash, Fire, Rescue” instead of “Code of Federal Regulations.”  Each year at the air races in Reno, NV, the safety team repeats their mantra that “Maydays are Free!”  The safety folks remind us that

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Pilot Records Database

This is Going on Your Permanent Record The new Pilots Records Database (PRD) maintains employer and FAA records on your performance as a pilot for life. The PRD maintains your record until you reach 99 years old, or until the FAA receives a certified copy of a death certificate. How

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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-It 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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Self-Insurance

Do You Feel Lucky? Even before Covid-19, the aviation insurance had become painful for aircraft operators. Aircraft owners are seeing premium increases in the 20%-30% range on all renewals. Owners with recent claims are experiencing even higher premium increases. Why? The aviation insurance market ended an unusually long “soft” market.

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