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AOC or not?

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Old 1st Oct 2018, 22:01
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AOC or not?

Morning gents,

My business has just won a contract out in Arnhem Land. Iím led to believe that I can transport my own staff out to the job site and back, whilst being paid (my own wages) and itís classified as private ops. Correct me if Iím wrong.

The confusing bit for me, is that Iím hiring the aircraft on an hourly rate from another company. Does that change things?

Next issue is, another contractor has approached me to fly his staff to the same community. How can I achieve this without requiring an AOC. The most logical answer for this would be for him to hire the aircraft from the hirer and I then fly it for free.

I approached CASA yesterday with this and was told, ďwe canít give legal advice, itís up to the courts to determine if we were ever to catch you, not that we are saying itís right or wrongĒ
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Old 1st Oct 2018, 22:17
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Just my opinion (having been in your position years ago): Neither option really fits the criteria of a 'cost sharing' flight but unless you bend the aircraft in a high profile manner I doubt anyone is going to notice or care.
The later case you mention with the other contractor could get tricky of you have an accident and that contractor goes after compensation from someone as the someone will probably be yourself.

Legitamicy aside, I've completed such flights as a PPL years ago and I personally wouldnt worry about CASA, as you have already found they cant even give you an answer themselves. Just consider your own liability if there was to be an accident.
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Old 1st Oct 2018, 23:56
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Your own staff is fine. The other contractor's staff is a charter as such. Unless he employ's you as their own personal company pilot. Doesn't matter how much he pays you as long as you have a contract and pay tax on your other income.

AWB
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Old 2nd Oct 2018, 02:18
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Originally Posted by Alpha Whiskey Bravo View Post
Your own staff is fine. The other contractor's staff is a charter as such. Unless he employ's you as their own personal company pilot. Doesn't matter how much he pays you as long as you have a contract and pay tax on your other income.

AWB
+1 for this answer (and not the one above it!)

longrass, just be mindful of your employees. I heard first hand of a situation where one of the employees of a small company was not happy to be flown by his employer as he didnít feel like the pilot / employer was safe / qualified / experienced enough to conduct the flight safely and he was also concerned about the weight of the aircraft being over. Being an employee, he felt obliged to board the aircraft for the sake of keeping his job.

Nothing happened on any of the flights, however the employee was spot-on with his intuition in the matter.

*Most* life insurance companies only cover you in a chartered aircraft or RPT.




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Old 2nd Oct 2018, 02:23
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You'll probably find insurance companies will be the deciding factor. I have had a few hirers that were doing work like this, but had to stop because there was no compo cover for being "other than a fare paying passenger". Yes, the compo people would prefer that you drive your staff there through croc infested waters...it's nuts.
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Old 2nd Oct 2018, 02:40
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Get an AOC if it looks and smells like it, which it does particularly with the transport of non company personnel.

If you canít get an AOC use someone elseís, which probably would be a better solution in the short term.

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Old 2nd Oct 2018, 02:59
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Would it be easier/practical to operate under the AOC of an established Charter company?
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Old 2nd Oct 2018, 04:05
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You might talk to these folk for advice, they even own and operate a couple of Metros to support their bush work. Pilots work the tools as well when on site. Unless you're competitors.

Jetstream Electrical Darwin Electrician
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Old 2nd Oct 2018, 04:07
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This is the sort of issue that destroys investment in aviation because it is not possible to remove uncertainty and manage risk. CASA won't help you by issuing a clear statement regarding legality and without that you are building on sand because you cannot get insurance cover for what might be found to be an illegal operation.

multiply be ten thousand business opportunities and you can understand why GA is dead.
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Old 2nd Oct 2018, 04:51
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So a corporate jet flying from Oz to pick up or drop of high rolling gamblers in Asia is a private operation.

Be guided accordingly.
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Old 2nd Oct 2018, 05:24
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Originally Posted by Icarus2001 View Post
So a corporate jet flying from Oz to pick up or drop of high rolling gamblers in Asia is a private operation.

Be guided accordingly.
Are you telling us Sunfish, that Crown Casino doesnít have an AOC?

Iíll save you answering. Of course they do.

Which Casino / gambling institution are you referring to?

Last edited by Squawk7700; 2nd Oct 2018 at 07:04.
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Old 2nd Oct 2018, 12:24
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Originally Posted by Alpha Whiskey Bravo View Post
Your own staff is fine. The other contractor's staff is a charter as such. Unless he employ's you as their own personal company pilot. Doesn't matter how much he pays you as long as you have a contract and pay tax on your other income.

AWB
How about as a sub-contractor on ABN?
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Old 2nd Oct 2018, 14:15
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As others have said, the issue will be insurance. You need to think of the "what ifs". Hypothetically and simplistically, you cross hire the aircraft, the engine fails and during the subsequent inevitable landing the aircraft crashes, you are killed and so is one of your passengers. It is unsure whether or not the fatalities have occurred because you messed up the landing or because the engine failed and you had nowhere to land except where there was a tree.

