If you operate your aircraft under FAR Part 91, do not auction a Part 91 flight on your aircraft. The bidder (passengers) on the flight will have paid for the flight. True, the aircraft owner and the operator of the Part 91 flight will not have received any consideration as the consideration will be paid to the charity, however, the FAA perspective is that the bidder (passengers) will have paid consideration in exchange for a flight and that it should not be operated as a Part 91 non-commercial flight.
Risks of Auctioning a Part 91 Flight
From an FAA perspective, the flight violates FAA regulations and the FAA could impose a civil penalty. There could also be federal tax issues and the flight may not be in compliance with your insurance.
How to Provide Charitable Flights
If the aircraft is on a Part 135 (charter) certificate, the auctioned flight may be able to be flown under FAR Part 135. Flights where no consideration is paid, such as the Corporate Angel Network & the Red Cross, can be a good way to provide a charitable flight.
Please contact Jetstream Aviation Law if we can assist you with addressing your aviation issues.
Michelle M. Wade 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.