Private Flying LAA/BMAA/BGA/BPA The sheer pleasure of flight.

Dodgy or legit?

Old 9th May 2017, 21:21
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It's one thing for an 'acquaintance' to come to a private arrangement with a PPL, when he is wishing to get get from A to B without too many questions asked and paying a 'contribution' to the costs.

I defy any 'self improver' not to have done this in years gone by.

But 'Wingly' by advertising in this fashion is 'hire or reward' imo and outside the privileges of a PPL. I am amazed the regulator has not come down on this like a ton of bricks. It's going to happen at some point.

I'm not a killjoy and I know many brilliant Private Pilots I would trust my life with.

But Professional Pilots are regulated and put under scrutiny for very good reasons. The travelling public deserve no less.
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Old 11th May 2017, 21:40
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European court aide rules Uber is a transport company - BBC News

Uber is a transport firm that requires a licence to operate, a senior member of European Union's top court has said.
I wonder if this ruling will have an impact on wingly and other flight sharing sites. Would wingly want to continue if they have to have an AOC to operate? At best they would have to take vigorous action to show that none of the flights advertised could be considered as transportation, and even that might not be enough.

Still, it's not definitive yet, although it's hard to see any court going against the decision.

FBW
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Old 11th May 2017, 23:11
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FBW,

I watched the BBC this evening, and had exactly that thought! Good sense is prevailing in Europe. Canadian authorities have been having similar discussions about Uber. The refined enforcement of what are already pretty clear aviation regulations can't be too far behind...
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Old 12th May 2017, 01:42
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Read it on the web, same though - hence the question "dodgy or legit".

We may never get to see the first death on a Wingly or Air Uber or whatever.

If I were their insurer s I would be backing out of the contract asap.
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Old 12th May 2017, 06:46
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Originally Posted by Step Turn View Post
FBW,

I watched the BBC this evening, and had exactly that thought! Good sense is prevailing in Europe. Canadian authorities have been having similar discussions about Uber. The refined enforcement of what are already pretty clear aviation regulations can't be too far behind...
You're right, the regulations are very clear.

http://publicapps.caa.co.uk/docs/33/1188.pdf

1) The Civil Aviation Authority, in exercise of its powers under Article 266 of the Air Navigation Order
2016 (‘the Order’), hereby exempts, subject to the specified conditions, any aircraft, its commander
or operator from the requirement to comply with any provision of the Order which applies only to a
public transport or commercial operation flight and not to a non-commercial flight.
2) The specified conditions are—
a) The only valuable consideration given or promised for the flight or purpose of the flight is
a contribution to the direct costs of the flight otherwise payable by the pilot in command;
b) all provisions of the Order applicable to a non-commercial flight are complied with;
c) the direct cost of the flight is shared by all the occupants of the aircraft including the
pilot;
d) the number of persons carried on the flight, including the pilot, is limited to six; and
e) the aircraft is not a complex motor-powered aircraft as defined by Regulation (EU)
No. 216/2008.
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Old 12th May 2017, 07:30
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C. is missing 'equally' though...
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Old 12th May 2017, 10:41
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Originally Posted by Fly-by-Wife View Post
European court aide rules Uber is a transport company - BBC News



I wonder if this ruling will have an impact on wingly and other flight sharing sites. Would wingly want to continue if they have to have an AOC to operate? At best they would have to take vigorous action to show that none of the flights advertised could be considered as transportation, and even that might not be enough.

Still, it's not definitive yet, although it's hard to see any court going against the decision.

FBW
I find it hard to see how this affects the cost sharing sites such as Wingly and Skyuber so long as they adhere to the cost sharing rules specified by the CAA and EASA.

There is no similarity between the operation of Uber, which is a commercial booking service for taxis that are plying for hire and reward, and operating as subcontractors under commercial insurance , (although I believe there may be litigation running to establish if they are really employees??), and a flight sharing intermediary such as Skyuber, Wingly or indeed the Seats Available / Wanted thread on this forum that simply matches pilots and riders wanting to share the costs of a flight.

Of course, if one of the cost sharing sites did cross the line away from facilitating genuine cost sharing into running a taxi service, that would be another matter and would anyway have been illegal before this latest ruling.

