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Old 06-06-2014, 07:22 AM   #1  
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Default Is talking on the radio a violation?

If I were not qualified as a crewmember and in the right seat of a flight carrying passengers in a single pilot aircraft that was operating legally, would I be allowed to operate the radio given that the PIC is qualified to provide instruction?

Under his instruction would I be considered a student rather than an unqualified pilot performing crewmember duties?

Last edited by Michael9000; 06-06-2014 at 07:32 AM.
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Old 06-06-2014, 07:56 AM   #2  
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If it were agreed in advance that you would be getting dual, and logged it as such then I think it could be dual received, assuming the other guy was qualified to teach in the airplane and your status as under-instruction would not conflict with other regs...ie would a 135 OPSPEC allow that under the conditions?

Otherwise...you talking on the radio would help make the case that you were exercising the privileges of your pilot cert. I don't think there's any absolute regulatory requirement that you need a pilot cert to talk on the radio, or that talking on the radio makes you crew but it would certainly tip the scales in favor of crew status IMO.

Talk to a lawyer.
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Old 06-06-2014, 07:56 AM   #3  
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If it is a flight operated under 14 CFR Part 135, I'd say no. Reference 14 CFR 135.113, passenger occupancy of pilot seat and 135.115, manipulation of controls.
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Old 06-06-2014, 08:09 AM   #4  
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Michael,
You are hardly the first one to find yourself in this situation. Consequently there is existing case law and other legal opinion on this matter. The short story is that it will not likely work in your favor...
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Old 06-06-2014, 08:55 AM   #5  
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Assuming you could occupy the right seat as a passenger under 135.113 you would be considered a passenger. There is an existing interpretation under part 91 that a person receiving flight training is considered a crew member (this stemmed from an interpretation where flight instructors are exempt from the passenger carrying recency rules while engaged in flight training operations).
135.115 further complicates your issue and is open to FAA interpretation.

Although I can't find any references for it (may be an ops spec issue) I believe flight training may not be given during a 135 revenue flight.

Besides, the claims that you were only receiving training in radio communications probably won't pass the FAA smell test.
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Old 06-06-2014, 09:50 AM   #6  
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If it is a flight operated under 14 CFR Part 135, I'd say no. Reference 14 CFR 135.113, passenger occupancy of pilot seat and 135.115, manipulation of controls.
135.113 says that no operator can operate a flight outside of that specified limitation however, it does not imply that an occupant in the plane operating the radio constitutes a violation on behalf of that occupant.

Since the radio isn't a flight control, I don't think 135.115 is applicable, and even if it were, it states that no PIC can allow such an action which doesn't imply that the occupant is violating any rule.

I do see a grey area where it would appear that the occupant was not receiving flight instruction if the operator and PIC are forbidden to allow it however, that would open the door to imposing violations upon students where the instructor was operating outside his own requirements such as if the instructors certificate had expired or whose medical wasn't in order. It would then become a burden upon the student to validate the instructors credentials and currency status.
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Old 06-06-2014, 10:30 AM   #7  
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...Talk to a lawyer.
I did!!...He told me to ask you. :)
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Old 06-06-2014, 02:35 PM   #8  
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Originally Posted by Michael9000 View Post
I did!!...He told me to ask you. :)
Get a better lawyer
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Old 06-06-2014, 03:50 PM   #9  
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Since when does the FAA regulate radio usage. Not one FAR, or AIM mention, states the person talking on the radio or on aviation freqs needs to hold a student or above certificate.

I am open to being corrected, but....

** if so, a bunch of FBO chicks are in trouble for talking on 122.95
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Old 06-06-2014, 05:08 PM   #10  
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Here's the rub... To the layman it is typically about the letter of the law. The reality is that laws and rules are open to interpretation. It is also about the intent and spirit of the law or rule, Etc. This is where it gets tricky. With the radio for instance, you are correct in that the FAR's do not specifically address who may use the radio. However the FAA, via court cases, have determined that if radio communication's are required, that is also a required act of operating the aircraft.
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