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

Dodgy or legit?

Old 11th Apr 2017, 17:08
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I can see AOC holders employing mystery/secret shoppers
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Old 12th Apr 2017, 10:44
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Other than the cost sharing element, which apparently both EASA and the CAA have approved, what is the legal difference between these flights and those that might arise from the Spare seats Available / Desired sticky thread at the top of this forum?

Also, what is to stop people sharing a flight arising in that way from agreeing to split the costs?

In both cases, unless already known to each other, neither the pilot nor the passenger knows anything about the other (except that in the case of Skyuber / Wingly there is a pilot profile).
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Old 13th Apr 2017, 10:53
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Completely agree. The way Wingly works is you post a flight, say, on the 1st March, stating that on the 28th March, you will be doing a flight from North Weald to Cambridge (for example) in your rented 172. You get a request from someone asking to join you.
For the passenger to make the request, they must have been approved by Wingly, which requires proof of identity and nationality, as well as them having read all the T's and C's, which explicitly state that the decision to go rests solely with the pilot, and if the flight is cancelled, the passenger will receive a full refund. When the request comes through, the pilot can have a look at the potential passenger's profile, and decide whether to accept or decline the request. If they accept, they then message the passenger to introduce themselves.

I am a very low hour PPL, looking to build my hours, so have joined both Wingly and Coavmi (very similar outfits). I have advertised one flight so far as a local sightseeing tour outside of CAS. This allows me to cost share to help hour building and introduces someone to the fantastic world of GA. My reason for only sightseeing outside of CAS, I know my limitations, and am not yet 100% confident flying through, so need to brush my skills, with a much more experienced pilot.
My passenger already knows that I'm a very low hour pilot, but they're comfortable with the flight. It works wonderfully.

Last edited by tobster911; 13th Apr 2017 at 13:48. Reason: removed some incorrect information from my post
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Old 13th Apr 2017, 12:21
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As long as you realise that by offering this service yourself rather than through a company entity it is you who are liable should there be an incident.

Friends and family are unlikely to take legal action should something happen. Strangers you have met on the internet are different.

I still think this enterprise will only be around until the first legal case.

I would certainly expect the CAA to be keeping a close eye on it and possibly sending out some 'mystery shoppers' with tempting offers so if you value your licence then be careful.
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Old 13th Apr 2017, 13:19
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Originally Posted by tobster911
I am a very low hour PPL, looking to build my hours, so have joined both Wingly and Coavmi (very similar outfits, but Wingly is preferred as it's been officially EASA approved).
On a point of detail, Wingly is not "officially EASA approved". EASA has gone out of its way to make sure it does not have to approve any such platforms. Wingly has made a declaration in the form of an industry standard charter, to which EASA has had some informal input. I would expect other platforms to do the same.
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Old 13th Apr 2017, 13:47
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Ah, OK. Thank you...
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Old 13th Apr 2017, 14:44
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I would certainly expect the CAA to be keeping a close eye on it and possibly sending out some 'mystery shoppers' with tempting offers so if you value your licence then be careful.
I'm not sure the CAA would bother to do this but, if they did and caught someone breaking the rules, they should take action against them in exactly the same way as they would in the case of any other offence.

The essence of this is that cost sharing is allowed. The added dimension provided by Wingly, Skyuber, and indeed the Spare Seats thread on here, is just the mechanism by which those rides and their costs are shared.

Given that those mechanisms seem to be acceptable to the CAA and EASA (but not AFAIK to the FAA!) and that pilots have insurance covering injuries to passengers, whether cost sharing or not, I don't see anything unreasonable in people doing this so long as they follow the rules.
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Old 13th Apr 2017, 20:11
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To get a licence to drive a minicab in the UK, one must have held a UK/EU driving licence for at least 12 months. The 12 month threshold is there so that while someone my have passed their driving test and legally qualified to drive a car, they will almost certainly have spent a year driving around and building up experience (e.g. handling heavy traffic, busy roundabouts, motorways, driving at night, etc) before they are let loose on people who have no knowledge on their competence.

If I'm in a car with someone who I think is driving dangerously I can at the very worst case ask them to pull over within 30 seconds and get out the car. As a passenger in the front seat, if they refuse to stop the car, I can even pull the hand brake and force the car to a stop if I absolutely have to

When you're in a plane up in the air, there is no "please pull over within 30 seconds and let me get out" option, particularly when flying cross-country rather than circuit bashing around a home base. Someone with low hours necessarily has a low level of experience and may be more than a little challenged by what to do when something surprising happens. As soon as money is involved, it becomes much more embarassing to ask another pilot whether going up today is a good idea or not - and a desire to avoid looking silly becomes a decision to fly anyway.