The choice of the name "Skyuber" by one of the ride sharing sites is unfortunate, as it gives the impression that the operation is similar to Uber which it is not.
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Old 12th May 2017, 11:52
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flight sharing intermediary such as Skyuber, Wingly or indeed the Seats Available / Wanted thread on this forum that simply matches pilots and riders wanting to share the costs of a flight.
I agree that it's a close call between the two "providers" and the forum on this site. So what's the difference which allows peace in my mind with this site's forum, yet disapproval of the other two? I perceive a difference of "public availability". A person who finds the "seats available" thread had to look for it, presumably as an element of exploring their interest in being a pilot - this is a pilot forum. However, Wingly ads are being pushed at me on FB. To me, FB is the highest form of "publicly available", reaching anyone, and actively promoting and profiting from private flights, rather than being simply a non involved link between two already "in" aviation people, with no profit involved.

By tolerating this, the regulators are disadvantaging those OC holders who have worked hard to meet the requirements. If I were an OC holder, I'd be barking mad at the regulators for allowing this fuzzy activity. Winlgy devalues the effort of those pilots who earn a CPL, and those companies who comply.

Perhaps it is this kind of shift which society ultimately wants, that's society's to decide. If that's the new direction of things, I'll have to hold my disdain, I suppose. But, I'm not holding it yet. The rules are clear in Canada, and for my experience the Wingly scheme is not legal in Canada. If I see Wingly ads on my FB when I return to Canada, I'll be registering a complaint with Transport Canada about it. Canadian commercial operators are my business partners, and I will be theirs....
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Old 12th May 2017, 18:10
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If anyone has pointed this out already, I apologise!

Getting to Elstree from Central London is not comparable with getting to Kings Cross, is it? Same at the other end; NCL is a long way out of town.
In his letter Tom revealed that if he had taken the train from London King's Cross at the 17:00 it would have arrived at 19:42.
Instead, the flight which departed at the same time from Elstree Aerodrome, near Watford, London arrived at 18:30. Nearly twice as fast.
That "nearly twice as fast" is pretty stupid.
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Old 13th May 2017, 07:27
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If I were an OC holder, I'd be barking mad at the regulators for allowing this fuzzy activity. Winlgy devalues the effort of those pilots who earn a CPL, and those companies who comply.

Perhaps it is this kind of shift which society ultimately wants, that's society's to decide.
I can understand this argument although, as a single data point, I would point out that when I offered rides before the FAA published their edict, none of the people I shared flights with could remotely be described as a potential client for a private charter or air taxi. At worst they might have deprived Michael O'Leary of 20 quid (which is less than their share of the cost of the flights we took) but, in at least two cases, they actually paid an airline for a return flight which they otherwise wouldn't have needed.
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Old 14th May 2017, 00:21
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In doing a little research on this topic, I found the Canadian regulation, which applies to this situation:

  • 401.28 (1) The holder of a private pilot licence shall not act as the pilot-in-command of an aeroplane or helicopter for hire or reward unless the conditions set out in subsection (2), (3), (4) or (5), as applicable, are met.
  • (2) The holder of a private pilot licence may receive reimbursement for costs incurred in respect of a flight if the holder
    • (a) is the owner or operator of the aircraft;
    • (b) conducts the flight for purposes other than hire or reward;
    • (c) carries passengers only incidentally to the purposes of the flight; and........
From what I have come to understand, a pilot renting a plane, and flying to the request of a passenger who intends to pay, would violate most if not all of a, b, & c above. Different regulations on each side of the Atlantic I suppose.

I suppose my legacy understanding of the Canadian regulations, and my predisposition to agree with them in this regard, makes me leery of the Wingly approach to organizing paid flights for "random" members of the public.
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Old 14th May 2017, 09:52
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ST

I think that regulation puts it quite well. If a pilot is doing a specific flight anyway, puts it on a cost share site and, as a result, gets a rider prepared to share the cost, that's OK. If they simply advertise along the lines: "I'll take anyone anywhere they want to go if they pay" that clearly isn't.

One grey area I noticed with Skyuber was that potential riders can post flights they are interested in taking. In most cases, I believe that to be innocent enough: a pilot wanting to take that up would still have to post the flight and wait for the rider to join it; but still I can see how that feature could be abused.
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Old 14th May 2017, 10:48
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With reference to the quoted Canadian regulation,

I think that regulation puts it quite well. If a pilot is doing a specific flight anyway, puts it on a cost share site and, as a result, gets a rider prepared to share the cost, that's OK.
The Wingly model may have rental private pilots doing this, which is outside the terms of (a), but more to the point, "... puts it on a cost share site...." appears to violate the regulation item (b) "conducts the flight for purposes other than hire or reward;". When the pilot lists the flight, it just became about hire/reward.

