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View Full Version : Liability when not the PIC


encore
12-10-2014, 12:04 PM
Say you're an ATP with thousands upon thousands of hours and plenty of ratings but have no recent experience in general aviation aircraft and no experience in the type of general aviation aircraft you're flying.

You go up flying with a 100hr private pilot (or even 300hr CFI) friend who is current and qualified in the airplane you're flying and is the PIC for the flight. Is there any situation in which you could be successfully violated or found liable, should something occur on the flight.

Such as the FAA violating you, saying you should've been able to prevent a runway incursion that happened.... or someone suing you saying you should've stopped them from revving the engine on the ramp and throwing a rock through their BMW's window.

I'd love to go up flying with some friends, purely as a passenger, but am not willing to risk my certificate over it.


PerfInit
12-10-2014, 03:04 PM
I like your thinking. If you search past enforcement cases, it has happened where the higher experienced, cetificated airman was violated, even though they was not acting as the "PIC" by whatever verbal agreement was made between the parties.

Definitely have Aviation Renter's insurance, AOPA Legal Plan, and an "umbrella policy" on top of your personal homeowner's insurance is not a bad idea either.

You could look into professional liability insurance if "freelance instructing" and/or setting up an LLC for your pilot services. Seeking good legal advice from an experienced aviation attorney like "Yoda2" is also advised.

awax
12-10-2014, 03:24 PM
Say you're an ATP with thousands upon thousands of hours and plenty of ratings but have no recent experience in general aviation aircraft and no experience in the type of general aviation aircraft you're flying.


Based on lapsed currency required by FAR 61.57 (which is implied in your scenario), the ATP rated pilot would not be legal to act as PIC.

An FAA administrative law judge could possibly claim gross negligence or willful misconduct based on the ATP rated pilot's experience, however there's nothing in the FARs placing responsibility for that flight on the more experienced pilot.


TOGA9
12-19-2014, 05:45 AM
There is history of the FAA going after the highest certificate in the airplane, even if not a required crewmember or PIC. Always depends on the situation, but I could see it happening.


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