Considering adding a light jet or turboprop to your fleet? Be sure to carefully consider how the structure for that aircraft may need to be different than the structure used for other aircraft. There are several FAA regulations that apply differently based on size and category of aircraft.
Differences in FAA Compliance for Light Jets and Turboprops
Many of the FAA structuring concepts apply to all aircraft, but there are some key differences based on size and category. For example, the structuring options found in 14 C.F.R. 91.501 (which include time sharing, joint ownership, and interchange) only apply to:
- airplanes with a maximum gross takeoff weight (MGTOW) of more than 12,500 pounds, and
- smaller, turbojet powered multiengine airplanes.
This means that these options are available for aircraft like the Embraer Phenom 100 and Cessna Citation Mustang, since both are turbojet powered multiengine airplanes, even though they do not meet the MGTOW requirement. However, these options are not readily available for the Cirrus SF50 Vision Jet, because it has only one turbojet engine and does not meet the MGTOW requirement. Operators of small airplanes (like the Cirrus SF50 Vision Jet) and helicopters can make use of 91.501 via the NBAA Small Aircraft Exemption, but that requires additional steps and advance planning.
Truth in Leasing
The Truth in Leasing requirements under 14 C.F.R. 91.23 are another example of a requirement that only applies to aircraft of a certain size, in this case aircraft with a MGTOW of more than 12,500 pounds. This means that the requirement to have a written dry lease agreement in place prior to flights being conducted does not apply to some light jets (such as the Embraer Phenom 100 and Cessna Citation Mustang), but it does apply to some larger turboprops (such as the Super King Air B300).
Consider Structure Options Carefully for Light Jets and Turboprops
When planning for the ownership and operation of a light jet or turboprop be sure to carefully review the applicability of the standard structure options. The FAA construes the regulations relating to structure narrowly, so seemingly small details can result in the structure being non-compliant.
The attorneys at Jetstream Aviation Law can be a valuable member of your aircraft team, providing expertise in spotting and resolving the issues that may cause future problems.
Lori N. McGee is a partner with the law firm of Jetstream Aviation Law and counsels clients on the acquisition, financing and operation of corporate jets operated under Part 91 and Part 135 of the Federal Aviation Regulations. Jetstream Aviation Law can be found at www.JetstreamLaw.com.
The information provided here is not legal advice and does not purport to be a substitute for advice of counsel on any specific matter. For legal advice, you should consult with an attorney concerning your specific situation.