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Let's assume an aircraft for hire's 100-hour inspection is about 20 hrs past due (120 hrs since the last 100-hour inspection). Can I just say that the aircraft is not airworthy and the aircraft cannot be operated? Or, if I'm the owner, can I operate it just for personal flights? Is this illegal?

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    $\begingroup$ I'm assuming this is the US? What does "and another inspection have been done" mean? $\endgroup$ – Ron Beyer Aug 28 at 23:28
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    $\begingroup$ Yes, in US. I mean AAVIATE. $\endgroup$ – gusdyd88 Aug 29 at 0:15
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FAR 91.409(b) says:

Except as provided in paragraph (c) of this section, no person may 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, unless within the preceding 100 hours of time in service the aircraft has received an annual or 100-hour inspection and been approved for return to service ...

(Emphasis mine)

According to a literal reading of the regulation, it only applies to operation "for hire" and not to the owner(s) flying it for personal use. So, in theory, what you propose is legal.

However, if an FAA inspector ever reviews the log books and sees that you went over 100 hours between successive 100-hour inspections, you would need to provide evidence that every such flight was not for hire, which could cost you significant time and effort.

So, while it is technically legal, in practice it is unwise. If the plane is regularly used for hire, get it inspected every 100 hours regardless of the nature of specific flights.

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    $\begingroup$ No this regulation says nothing about what is required when the operation is not for hire. Your summary is akin to reading that "assaulting a police officer is a crime" and concluding that assaulting anyone who is not a police officer is legal. $\endgroup$ – Hugh Aug 29 at 9:08
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    $\begingroup$ @Hugh That's the way regs are written. They are restrictive rather than permissive. If the regs are silent on a subject then it is allowed. It may be restricted by a different regulation, but I don't think the 100-hour rule is anywhere else. $\endgroup$ – TomMcW Aug 29 at 18:39
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    $\begingroup$ @Hugh That is exactly how laws work. See Everything which is not forbidden is allowed and Nulla poena sine lege. $\endgroup$ – StephenS Aug 29 at 21:42

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