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Thread: Can you instruct in an Experimental (homebuilt) aircraft?

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    Can you instruct in an Experimental (homebuilt) aircraft?

    I was wondering if it's legal to instruct in a homebuilt, or if it has to be done in a factory-built airplane.

    I'll be starting my Sport Pilot license in a couple months (after my wife finishes her higher education), and also starting a homebuilt project in the garage.

    The thought of getting certified as a CFI and doing some instructing after I get the required experience occurred to me, leading to this question.

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    Moderator Topaz's Avatar
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    Re: Can you instruct in an Experimental (homebuilt) aircraft?

    Experimentals can't be used for compensation or hire, so it's legal to RECEIVE instruction in your homebuilt (you're paying the instructor for a service that happens to take place in your airplane), but not legal for you to instruct OTHER people in your homebuilt (they're paying you for an service that takes place in your airplane).

    So there's nothing preventing you from instructing other people in their own homebuilts, but you can't teach them in yours.
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    Re: Can you instruct in an Experimental (homebuilt) aircraft?

    Thanx.

    Hmmm...

    So, if I want to instruct Light Sport eventually, I'd have to find something like a T-Craft or Vagabond. I can't throw down $100K for a new ship.

    Just a thought.... (Thinking is one of the few activities I can afford at the moment)

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    Re: Can you instruct in an Experimental (homebuilt) aircraft?

    Actually, you are allowed to instruct in ELSA's till 2010 (per Charlie Becker, EAA). Here is the post from the Dragonflylist.


    Bob,

    In the January 2006 issue of EAA's Sport Pilot Magazine, Charlie Becker
    wrote a very enlightening article on the difference between Experimental
    Amateur-Built (EAB) and Experimental, Light Sport Aircraft (ELSA).

    Although the article answered many questions, it left a few unanswered for
    me.

    So I wrote a letter to the editor (Mary Jones) and asked for Charlie's
    e-mail address (Charlie is EAA staff) and asked the following question as a
    part of a much larger e-mail:

    "After reading your article, I'm now leaning heavily toward registering the
    plane E-LSA and trading the night/IFR capabilities (and accepting the other
    related restrictions of an E-LSA) for the ability to teach in the plane, and
    possibly lease the plane to the local FBO.

    So here are my main questions:

    1) Once I complete my CFI, and once the plane is registered E-LSA, can I
    simply hang my shingle as a SP-CFI and start training people in the plane,
    or does all the training and a/c rental (legally) need to go through an
    established flight school?"

    Charlie answered back with:

    "1. Yes, assuming you receive the appropriate operating limitation language
    that allows instruction, you can rent the plane to your students and
    instruct as a CFI-SP. NOTE that this does not allow a straight leaseback
    situation. You are allowed to rent the aircraft to "conduct flight
    training" 14 CFR 93.319(e)(2)"

    I hope this helps.
    ??????????

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    Moderator Dana's Avatar
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    Re: Can you instruct in an Experimental (homebuilt) aircraft?

    Quote Originally Posted by Brohawk View Post
    Thanx.

    So, if I want to instruct Light Sport eventually, I'd have to find something like a T-Craft or Vagabond. I can't throw down $100K for a new ship.
    Just because the magazines are all filled with slick $100K glass LSA's doesn't mean that's all there is. Quicksilvers and similar can still be had brand new for under $20K, 'bout the same as a well used T-Craft or similar. Which is better for you depends on which end of the LSA spectrum you gravitate towards.

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    Re: Can you instruct in an Experimental (homebuilt) aircraft?

    Quote Originally Posted by Topaz View Post
    Experimentals can't be used for compensation or hire, so it's legal to RECEIVE instruction in your homebuilt (you're paying the instructor for a service that happens to take place in your airplane), but not legal for you to instruct OTHER people in your homebuilt (they're paying you for an service that takes place in your airplane).

    So there's nothing preventing you from instructing other people in their own homebuilts, but you can't teach them in yours.
    Or he could do it for free.

