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I’m a 17 year old private pilot, and my friend and his girlfriend who are also 17 want to fly with me. It’s not clear whether they are asking their parents permission. If their parents didn’t want them to go and find out, would I, the pilot, get in trouble? Are there any regulations regarding this subject? Should I get their parents written consent before taking them flying? This question pertains specifically to the United States.

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    $\begingroup$ The answer to your question entirely depends on where in the world you are. $\endgroup$
    – GdD
    Oct 6 '21 at 11:46
  • $\begingroup$ It would be in the US $\endgroup$ Oct 6 '21 at 11:47
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    $\begingroup$ Please note that we can only answer about aviation regulations (FAA in this case) on this site. There might be other laws and regulations about transporting minors. Questions about such local laws should be asked on Law.SE. $\endgroup$
    – Bianfable
    Oct 6 '21 at 11:59
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    $\begingroup$ @quietflyer I added the [faa-regulations] tag based on OP's comment above. IMHO there is no need for spelling it out in the question. If you think differently, feel free to edit it in. $\endgroup$
    – Bianfable
    Oct 6 '21 at 15:07
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    $\begingroup$ @Phil Miller, "against parent's wishes", or "without parent's permission"? Those are two very different legal standards. And FWIW, if all parties are minors it is likely different than if one is over 18. Things get messy when a 17 year old "child" and their best friend who is a week older at 18 (and therefore an "adult") get into a legal scrape... $\endgroup$ Oct 7 '21 at 1:34
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There’s no FAA regulation requiring that. That being said, if your passengers are minors, their parents have the ultimate say as to what they can and cannot do. It would be wise to make sure that your friends have permission from their parents for the activity prior to taking them as passengers.

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  • $\begingroup$ Sorry for taking this off tangent, but I just had to express my bemusement by your implication that parents have any real say about what their 17 year old kids can and cannot do ;) $\endgroup$
    – yoniLavi
    Oct 7 '21 at 14:38
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    $\begingroup$ @yoniLavi Legally they do, and the person transporting them without permission (by any means) can be in serious legal trouble. But this is a (complicated) legal question and that is why the question would be better asked at law.stackechange.com. $\endgroup$ Oct 7 '21 at 14:56
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    $\begingroup$ Well they do. And unless there is a compelling state interest otherwise, the authorities will side with the parents. $\endgroup$ Oct 7 '21 at 16:12
  • $\begingroup$ @RBarryYoung really? So a 17 year old who boards a bus when forbidden to do so by his parents could get the bus driver into trouble? On the metro? An uber driver? So how is a private pilot different? $\endgroup$
    – abligh
    Oct 7 '21 at 22:08
  • $\begingroup$ @abligh Seems like the difference would be that a bus driver has no knowledge of that, and no expectation to need to know, whereas the private pilot very obviously does know since they're asking about it here :p $\endgroup$ Oct 7 '21 at 22:36
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If you are asking about FAA regulations, the answer is "no, there are no regulations on this subject". I've been involved in EAA Young Eagle Rides, CAP glider encampments, etc, and if there had been any FAA regulations bearing on a requirement for obtaining parental permission before giving young people rides in aircraft, someone would have mentioned it at some point. Not to suggest that parental permission wasn't obtained anyway, for other reasons-- but a specific FAA regulation on the subject would surely have been mentioned if it existed.

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You don't need their parents explicit consent anymore then you would to give them a lift in your car, but you do need to ensure you are legally covered. As PiC you have legal responsibilities and liabilities so before you can take on the risks associated with carrying passengers you should check with whomever would be sued if they got hurt. If you are legally a minor, that would be your parents and/or whoever pays your insurance premiums. Also be a little careful about crossing state lines, as the laws relating to transporting minors over state lines vary from state to state and can be quite surprising.

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