Does the passenger's family sue your dependents who have just lost their husband / father for your poor piloting? Do your dependents sue the owner of the aircraft and his maintenance organisation for poor maintenance? Who conducts the maintenance? The lawyers could take years to sort out the settlements. There are to many many combinations of liability to go through one by one.

If you survived but your one of your passengers didn't then the passenger's dependents could sue you. You could lose everything because your main business is not as an operator of as you have no AOC. Then another passenger says that they were all coerced into flying with you and around you go again. I don't know what type of license you have. I don't know if your workforce are contractors or staff. I don't know who your customer is but if its landing at a mine site or private airstrip, the customer may require insurance, evidence of your qualifications etc. How will you manage fatigue?

I don't know enough details of your individual case but I get paid to provide aviation advice to companies, including insurance companies. My honest (if unpalatable) advice to you would be don't even think about this as being a sensible option.
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Old 2nd Oct 2018, 23:24
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Sunny is right , of course...thats why GA is in such a schemozzle today.

All the advice, maybe well and good...BUT the complexity of the 'regs' and obscurity of some that can be dug out to kill off the operator boggle the mind..
The OP may well go for an AOC...and by the time he/she has played jump the hoops and survived the paperwork blizzard, paid out mega bucks..and the AOC approval finally turns up after 13 months...then the business opportunity is probably long gone, aircraft hire no longer available ...so its all for nought.
How the hell dopey Governments and its agencies can sqwark.about 'jobs and growth' when the system prevents anyone taking rapid advantage of a business opportunity.
Been there, been 'done' over that years ago. Had an Ops inspection for an AOC variation.adding .CHTR. All OK ..Final statement from the CAsA person departing..'Approval to operate be with you in 48 hrs'. Finally came thru SEVEN MONTHS later after some (expletives deleted) phone calls. But all was lost...business that was to hand initially and cross-hired a/c loong gone!
Over the years I have come across many companies carrying their own employees, or passengers for other than a charter..ie the cost of the week-end on a remote island made no mention of how they got there, being flown in by a PPL. But carry a camera only !!!! Kaboom !!
Its a minefield.!
Just be careful, grassy that you dont blow yourself up...financially and mentally.
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Old 2nd Oct 2018, 23:52
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Originally Posted by Squawk7700 View Post


Are you telling us Sunfish, that Crown Casino doesnít have an AOC?

Iíll save you answering. Of course they do.

Which Casino / gambling institution are you referring to?
As Iím sure you know Squawk you can still have an AOC but conduct private operations

Almost all casino flights are private. Same with a fair few large scale bizjet operators, they have AOCs but all flights are conducted as private
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Old 3rd Oct 2018, 00:06
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Folks,
"Industry Insider" nails it. I have been around quite a while, including for many matters concerning CAR 206, and possible insurance/employment law ramifications are the biggest threat. Without that coverage, with the precisely detailed operation being accepted for coverage, including "workers compo", you are betting your personal and business assets.
CASA is the lesser of your problems.
Tootle pip!!
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Old 3rd Oct 2018, 00:17
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Originally Posted by WhiskeyKilo View Post


As Iím sure you know Squawk you can still have an AOC but conduct private operations

Almost all casino flights are private. Same with a fair few large scale bizjet operators, they have AOCs but all flights are conducted as private
So they can legally do that or they canít?

The punters are getting a free ride? Insurance not an issue because the Casinoís have millions?
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Old 3rd Oct 2018, 00:58
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Originally Posted by Squawk7700 View Post


So they can legally do that or they canít?

The punters are getting a free ride? Insurance not an issue because the Casinoís have millions?
The Crown and Star ops would be 100% legal. Iím guessing the punters arenít paying for the flight in so much as theyíre Ďpayingí the casino for the experience by losing $$$$ at the roulette table. Hence private operation.

Insurance would cover the flights but might have stipulated they needed to be performed under an ops manual or something similar. Insurance companies will take your money if you offer it, just needs to be properly laid out. If a company owns/operates a plane then it needs to be covered like any other company vehicle.
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Old 3rd Oct 2018, 01:47
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The punters are getting a free ride? Insurance not an issue because the Casino’s have millions?
I would suggest that there is an agreement between the casino and their high rollers about who covers what and under what circumstances. Private corporations carrying their clients and prospective clients as a courtesy or as hospitality is very common.
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Old 3rd Oct 2018, 03:40
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Toiled for many a year as a full time salaried pilot for a private operator who was engaged in the energy business. CASA were trying to make them subject to an AOC, but the company managed to fend them off, don't know the state of play today. We carried all sorts of people, company employees of course, contractors to the company, who I believe paid for the ride through some accounting system associated with the contract, politicians, town councillors, you name it.
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