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PIC in the back seat

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PIC in the back seat

Old 22nd Jun 2020, 13:05
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PIC in the back seat

Got a bit of a discussion going on, thought I'd throw it out to the crowd.

PA28 (so single pilot plane). Three pilots on board.

Question: Can the PIC (who is also the only one insured) be in the back?

Added info, the insurance company say this is okay...

Answers on a postcard?

Thanks, Sam.
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Old 22nd Jun 2020, 13:33
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No, that's nonsensical.
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Old 22nd Jun 2020, 13:36
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Wot he said...
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Old 22nd Jun 2020, 13:37
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For what it's worth, I agree - but the insurance company and at least one CFI (FAA) say that it's legal. Which has me surprised as I thought everyone, literally everyone, would be going with the 'nonsensical' response.
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Old 22nd Jun 2020, 14:19
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Get it in writing from the insurer. If hes in the back hes not PIC ! He may be the aircraft owner. Usually a policy will cover an instructor flying the aircraft
with the insured operating as dual / PICUS / PUT. If the only insured party is sat in the back looking out the window a fail to see who is insured to operate at
that point !
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Old 22nd Jun 2020, 14:28
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No stick, no vote so unless your insurer knows something the rest of us donít, no chance.

Itís a PA28. Even a chimp with a few hours on a PPL can get insured on one.
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Old 22nd Jun 2020, 14:46
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To paraphrase Annex 6, it says that all flight crew members shall be at their stations and remain at their stations (except when they need to leave their station to perform a duty). Clearly for a PA-28 this means one of the two front seats.
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Old 22nd Jun 2020, 14:47
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Originally Posted by Tay Cough View Post
No stick, no vote so unless your insurer knows something the rest of us donít, no chance.

Itís a PA28. Even a chimp with a few hours on a PPL can get insured on one.
Sounds like a strange variation from 'can I log P2 on an A320 if I'm in seat 15b?'.
Join up the words, 'lawyers, accident, court, prosecution' and think how the above situation would go.
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Old 22nd Jun 2020, 14:54
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Don't know if this helps at all but.......I recall that there used to be a distinction between a pilot-in-command and the aircraft commander - I don't recall the details but I think the definitions in the UK ANO definitions were such that the aircraft commander was not necessarily 'manipulating the controls'. IIRC this situation was essentially related to multi-crew commercial operations but was possibly relevant to GA types if they were being operated under an AOC. The definitions in the EASA rule framework doesn't seem to make such a distinction between the two terms, but it's probably irrelevant because the term commander appears only to be used in relation to CAT.
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Old 22nd Jun 2020, 14:56
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Youíre as much use in the back as you are in the cafe, in fact youíre less weight if you sit in the cafe so the aircraft will have more spare performance. Might want to suggest that to the insurers?
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Old 22nd Jun 2020, 15:41
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It works in military flying, where often the aircraft is just the means of delivering the mission, but in civil aviation, the flying is the entire reason for getting airborne.
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Old 22nd Jun 2020, 16:25
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Yes - in the Military AWACS situation the "Captain" is a pilot and he or a designated deputy (crew rest, physiological break etc) is seated at the controls at all times.
The aircraft "Commander" may be a non-pilot and would sit elsewhere.
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Old 22nd Jun 2020, 16:30
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Sorry, I thought this would be about a tandem seat airplane with dual controls. Yes, if that, no if the PIC is not seated at a "pilot" position with full controls. I was asked by PIC in the back seat of a Cessna Bird Dog, I declined, as there is not a full set of controls there. I was asked to be PIC in the right seat of a Cessna Caravan, and after review, I agreed, as the flight manual reference says: "One pilot required in the left seat", and the other guy was a pilot, so I could be PIC in the right seat. I couldn't be PIC in a back seat in a Caravan - nor a PA-28. Really, If you were a pilot in the back seat, and the pilot in the front seat crashed, would you still be willing to sign as the PIC for the flight that was crashed out of your control?
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Old 22nd Jun 2020, 16:53
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Sam, in the UK at least an insurance company can say or decide whatever they like provided it cannot be challenged by the wording of the policy. If they want to insure an act they can even if it is illegal. Other insurers of course may take a different attitude. If you have it in writing you are insured, but it doesnt mean it is legal. So unless your only concern is any insurance claim I would set aside the insurer's view and rely on the legality or otherwise.
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Old 23rd Jun 2020, 00:02
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swh

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Originally Posted by Tay Cough View Post
No stick, no vote so unless your insurer knows something the rest of us donít, no chance.

Itís a PA28. Even a chimp with a few hours on a PPL can get insured on one.
No requirement for the PIC to be in a control seat, when Iím on a 16 hr flight in the bunk fast asleep Iím still PIC. The PIC is the person nominated by the operator to be the pilot in command. For a private flight the operator is usually the aircraft owner, so they nominate the PIC.
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Old 23rd Jun 2020, 01:46
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Angel I can see how that would happen!

I could possibly see the scenario where a PPL student is sitting in the left seat (he/she threfore could not be PIC), another pilot but a student Instructor (fully qualified pilot) however under test to become a flying instructor is in the right hand seat and the back seat contained a Flight Instructor Examiner who is testing the FI student who is teaching the student student could possilby be a valid sceanrio.

As swh mentions above I am still the PIC when I go to the loo or the bunk.

On homonculus's point I disagree as my understading is that policy wording is contractual in nature and you cannot contract out of the law. So if a contract implies you can/should or worse must do smoething and that thing turns out to be illegal then the drafter has a liability for the act.
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Old 23rd Jun 2020, 01:48
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From the ANO...

ĒPilot to remain at controls and be secured in seat 70.ó(1)

During flight, the pilot in command mustó
(a) keep any safety belt fastened while at the pilotís station; and (a) Amended 2017
37

(b) remain at the controls of the aircraft at all times EXCEPT....if another pilot is taking the controls....
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Old 23rd Jun 2020, 02:29
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Hereís one for you.

Student pilot - left seat
Pilot examiner - right seat
FAA inspector - back seat observing the Pilot examiner conduct a check-ride.

Hereís a second scenario:

Student pilot - left seat
Flight Instructor - right seat
Chief Flight Instructor(me)- back seat observing the Instructor.

You can bet your beans that I am PIC in the back seat in that scenario.
In case of accident or incident the FAA would consider the highest rated pilot in a position to interfere in the outcome of the flight as (partially) responsible.


* It is however not loggable time.
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Old 23rd Jun 2020, 04:14
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Under the FAA rules, the PIC can sit wherever he/she wishes. Now whether the person would want to sit in the back is another thing. In the event of an incident or accident, ß91.13 comes to mind.
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Old 23rd Jun 2020, 06:31
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Yes indeed,Check Airman, 91.13 is meant to keep pilots from letting 91.3 get to their heads. Also, 91.13 is very vaguely written, meaning that almost anything can be deemed reckless and careless.
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