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This question already has an answer here:

I have my private multi instrument and almost done with my commercial multi. A collegiate school's football team has requested that I fly the coaches (2-4) to their away games and other travel events throughout the year. Once I receive my certificate, am I legally permitted to fly them for hire without needing an operator's certificate? Maybe through a contract agreement?

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marked as duplicate by Lnafziger Nov 14 '15 at 8:13

This question has been asked before and already has an answer. If those answers do not fully address your question, please ask a new question.

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    $\begingroup$ Who owns the airplane? $\endgroup$ – ryan1618 Nov 11 '15 at 1:42
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If you are referring to the USA with the regulating body being the FAA, this link will give you your answer. All text below came from this site: http://www.cfidarren.com/cpinfo.htm

Here is the answer I think you are looking for:

If your customer approaches you, with his own airplane (either he rented it himself, or he owns it). In this case you may fly for hire, because you are not offering your services as a package or "holding out" as a commercial operator -- air taxi or charter.


Answer details:

Commercial Pilot Certificate

A certificated Commercial Pilot is paid for services as a pilot, provided you meet the qualifications which apply to the type of operations you are doing. Some of this flying is controlled by Part 91, but most commercial flying is controlled by Part 119, 121, 125, 129, and 135.

Do I need a new medical certificate? To exercise your commercial pilot privileges, you must get a new medical (at least 2nd class) every year. If your 2nd class medical expires (and becomes a 3rd class), you cannot exercise the privileges of a commercial pilot.

What can I do with a commercial certificate? The following are things commercial pilots can do under part 91 -

  1. Local scenic flights within 25sm of departure airport.
  2. Ferry Flights
  3. Crop Dusting
  4. Banner Towing
  5. Aerial Photography
  6. Fire fighting
  7. Go on to earn your flight instructor certificate

Can I fly people around for money? You can certainly be paid for being a pilot with a Commercial Pilot Certificate. You may work for an Air Carrier certificated under Parts 119, 135 or 121. You may not be the Air Carrier conducting the business without getting an Air Carrier Certificate. When you offer a package (airplane, price, pilot), you are no longer operating under Part 91 and would need an Air Carrier Certificate. An example would be "Can you fly me to Atlanta?" If you provide the aircraft, you need to have an Air Taxi Commercial Operator certificate under Part 135. There are different rules regarding maintenance, airworthiness requirements, crew member qualifications, and expanded VFR and IFR equipment lists that make Part 135 very different from Part 91.

So the answer is NO, you cannot fly people around for money. A Commercial Pilot Certificate simply allows a pilot to be PIC engaged in a commercial operation (airline) that has an Air Carrier Certificate. A pilot certificate does not entitle the holder to become a commercial air-taxi operator.

If your customer approaches you, with his own airplane (either he rented it himself, or he owns it). In this case you may fly for hire, because you are not offering your services as a package or "holding out" as a commercial operator -- air taxi or charter.

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  • $\begingroup$ The last two sections (at least) of this answer are probably irrelevant to the question, and the remarks about US citizenship are wrong. TSA approval isn't required for commercial training (maybe it was in the past, I don't know). $\endgroup$ – Pondlife Nov 11 '15 at 19:35
  • $\begingroup$ I can edit the last couple of sections out - left them in for context. I figured they might answer related questions that someone looking at this question may have. $\endgroup$ – Charlie Nov 11 '15 at 19:49
  • $\begingroup$ Thanks for your answer but I forgot to mention that yes they have they're own (rental) aircraft, if that makes a difference. $\endgroup$ – Blake.W Nov 12 '15 at 6:13
  • $\begingroup$ @Blake.W sounds like this answer (the yellow quote) is what you are looking for then. $\endgroup$ – Charlie Nov 12 '15 at 11:33
  • $\begingroup$ @Blake.W Assuming that this is a question about the US/FAA then please tag it as such or edit the question itself to add that information. It's always important to know the jurisdiction for questions about regulations. $\endgroup$ – Pondlife Nov 12 '15 at 13:57
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  • If you are providing the airplane to transport the coaches:

    You are a commercial operator and require an operating certificate under part 119 to fly under part 135.

  • If the coaches have an airplane (rental or owned) and are simply hiring you to fly it for them:

    You may provide your pilot services and act as PIC of their airplane and be paid while transporting the coaches as allowed under 61.133.


Your commercial pilot privileges are laid out in 14 CFR 61.133.

§61.133 Commercial pilot privileges and limitations.

(a) Privileges—

(1) General. A person who holds a commercial pilot certificate may act as pilot in command of an aircraft—

(i) Carrying persons or property for compensation or hire, provided the person is qualified in accordance with this part and with the applicable parts of this chapter that apply to the operation; and

(ii) For compensation or hire, provided the person is qualified in accordance with this part and with the applicable parts of this chapter that apply to the operation.

This says that a commercial pilot you may be paid to act as pilot of command.

To constrain this, you must also look at 14 CFR 119.1. The important part to look at herei s 119.1(e):

(e) Except for operations when common carriage is not involved conducted with airplanes having a passenger-seat configuration of 20 seats or more, excluding any required crewmember seat, or a payload capacity of 6,000 pounds or more, this part does not apply to—

(1) Student instruction;

(2) Nonstop Commercial Air Tours conducted after September 11, 2007, in an airplane or helicopter having a standard airworthiness certificate and passenger-seat configuration of 30 seats or fewer and a maximum payload capacity of 7,500 pounds or less that begin and end at the same airport, and are conducted within a 25-statute mile radius of that airport, in compliance with the Letter of Authorization issued under §91.147 of this chapter. For nonstop Commercial Air Tours conducted in accordance with part 136, subpart B of this chapter, National Parks Air Tour Management, the requirements of part 119 of this chapter apply unless excepted in §136.37(g)(2). For Nonstop Commercial Air Tours conducted in the vicinity of the Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona, the requirements of SFAR 50-2, part 93, subpart U, and part 119 of this chapter, as applicable, apply.

(3) Ferry or training flights;

(4) Aerial work operations, including—

(i) Crop dusting, seeding, spraying, and bird chasing;

(ii) Banner towing;

(iii) Aerial photography or survey;

(iv) Fire fighting;

(v) Helicopter operations in construction or repair work (but it does apply to transportation to and from the site of operations); and

(vi) Powerline or pipeline patrol;

(5) Sightseeing flights conducted in hot air balloons;

(6) Nonstop flights conducted within a 25-statute-mile radius of the airport of takeoff carrying persons or objects for the purpose of conducting intentional parachute operations.

(7) Helicopter flights conducted within a 25 statute mile radius of the airport of takeoff if— [snip]

(8) Operations conducted under part 133 of this chapter or 375 of this title;

(9) Emergency mail service conducted under 49 U.S.C. 41906; or

(10) Operations conducted under the provisions of §91.321 of this chapter.

When you put those together you can always be paid to be PIC but if you provide the airplane and become an operator, then there is a very small list of things you can do without an operating certificate.

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