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I am interested in knowing all regulations apply to about what an owner operator needs to do to legally rent their aircraft out for private/business usage or flight instruction.

  1. What inspections?
  2. Insurance requirements?
  3. Anything else?

I assume renting your aircraft out is under part 91.

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  • $\begingroup$ Before considering rental, it would be good to check with the airport to find out about their policy. Some airports require you to have an office at the airport. e.g. Commercial activities. No person shall establish or engage in any business or commercial activity on the airports unless that person has been assigned a fixed place of business on the airports and has obtained from the County either a written lease or a written permit to conduct such activity. $\endgroup$
    – JScarry
    Jan 18, 2017 at 22:52
  • $\begingroup$ @OP, why do you think there are insurance requirements for legal operation? $\endgroup$ Feb 2, 2023 at 14:41

3 Answers 3

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As Farhan noted, the rules are essentially the same as if you buy a plane to provide instruction in it.

Inspections and Maintenance

In addition to your required annual inspection you will also be required to complete a 100-hour inspection every 100-hours of operation.

Insurance

You will need a commercial insurance policy which allows you to rent the aircraft.
This policy covers the aircraft, so you will also need (or at least want) general liability insurance and all the other trimmings that come with operating a business.

Everything Else

This is a broad category. There's no way we can cover it all. You will however need to consider:

  • Maintaining an adequate stock of "service spares" to maintain the aircraft.
    Tires, light bulbs, oil, oil filters, 5606 hydraulic fluid, etc. - As an individual owner you may be OK with being down for a week waiting for parts, but as a rental operation that will lose you customers.

  • Having a relationship with a mechanic to do the maintenance
    Owner-Performed Preventive Maintenance goes out the window when the aircraft becomes a rental - you may still be able to assist your mechanic, but you can no longer do & sign-off on things like oil changes.

  • Vetting your renters
    Rental aircraft at an FBO/Flight School live a hard life. If you like your plane and want it to stay in good condition you'll need to vet your renters a bit more thoroughly than "You have a pilot's license and you went around the pattern without hitting anything" - Find the kind of pilots who will police their trash from the cabin, lean the mixture appropriately, etc.

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  • $\begingroup$ Would you elaborate on the change in requirements of "Mandatory Service Bulletins"? Maybe a reference. I assume we're talking FAA here and I do not see that requirement in Part 91. I do see it in Part 135 but flight instruction and/or business use typically doesn't require 135 adherence. $\endgroup$
    – Steve H
    Feb 7, 2015 at 14:38
  • $\begingroup$ @SteveH I thought it was required for Part 91 "for hire" ops (including renting the plane out) as well but I could very well be wrong - I'll double check the regs & update. $\endgroup$
    – voretaq7
    Feb 7, 2015 at 16:28
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    $\begingroup$ Thanks, as an inspector working for a repair station, I'm glad I wasn't missing something there. $\endgroup$
    – Steve H
    Feb 7, 2015 at 18:27
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    $\begingroup$ Owner-Performed Preventive can still be performed by the owner. Part 43 does not restrict you in any way from performing maintenance on aircraft that you rent out. From a liability perspective, you may want to consider whether the risk is worth it since anyone who has ever touched an airplane is often sued when there is an accident. $\endgroup$
    – JScarry
    Jan 18, 2017 at 22:34
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    $\begingroup$ 100-hour inspections are not required per §91.409 Inspections unless you provide instruction or instructors. If you rent out the plane and the renters arrange for the instructor, you do not need 100 hour inspections. $\endgroup$
    – JScarry
    Jan 18, 2017 at 22:35
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The top rated answer is incorrect. If the aircraft is to be rented out to licensed pilots (i.e. not for instruction, but rather straight rental, just like renting a car) then the 100 hour inspections are not required.

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    $\begingroup$ Can you provide a citation for this? $\endgroup$
    – fooot
    Jan 18, 2017 at 21:55
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    $\begingroup$ The top-rated answer can change over time, it would be good if you can link directly to the answer (use the "share" link at the bottom). And as @fooot said, a link to the regulation for this would be great. $\endgroup$
    – Pondlife
    Jan 18, 2017 at 22:05
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    $\begingroup$ §91.409 Inspections. Specifically states that you only need to have 100 hour inspections if you “operate an aircraft carrying any person (other than a crewmember) for hire, and no person may give flight instruction for hire in an aircraft which that person provides, ”. If you just rent out the aircraft and do not provide pilot services or instruction you do not have to get 100-hour inspections. $\endgroup$
    – JScarry
    Jan 18, 2017 at 22:30
  • $\begingroup$ It would seem like an awfully good idea to ensure the plane was inspected anyway to catch whatever the renters you thought were golden actually messed up. Cheap insurance, and maybe it could lead to actually cheaper insurance? $\endgroup$
    – Gus
    Sep 28, 2022 at 20:42
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The top answer is not correct. If you’re purely renting the aircraft out, it DOES NOT need a 100-hr inspection.

The 100-hour inspections are defined under FAR 91.409:

The 100-hour inspection is required for aircraft:

  1. That carry any person (other than a crew member) for hire; or
  2. That are provided by any person giving flight instruction for hire.

The phrase "for hire" refers to the PERSON, not the aircraft. The common FBO rental aircraft scenario always comes up. Ya, you're paying to rent the aircraft, but you're not hiring someone to fly it. Rental aircraft don't require a 100-hr.

Any operation that supplies both the flight instructor and the aircraft, requires a 100-hr. This is in contrast to a student pilot who provides their own aircraft and hires an instructor -- a 100-hr is not needed. This also falls in line with general commercial activities. Flight schools will routinely get to the 98ish hour mark, cease flight instruction in that plane and then allow it to just be rented until they can get it scheduled for their 100-hr. Happens all the time.

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    $\begingroup$ Hello Louie, would you happen to have some references to add to your post, so that we can turn this comment into a proper answer? $\endgroup$
    – Federico
    Jan 31, 2023 at 15:40
  • $\begingroup$ @Federico, updated the answer with context. $\endgroup$
    – Louie
    Feb 1, 2023 at 18:40

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