Yes, Wingly has the option for passengers to give ratings on pilots. I can rate hotels as well - but even if the hotel room I stay in has cockroaches it's unlikely to present genuine safety issues. There is also usually back up from a local Govt inspector to ensure that things like fire escapes are properly maintained.

However most passengers on Wingly will rate mainly on "seemed like a nice friendly person" - passengers generally are unable to determine a level of technical competence and safety. Wingly seem to be encouraging passengers to decide on whether to fly based on other passenger ratings - i.e. decide solely on whether pilot "seems like a nice friendly person" rather than safe and technically competent

Yes, once you have your PPL you are legally qualified to take someone for a trip and for said person to pay their share of fuel costs. I think people are focussing rather too much on what they are maybe legally entitled to do - one must also be responsible and ask "Is this really a good idea ?"
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Old 13th Apr 2017, 21:15
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Yes, once you have your PPL you are legally qualified to take someone for a trip and for said person to pay their share of fuel costs. I think people are focussing rather too much on what they are maybe legally entitled to do - one must also be responsible and ask "Is this really a good idea ?"
I agree entirely. But that applies whether you fly a friend you have known for 20 years, or someone who replied to the Spare seats thread or to Wingly / Skyuber. The point is that shared GA flights carry a level of risk that is independent of the mechanism by which they are arranged.
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Old 25th Apr 2017, 21:34
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Wingly - Flight sharing

Is this really legal?

I have had a flick through and although the pilots are only sharing the costs of the flights, I would say that a lot of the adverts on pilots profiles are questionable, many 20 year old PPLs saying that they are able to perform pleasure flights and air taxi services..... This must in in a very grey area, I would also ask to what extent these flights are not considered commercial as somebody is making money for it somewhere along the ine.

Any thoughts (sorry if this isn't posted in the correct place)
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Old 25th Apr 2017, 21:55
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This has been covered before. Basically, it's completely legal as long as the pilot also pays some money towards the cost of the flight, and therefore doesn't make a profit. The pilot can also not fly as a taxi. He/She 'sells' seats on a flight they ALREADY have planned. It's no different to me posting on Facebook to my friends and family: 'Hi all, I'm flying from North Weald to Norwich on Friday 28th at 10AM. I have 2 spare seats available and if you want to come with me, just chip me £30 each'.

If, however, someone approached you and said 'I'd like to go to Norwich on the 28th and I'll pay you the £130 it'll cost', then it's more like an air taxi, but good luck proving that is the case, and not that you decided that's where you wanted to go.

I think it's a great idea. People who love aviation helping out a new pilot build their hours by cost sharing.
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Old 25th Apr 2017, 21:57
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How can this advert be legal in any way?

https://en.wingly.io/index.php?page=profile&user=12751
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Old 25th Apr 2017, 23:08
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How can this advert be legal in any way?
That particular one isn't....

CAA Guidance is: "but it should be made clear that it is a cost sharing flight, and not commercial air transport under an Air Operatorís Certificate (AOC)"

This person states that they are offering an Air Taxi service (implied AOC), without a valid CPL and without an AOC, therefore technically liable for prosecution under current laws.

CAA Guidance on Cost Sharing

This is the official guidelines. No 20 pages to flick through, no messy, lawyer talk, just plain English. Something tells me the NZ CAA has been over and taught the UK CAA to be more accessible to people...

The questions are: Would you let a complete stranger, non-pilot, sit right next to you with a complete set of controls? (Do you know their mental state? Could they ruin the fun for everyone? etc...) Would you cope with the pressure of having someone used to flying from A to B with Easyjet, pushing to go in marginal (or worse!) weather? Would you cope with them feeling unwell during the flight? (some of my friends haven't felt all that well in a light aircraft going through light turbulence - it seems surprisingly common...) Is it worth the risk?

For some people it might well be, for others it is quite scary. I am not sure I would want to offer my flights to complete strangers, without at least a faint knowledge of who they are!
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Old 26th Apr 2017, 00:02
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Originally Posted by JumpJumpJump
How can this advert be legal in any way?

https://en.wingly.io/index.php?page=profile&user=12751
Clearly a fool. Leaves himself wide open to knowing what school he's renting from. Hopefully his CFI pulls him up before he does anything stupid right at the start of his career.

Wingly is great for experienced pilots, but they really need to put experience requirements to prevent people like this, 100hrs PIC min sounds fair surely? What happened to flying with some family, friends and fellow pilots first and doing some proper hour building?

