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27 May 2018, 19:45 [ UTC - 5; DST ]


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 Post subject: Re: FAA Bans Planesharing Startups..
PostPosted: 20 Apr 2018, 13:40 
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A couple of reasons... primary reason is that it is likely to increase the average number of pax per flight. Any time you increase the average number of passengers per any sort of transport, it increases the potential liability. The intent of a program like this is to increase utilization. Participating planes will, on average, take off with more souls on board than if the program did not exist. So if in the normal course a pilot would make 50 flights per year with an average of 1.5 pax per flight, there are 75 passenger flights per annum. If after participating in the program, that average pax per flight increases to 2.0, then there are now 100 passenger flights per annum. All things being equal, the utilization has risen and so has the potential exposure. The risk of an occurrence on any given flight may not have changed, but the exposure in the event of an occurrence has increased.


I see your point, but AFaIK the underwriters don't currently charge more for owners who typically carry more pax (other than basing rates on the number of seats) and I'm pretty certain that most of them view more activity as a good thing safety wise.

Also if they were to deny coverage for "cost sharing" flights due to the higher than average number of passengers I'd think they'd view compassion flights the same way and that hasn't happened to my knowledge.

But the insurers do seem to come up with strange restrictions occasionally so who knows, you could be onto something.

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 Post subject: Re: FAA Bans Planesharing Startups..
PostPosted: 21 Apr 2018, 10:01 
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Username Protected wrote:
All things being equal, the utilization has risen and so has the potential exposure.

And yet, aircraft insurance gets CHEAPER if you fly MORE.

More flying is more currency, more experience, and the underwriters recognize this leads to less accidents.

So more exposure leading to more accidents is not how the underwriters look at it.

This is wholly unlike car insurance. I get a low mileage discount. The less you drive, the safer it is.

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Second, it really does look & smell like a de facto charter, or virtual air taxi, whatever you want to call it. Folks would advertise empty seats and make them available to the general public. (I know, I know it is not the choice of the pax on where & when they go, it is the choice of the pilot.) Still it looks and smells like a charter or an Air Uber.

The fact the pilot decides time and place makes it NOT Uber or charter.

The fact the pilot cannot make a profit makes it NOT Uber or charter.

These things are fundamental and seemingly forgotten by many.

It is an empty seat that will fly REGARDLESS, and the pilot has a PURPOSE of their own, and they are PAYING for that purpose.

If we think ride share is Uber or charter, then we are headed to a point where carrying passengers, no matter how we know them, is common carriage.

This is not a place to be.

We got to beat this back as much as possible.

Mike C.

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 Post subject: Re: FAA Bans Planesharing Startups..
PostPosted: 21 Apr 2018, 10:32 
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Username Protected wrote:

And it was (still is?) a business model with intent for income.


And what is wrong with that?

If someone creates a way to expand opportunity for others and makes money in the process we call that the “American Way”. It’s hard to understand how anyone could be opposed to that but, regrettably, it seems to be ever more common.

The FAA has a legitimate interest in regulating common or for hire carriage to protect the public’s safety. But cost sharing is an allowed practice for legitimate reasons and has worked well for decades. Apps that facilitate that are just an adaptive use of technology to make it easier. If someone can make money in the process we all out to be cheering not burning them, or a duly elected representative using cimmon sense and trying to direct the bureaucracy to do the right thing, at the stake.


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 Post subject: Re: FAA Bans Planesharing Startups..
PostPosted: 21 Apr 2018, 10:41 
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Username Protected wrote:
What about the insurance implications?
Potential liability issues here would be a trial lawyer’s dream and an insurance carrier’s nightmare.

The first time that a ride share with cost-sharing, non aviation folks goes down and there is a fatal, the lawsuits will be flying.

Even if the Feds would permit, and the practice adopted, I can see insurance carriers putting restrictions on policies for private pilots that would exclude ridesharing with the general public.


Insurance policies are contracts which have evolved over time. When the first manifest was posted on the wall at Lloyd’s coffee house some people saw a great business opportunity and others thought it was a crazy idea to “underwrite” someone else’s cargo. If this app, and the practice it facilitates, becomes legal insurance contracts will evolve to accommodate it. Just as personal auto policies have over the last few years to accommodate ride sharing - which is clearly a commercial activity as opposed to mere cost sharing as is being contemplated in the current case.