Again, in Canadian terms, I can imagine the regulator not getting too excited about an event or two of this, like the "insider" thread here. But I would think a rental pilot with weekly listings on an advertised website ('cause the ad was directed to me in Canada) which amount to "I'm going flying, but where would you like to cost share to go?" crosses the Canadian line. The regulator would not tolerate that for long!
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Old 14th May 2017, 11:20
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ST

Yes, I agree: that crosses the line in my book as well. For me the test is / should be whether the ad amounts to the following:

I, the pilot, am doing a flight to a specific destination on a specific day: does anyone want to come along and share the costs?
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Old 16th May 2017, 07:42
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Originally Posted by Step Turn View Post
By tolerating this, the regulators are disadvantaging those OC holders who have worked hard to meet the requirements. If I were an OC holder, I'd be barking mad at the regulators for allowing this fuzzy activity. Winlgy devalues the effort of those pilots who earn a CPL, and those companies who comply.
This just isn't a valid reason. Regulations should be for safety, not to protect profit.

Originally Posted by Jonzarno View Post
ST

Yes, I agree: that crosses the line in my book as well. For me the test is / should be whether the ad amounts to the following:

I, the pilot, am doing a flight to a specific destination on a specific day: does anyone want to come along and share the costs?
But the regulation is explicitly intended to encourage PPLs to fly more hours, to improve currency and therefore safety.
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Old 16th May 2017, 08:12
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Originally Posted by NYBM View Post
This just isn't a valid reason. Regulations should be for safety, not to protect profit.



But the regulation is explicitly intended to encourage PPLs to fly more hours, to improve currency and therefore safety.
Why "But"? Surely that's exactly what it does do whilst also prohibiting illegitimate commercial flights?
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Old 16th May 2017, 08:46
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Originally Posted by Jonzarno View Post
Why "But"? Surely that's exactly what it does do whilst also prohibiting illegitimate commercial flights?
Sorry for the confusion, I was just replying to two comments in the same post. The cost-sharing regulation can only achieve its explicitly stated purpose if your suggested test isn't applied.
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Old 16th May 2017, 10:30
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Regulations should be for safety, not to protect profit. ......
But the regulation is explicitly intended to encourage PPLs to fly more hours, to improve currency and therefore safety.
Regulations should be whatever the public wants them to be, but with a clear understanding of all factors. "The public" chooses regulations, and regulatory change by a political or public consultation process (albeit a rather long one, sometimes). If "the public" are willing to surrender their sense of a minimum standard in pilot skill and experience, and operational oversight, (which are both in lace entirely for perceived safety), the public can ask for the required regulatory change, and perhaps, in Europe have so asked.

BUT, should such a change now entitle PPL's in non owner aircraft to start offering flights to the public, which are virtually indistinguishable from those presently only (in Canada, anyway) available within an operating certificate regulatory framework, it will become "buyer beware" for the public. For many things "the public" depend upon regulatory oversight for their sense of safety, as "the public" generally lack the knowledge and capability to assess the safety of specific things themselves.

I depend upon the regulator for food and drug safety, as I have no idea. So, I resist the idea that uninspected drugs or produce would appear in my store, indistinguishable from those which have met the standard of regulation.

Low time PPLs lack the experience and "lessons learned" personal knowledge to execute a flight at the same level of safety as a CPL flying within an OC system. If the public are willing to take this step back in actual safety of flying, they may participate in regulatory change to allow it. Right now, in Canada, anyway, the regulation is clear, to prevent PPL's in non owned aircraft flying for hire and reward in a publicly available way.

This is not about profit or not, however, no one is going to go through the effort to obtain and maintain the safety structure included in an OC, without the opportunity to make a profit too!
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Old 16th May 2017, 13:09
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The cost-sharing regulation can only achieve its explicitly stated purpose if your suggested test isn't applied.
I understand your point and, as you can see from my other posts here, I am very much in favour of genuine cost sharing. But (), at the same time as encouraging pilots to fly more, we still need to stop phoney "taxi service" operators from abusing the rules.

My suggested test seemed a sensible way of achieving that, although I'm happy to listen to other ways of achieving those twin objectives.
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Old 18th May 2017, 16:35
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https://en.wingly.io/index.php?page=...s&flight=49241

Is a "sightseeing flight" not an AOC operation in the UK?
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