Inexperienced pilots with no idea of their limits pushed to deliver, is something that could really unfairly harm Wingly's reputation if anything goes wrong. I can only hope it gets solved before it goes terribly wrong.
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Old 26th Apr 2017, 01:56
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I think it's a great idea. People who love aviation helping out a new pilot build their hours by cost sharing
Another perspective is that this is 90% a horrible idea. When things go wrong, and they will, the news will be full of "inexperienced pilot", "chisel charter", insurance would not cover", Owner denies that their aircraft was permitted this use", and more.

Our industry suffers a very public image problem, and is characterized as barnstorming. As seems to be the knee jerk reaction from a well known accident a year and a half ago, the regulator will be pressured into broad new regulation, and that will hurt legitimate cost sharing. We don't benefit when a pilot takes short cuts toward their learning goals.
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Old 26th Apr 2017, 04:43
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It's a 100% horrible idea. To undertake it shows unworldliness and poor judgement. It's all alright until it's not - and there are plenty of examples of shoddy aviation pseudo charter operations bringing grief and misery the world over.

I've been a private pilot and aircraft owner for 35 years, doing all I can to stay sharp and current. But I refuse to do cost-shares even with business colleagues on work trips. The way I see it, partly based on judgements flowing from some of the many tragic events written up in many jurisdictions, it'd be almost impossible to (i) defend myself from the charge that I was offering a commercial service, minus many of the safeguards that entails and, more importantly, (ii) convince myself that I was not so doing.

Incidentally, I do use both Uber and AirBnB and feel both are useful, but over-hyped. I've occasionally refused offered services on both of them, citing safety or suitability concerns. To put it in perspective a little, I've also insisted on a change of aircraft during work commercial charters. Judgement is a sizeable component of all aviation.
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Old 26th Apr 2017, 05:49
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I agree 100% with tecman. I think I'm a decent pilot with nearly 2000 hours, CPL-IR and all the rest. But no way am I taking a complete stranger up in my plane, whether for money or not. The risks if something goes wrong are just too awful to contemplate.

And similarly, I would be VERY wary of climbing into a plane flown by someone else unless I knew quite a bit about their piloting skills. If they have a CPL and 1000 hours, sure. 50 hour PPL - I don't think so.

The trouble is that this is all obvious if you're a pilot with a bit of experience. But the people who are jumping on this just have no idea - a pilot is a pilot is a pilot, just like those nice chaps up front on Ryanair. I think we've all been there in "oh sh*t" moments, when it's all going pear-shaped and it's a struggle to just keep aviating. But 50 hours PPLs haven;t yet had their share of this stuff. (And I don't consider myself seriously experienced, but at least I have seen how things can go wrong).

Luckily in the US it is very clearly forbidden - it is considered to be "holding out" and requires not only a CPL but suitable air carrier qualifications, the whole Part 135 ninety-nine yards.
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Old 26th Apr 2017, 06:53
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Originally Posted by planesandthings
Clearly a fool. Leaves himself wide open to knowing what school he's renting from. Hopefully his CFI pulls him up before he does anything stupid right at the start of his career.

Wingly is great for experienced pilots, but they really need to put experience requirements to prevent people like this, 100hrs PIC min sounds fair surely? What happened to flying with some family, friends and fellow pilots first and doing some proper hour building?

Inexperienced pilots with no idea of their limits pushed to deliver, is something that could really unfairly harm Wingly's reputation if anything goes wrong. I can only hope it gets solved before it goes terribly wrong.

Yes, IMO even posting the ad is illegal and Wingly should take it down without delay.

However that doesn't change the fact that genuine cost sharing is legal and is independent of the way in which people sharing those costs agree to do so. The decision as to whether an individual pilot or rider wants to do so or not is, of course, entirely for them to make.
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Old 26th Apr 2017, 07:21
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So he's offering an air taxi service and he's got a PPL with 63hrs TT?

Very good...
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Old 26th Apr 2017, 08:24
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Why the hysteria?

Specifically re: cost sharing. There are a set of regulations - we can all read them - and someone is using them in a way that doesn't fit the historic understanding of how things were done in the past.

Is it safe? Well I don't see aircraft littering the streets from all these dangerous services being punted out and if we are going to "just think of the children" how about all these people smoking around the sky with self-declared medicals (latest AAIB monthly bulletin?) or how about the fact we are perfectly happy with low time student pilots going solo.

If the complaint is around regulation then perhaps the CAA could clarify the intent if they wanted and write regulation appropriately - it isn't hard to do. If the complaint is around all the work needed for CPL perhaps you are looking down the wrong end of the the telescope?
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