Part 4 Commercial Pilot Privileges and Limitations

Oct 17, 2018

Gary Cleveland:                 It's interesting that you talk about the slight differences between the commercial check ride and the private check ride, because with my last student, I was sitting across from the examiner with the student. I always stick around the airport just in case there's something that needs to be dealt with or if we have to do a little remedial. Basically just making myself available to the students. The thing that was interesting is when I looked across the table, the student had a stack of notes in his books. At the top of the paper, the title of his notes was, Questions for Commercial and Private Helicopter Check ride, giving me the impression that these are the same notes that he's going to use for either one of those.


Part 4 Commercial Pilot Privileges and Limitations

Kenny Keller:                      Mm-hmm. The questions come out the same. They do.

Gary Cleveland:                 Same checks, same check ride, same maneuvers. They just have to be done better.

Kenny Keller:                      I've sat through hundreds of check rides in 16, 17 years now. As they sit down, they ask the same questions.

Gary Cleveland:                 The one thing that is going to be different is the privileges and limitations. When you go in for your private check ride, there's some things you can do as a private pilot, search and rescue, charitable rides, flying incident to your employment, such as, we guy have a guy coming from Missouri, this next week. And he's a lineman. He works for a power company down in Missouri, and he's been flying the power lines as part of this job, checking for problems. He's doing this with just a private license. He wants to add on commercial because it's going to help their insurance rates. So, he'll be here on the 17th, I believe. And we'll go through some flight maneuvers, and we'll go through all the ground and get him ready. I'm sure he'll go back home with his commercial certificate when he's done here, just like the others who we've helped recently.

Kenny Keller:                      Those guys did a great job and were a blast to work with. Lance, CT, Austin, Roland, Those are the four I'm thinking of.

Gary Cleveland:                 Yep. We've had members come from out of town just for their flight review, just to come see a studio and get their flight review out of the way and to fly with us.

Kenny Keller:                      Yeah, it's been fun.

Gary Cleveland:                 It's been a lot of fun, and I'm sure it's going to continue. As I'm full-time, we'll make more time for that kind of thing. Right now, we're limited on the schedule and we're already having to push people into August and September.

Part 4 Commercial Pilot Privileges and Limitations

                                             So, when you go to do your commercial check ride, they're going to ask you about what are you going to be able to do with this license. They're going to ask you some trick questions to make sure you fully understand. So, the first thing you need to be familiar with is 91.147. 91.147 is in the FAR AIM. You should have it tabbed when you go there. You should have it pretty much memorized.

                                             This is Passenger-Carrying Flights for Compensation or Hire. When you look at 91147, it exempts 91146, which is your Charitable Rides. Charitable Rides is a whole different part, and it's a whole different application. If you're going to do passenger carrying flights for compensation or hire, you'll see that you do have to have a drug program, you have to have a letter of authorization from the FSDO. And, it refers you to 119.1e2.

                                             So, it's important to take some time and read through 119.1e2. And there's a lot to go through, here. If you have it tabbed, it'll help you on your check ride. The check ride is an open-book test, for the most part. Some things you have to rattle off without hesitation, like Kenny said, helicopter emergencies, how to respond to those emergencies, aerodynamics, etc. 

                                             When it comes time to do commercial privileges, you need to have a basic understanding to rattle off these things. But if there's a specific question about commercial privileges, have this tabbed. Have 119.1 tabbed, and be able to go to it and look it up. And tell the examiner, "If I was going to do that operation that you're discussing, I would certainly, refresh my memory by looking up 119.1 and reading through it to make sure. And if there was a question, I'd call FSDO and I would ask the FAA if they agree that I can do this operation without being a part 135 or a part 121 operation." 135 refers to commuter and on-demand operations, 121 is for airliners.

Part 4 Commercial Pilot Privileges and Limitations

                                             So, if we go back to 91147, it tells us that if we're doing one of these operations that's an exception listed in 119e, 1 through 11, that we still have to comply with 136. You should also tab 136. Right there together you've got 136.7, which is passenger briefings. You've got 136.9, which talks about life preservers and when they're needed and where they have to be. 136.11, floats for the helicopter under certain conditions. 136.13, you must have a performance plan if you're operating for-hire carrying passengers.

                                             Performance plan, meaning weights and balance for every flight, trying to stay outside the shaded area of the height velocity diagram in your POH, with the exception of takeoff and landing. Some of the things that you probably will be able to rattle off to the examiner of what kinds of things can you do, once you leave here with a commercial ticket.

                                             The exceptions listed in 119e, 1 through 11, ferry in flights, training flights, aerial works, such as crop dusting, seeding, spraying, bird chasing, banner towing, aerial photography, surveying, firefighting, helicopter operations in construction work or repair, power line or pipeline patrol, sightseeing flights conducted in hot air balloons, non-stop flights conducted within a 25-mile radius of the airport of takeoff carrying persons or objects for the purpose of conducting intentional parachute operations.

Part 4 Commercial Pilot Privileges and Limitations

                                             We have the six times a year that you can apply to FSDO to do a 25-statute-mile radius from the airport of takeoff with two passengers, no cargo. It is key to know that these six flights a year have to be applied for within 72 hours of the flight. It is also key to know that you are not allowed to take cargo with these two passengers.

                                             Now, most of the time, you're going to run into operations such as flight tours, which you can do with a letter of authorization. Flight tours have to be starting and stopping at the same point. They have to be within 25 nautical miles, and the examiner may ask you if you have somebody on your flight tour that day at a festival, or wherever you may be doing your flight tours, or rides, if somebody wants dropped off at a certain location instead of back at the pickup location. And the answer is, no. You have to strictly bring them back to the point of pickup. Unless it would've been one of these six flights per year that are more specific and applied for 72 hours in advance. There's an exception also, for operations including political candidates, 91321.

               So, as you can see, that there is things you can do with your commercial license aside from the 135, 121 operations. And you just need to know where to go and look up these things. If you have any doubt, tell the examiner, "I'm going to take a minute and refresh my memory. I'm going to read 119.1 once again," because in the real world, if you were getting ready to do an operation that's a planned operation, you do have the privilege of flipping open your FAR AIM, calling FSDO, making sure that you're okay to do it. If there's any questions, we'll try and address them on the Facebook comments.

Part 4 Commercial Pilot Privileges and Limitations

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