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 Post subject: Re: FAA Bans Planesharing Startups..
PostPosted: 21 Apr 2018, 10:46 
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Username Protected wrote:
That then begs the question of when a pilot flies someone where he doesn't have any other purpose at the destination. For example, you fly to some city to pick up your son and fly them home. All of us would think that is okay, right? But the pilot shares no common purpose, he is providing air transport to another person with no need for him to go on that trip otherwise.

Mike C.

So you're saying that your relationship with your son is such that the FAA would consider him the general public? That's so sad, Mike...I feel sorry for you.


This is a pitiful way to argue a point of view.

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 Post subject: Re: FAA Bans Planesharing Startups..
PostPosted: 21 Apr 2018, 11:19 
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Username Protected wrote:

And it was (still is?) a business model with intent for income.


And what is wrong with that?

If someone creates a way to expand opportunity for others and makes money in the process we call that the “American Way”. It’s hard to understand how anyone could be opposed to that but, regrettably, it seems to be ever more common.

The FAA has a legitimate interest in regulating common or for hire carriage to protect the public’s safety. But cost sharing is an allowed practice for legitimate reasons and has worked well for decades. Apps that facilitate that are just an adaptive use of technology to make it easier. If someone can make money in the process we all out to be cheering not burning them, or a duly elected representative using cimmon sense and trying to direct the bureaucracy to do the right thing, at the stake.

Delta Airlines does the same thing...but they need an operating certificate.

Remember, it wasn't "Private pilots v. the FAA" in the lawsuit...it was FlyteNow. The FAA isn't looking at this as a 61.113 thing, it's a Part 119 thing. If somebody wants to make money arranging shared flights, fine...but it's not going to happen by changing FAA interpretation of common law terms. There would need to be a revision to Part 119 to allow it.

Like I said earlier, looks to me like they're trying to legislate a change in sky color to make chicken taste like beef...there may be a way to make chicken taste like beef, but changing the sky color isn't it.

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 Post subject: Re: FAA Bans Planesharing Startups..
PostPosted: 21 Apr 2018, 11:21 
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Username Protected wrote:
This is a pitiful way to argue a point of view.

My point exactly.


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 Post subject: Re: FAA Bans Planesharing Startups..
PostPosted: 21 Apr 2018, 23:46 
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Username Protected wrote:
Delta Airlines does the same thing...but they need an operating certificate.

If someone wants to do what Delta does, they need to operate the same way Delta does.

George

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 Post subject: Re: FAA Bans Planesharing Startups..
PostPosted: 22 Apr 2018, 10:43 
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Username Protected wrote:
I see your point, but AFaIK the underwriters don't currently charge more for owners who typically carry more pax (other than basing rates on the number of seats) and I'm pretty certain that most of them view more activity as a good thing safety wise.

Also if they were to deny coverage for "cost sharing" flights due to the higher than average number of passengers I'd think they'd view compassion flights the same way and that hasn't happened to my knowledge.


Right you are. Besides, if you have a “smooth” policy, it does not matter to the insurer how many people are on the plane, they are still on the hook for the same policy limit either way. :shrug:


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 Post subject: Re: FAA Bans Planesharing Startups..
PostPosted: 22 Apr 2018, 11:29 
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Username Protected wrote:
Remember, it wasn't "Private pilots v. the FAA" in the lawsuit...it was FlyteNow. The FAA isn't looking at this as a 61.113 thing, it's a Part 119 thing. If somebody wants to make money arranging shared flights, fine...but it's not going to happen by changing FAA interpretation of common law terms. There would need to be a revision to Part 119 to allow it.


Actually, it was 61.113 thing. You don’t need an operating certificate to make money arranging flights, you only need one to actually operate flights, and FlyteNow wasn’t going to do that.

IMO, what FlyteNow should have done is gone ahead with the service, putting up a big disclaimer that it’s up to the pilot to confirm the legality of the flight. FAA would have no recourse against them, and would have to go after individual pilots. Instead, they quite foolishly decided to ask FAA for a ruling to remove the ambiguity for the pilots. And every one with half a brain knows that if you ask FAA for permission, the answer is going to be NO. :roll:


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 Post subject: Re: FAA Bans Planesharing Startups..
PostPosted: 22 Apr 2018, 12:45 
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IMO, what FlyteNow should have done is gone ahead with the service, putting up a big disclaimer that it’s up to the pilot to confirm the legality of the flight. FAA would have no recourse against them, and would have to go after individual pilots.

