On occasion I will travel on my company's corporate jet. From a legal/FAA standpoint, are there any regulations against receiving flight training from a CFI with the proper ratings and currency during those flights? I'm a private ASEL pilot, so this would be working on an instrument/multiengine/type rating. And does the answer change if the jet is certified for a single crew member vs requiring 2 pilots? Assume that my employer is ok with this if it's legal.

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    $\begingroup$ Depends, is the plane on company business with passengers? $\endgroup$
    – Ron Beyer
    May 3 '17 at 14:33
  • $\begingroup$ It would be, yes. I know I can't act as PIC since my PPL isn't multiengine, so that shouldn't matter for part 61.113. They always have 2 pilots (who are both CFII multi) when taking out the plane. $\endgroup$ May 3 '17 at 18:15
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    $\begingroup$ I suspect the next pertinent bit of information is whether your company operates under part 91 or part 135. Either way, I'm interested in learning the answer to this question! Welcome to Aviation.SE! $\endgroup$
    – Steve V.
    May 3 '17 at 19:42
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    $\begingroup$ If it is certified for more than one crewmember, then you would need to meet the requirements of 61.55 in order to be a required crewmember (SIC), and that includes having your multi-engine rating and an instrument rating if flying IFR so no. $\endgroup$
    – Lnafziger
    May 3 '17 at 20:46

It is an interesting question and needs quite a few FAR's to figure out. Let's start with having other people on board:

If the aircraft is not certified for single-pilot operations, then you cannot based on FAR 61.89(b)

(b) A student pilot may not act as a required pilot flight crewmember on any aircraft for which more than one pilot is required by the type certificate of the aircraft or regulations under which the flight is conducted, except when receiving flight training from an authorized instructor on board an airship, and no person other than a required flight crewmember is carried on the aircraft.

If it is certified for single-pilot operations, you may be able to receive training as long as you are not PIC and you are not sitting in the left seat (as almost all single-pilot jets that are certified single-pilot usually have a restriction to left seat only).

However the real rub comes in when you consider that you are a private pilot, not a commercial pilot, and the FAA's extremely broad definition of "compensation". On more than one occasion, the FAA has held (and won in court) that getting flight time in furtherance of a certificate is compensation. Technically just receiving your normal compensation (hourly wages) is enough to meet the definition of being compensated for flying.

The only way to get a real good answer to this, because it is a very broad subject and open to legal interpretation, is to engage your local FSDO.

I'm guessing though that the ultimate answer will be no. Aside from the issues with the FAA and FAR's depending on what operations your employer is conducting under (121, 135, 91, etc), your employer will also have to consider aircraft insurance. Many corporate jets are insured only for certain pilots or pilots who meet minimum qualifications and the insurance policy may completely bar primary training of any kind in the aircraft.

So talk to your FSDO, if you get an OK from them, the next step is to talk to the corporate attorney or an aviation lawyer and have them review the insurance documentation to see if you are allowed to sit in one of the seats and manipulate the controls.

  • $\begingroup$ Thanks for the detailed response. It's interested that I could (potentially) be considered a student pilot under 61.89(b), but then you note that I'm private and have the compensation/for-hire limitation. $\endgroup$ May 3 '17 at 23:28
  • $\begingroup$ Now this all becomes an academic discussion moving forward since our jet isn't certified for single-pilot operations and I'm not high enough in the company to take it without other passengers. But I'm still curious to solve it :) $\endgroup$ May 3 '17 at 23:34
  • $\begingroup$ I'm not sure your 61.89 interpretation is completely accurate. The OP isn't a student pilot, so it wouldn't apply to him. And the wording says that a student pilot can only be a required crewmember on an airship that isn't carrying passengers, so an airplane is out of the question anyway, whether or not there are passengers on board. At least, that's my reading of it. $\endgroup$
    – Pondlife
    May 4 '17 at 13:51
  • $\begingroup$ @Pondlife I guess that is why aviation attorneys make so much money. I read it as a pilot under instruction (aka student pilot) because I believe that just about any pilot training in a jet or commercial aircraft is at least a private pilot, most likely having obtained a commercial certificate in GA aircraft long before they sit in something like a jet. I believe any pilot under instruction in obtaining a new rating or certificate is considered a student pilot when exercising student privileges of the certificate they are trying to obtain. $\endgroup$
    – Ron Beyer
    May 4 '17 at 14:13
  • $\begingroup$ Good point about the attorneys :-) But AFAIK a "student pilot" is a pilot who holds a student pilot certificate, not a pilot who's in training. 61.89 is part of subpart C, and you can see that 61.81 says it "prescribes [...] the general operating rules and limitations for the holders of those certificates". Once you get a private certificate you no longer hold a student one and you're never a "student pilot" again in the FAA's eyes, you're just a pilot training for a new rating or whatever. $\endgroup$
    – Pondlife
    May 4 '17 at 14:22

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