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    Re: Can you instruct in an Experimental (homebuilt) aircraft?

    Does the "compensation or hire" rule still allow someone to pay for your gas? Seems kind of absurd if not.

    But then again, if you can take money for gas, can you include amortization of the maintainance costs... etc. I don't know where the limit would be.

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    Moderator Topaz's Avatar
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    Re: Can you instruct in an Experimental (homebuilt) aircraft?

    They can pay their pro-rata share of the fuel, etc.

    That is, if there are two of you, the owner must pay no less than half of the fuel and other direct costs associated with that particular flight. If there are four of you, the pilot can pay no less than one-fourth of the direct costs of the flight, etc.
    Last edited by Topaz; October 18th, 2007 at 03:08 AM.
    "If you have built castles in the air, your work need not be lost; that is where they should be. Now put the foundations under them." - Henry David Thoreau

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    Re: Can you instruct in an Experimental (homebuilt) aircraft?

    Quote Originally Posted by Topaz View Post
    They can pay their pro-rata share of the fuel, etc.

    That is, if there are two of you, the owner must pay no less than half of the fuel and other direct costs associated with that particular flight. If there are four of you, the pilot can pay no less than one-fourth of the direct costs of the flight, etc.
    Actually that is a pilot regulation, regarding sharing of expenses by pilots. It does not automatically transfer to experimental operating limitations. The FAA has stated that ANY money received from a passenger for any reason is considered "compensation", so to be strictly legal you could not accept fuel money from your passenger when flying your experimental aircraft.

    Joe

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    Re: Can you instruct in an Experimental (homebuilt) aircraft?

    According to FAR 91.319(h) "The FAA may issue deviation authority providing relief from the provisions of paragraph (a) of this sectionfor the purpose of flight training. The FAA will issue this deviation authority as a letter of deviation authority."

    Paragraph (a) is the one that reads "No person may operate an aircraft that has an experimental certificate - carrying persons or property for compensation or hire."

    So... it seems with a letter from the Feds...yes indeed you can...

    Of course this means dealing with The Beast (ie FedGov...) eeeeek!

    In Liberty,

    Dave
    "When the Government fears the People there is Liberty, When the People fear the Government, there is Tyrrany." Thomas Jefferson

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    Moderator Topaz's Avatar
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    Re: Can you instruct in an Experimental (homebuilt) aircraft?

    Quote Originally Posted by jnorris View Post
    ...FAA has stated that ANY money received from a passenger for any reason is considered "compensation", so to be strictly legal you could not accept fuel money from your passenger when flying your experimental aircraft....
    Hi Joe,

    Was that a policy interpretation from a particular FSDO, or is that in the regs somewhere? Every interpretation (including the EAA) I've seen says that people can pay their pro-rata share of direct expenses in experimentals.
    "If you have built castles in the air, your work need not be lost; that is where they should be. Now put the foundations under them." - Henry David Thoreau

    Design Project: Conceptual Design of an "Inexpensive" Single-Seat Motorglider
    Discussion Thread for the Project: Discussion: Conceptual Design of an "Inexpensive" Single-Seat Motorglider

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    Registered User jnorris's Avatar
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    Re: Can you instruct in an Experimental (homebuilt) aircraft?

    Quote Originally Posted by Topaz View Post
    Hi Joe,

    Was that a policy interpretation from a particular FSDO, or is that in the regs somewhere? Every interpretation (including the EAA) I've seen says that people can pay their pro-rata share of direct expenses in experimentals.
    That came from an FAA employee in the Flight Standards division at FAA HQ in Washington DC. I am only reporting what I heard. However, I have no evidence that any FAA office has ever taken action against anyone who has shared expenses in an experimental aircraft. I suspect that people do it all the time. But a strict reading of the operating limitations would seem to indicate that taking money from a passenger for any reason could easily be interpreted as "carrying a person for compensation", which is the point that the FAA person I was listening to was making.

    For what it's worth....

    Joe

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