That would certainly help define the issue...pilots would get a slap on the wrist for 135 violations, and FlyteNow would get the hammer under 119 and 135.

But I'm not going to convince you, and you're not going to convince me, so there's no sense continuing. Let us all know how it works out for you in the end.


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 Post subject: Re: FAA Bans Planesharing Startups..
PostPosted: 22 Apr 2018, 13:42 
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Username Protected wrote:
That would certainly help define the issue...pilots would get a slap on the wrist for 135 violations, and FlyteNow would get the hammer under 119 and 135.

FlyteNow would not get any hammer. They would not be operating any flights, so they would be entirely outside of FAA jurisdiction.


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 Post subject: Re: FAA Bans Planesharing Startups..
PostPosted: 22 Apr 2018, 14:11 
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Username Protected wrote:
FlyteNow would not get any hammer. They would not be operating any flights, so they would be entirely outside of FAA jurisdiction.

The way the FAA would interpret it is that FlyteNow is offering flights, and thus they would claim they have jurisdiction. They could impose fines and receive court orders.

This is, of course, hugely bogus. Similar logic could be applied to a post on BT where someone goes "I'm going to Oshkosh, anyone want to come along and share expenses?". In that case, the pilot themselves are directly "holding out".

Sharing expense is legal, see 61.113(c):

A private pilot may not pay less than the pro rata share of the operating expenses of a flight with passengers, provided the expenses involve only fuel, oil, airport expenditures, or rental fees.

The reimbursement is not the issue, the issue is solely one of defining "holding out".

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 Post subject: Re: FAA Bans Planesharing Startups..
PostPosted: 22 Apr 2018, 17:17 
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Username Protected wrote:
FlyteNow would not get any hammer. They would not be operating any flights, so they would be entirely outside of FAA jurisdiction.

The way the FAA would interpret it is that FlyteNow is offering flights, and thus they would claim they have jurisdiction. They could impose fines and receive court orders.


It doesn’t work this way. The key word is “operating”. FAR parts 119 and 135 refer specially to operating the flights, which a flight-sharing portal like FlyteNow wouldn’t do, so FAA has no legal authority to go after them.

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 Post subject: Re: FAA Bans Planesharing Startups..
PostPosted: 22 Apr 2018, 20:35 
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Username Protected wrote:
The key word is “operating”. FAR parts 119 and 135 refer specially to operating the flights, which a flight-sharing portal like FlyteNow wouldn’t do, so FAA has no legal authority to go after them.

Okay, that's a possible valid argument.

It is interesting to read the FAA's filing to the SCOTUS:

http://www.scotusblog.com/wp-content/up ... 14-BIO.pdf

If you read that filing, you should be very scared that the FAA prevailed. The FAA could interpret any situation where you fly an unrelated passenger as holding out and engaging in common carriage.

An example passage:

One regulatory exception to the general bar on private pilots providing transportation in exchange for compensation addresses cost-sharing with passengers. Cost-sharing is permitted as long as the pilot does “not pay less than the pro rata share of operating expenses” and “the expenses involve only fuel, oil, airport expenditures, or rental fees.” 14 C.F.R. 61.113(c). In prior legal interpretations, the FAA has limited this exception to situations in which the pilot and passengers share a bona fide “common purpose.” This requirement helps ensure that the “purpose of the flight is not merely to transport [the] passengers” in exchange for compensation."

Note carefully here that the "common purpose" test is something the FAA created OUT OF THIN AIR. The filing doesn't say "the common purpose test has been tested in the courts". No, it says the FAA created it as an additional test, unspecified in the regulations, for what constitutes allowed cost sharing. This is due to the FAA expanding "compensation" to include flight time, even if the pilot is paying for it.

In any case, FlyteNow offered flights passed the "common purpose" test, the pilot is gong somewhere because they want to go not because the passenger wants to go.

It is really a sad thing because the FAA is getting the courts to say black is white to support their extreme over reaching interpretation.

Mike C.

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