Fuel Reimbursement Encouraged for Charity Flights
The FARs include strict rules on how much a pilot may be reimbursed for flights flown under Part 91. But the Air Care Alliance (ACA), which represents volunteer pilot organizations such as Angel Flight and Pilot Air Lift Services (PALS), is meeting with the FAA to discuss making it easier to receive fuel reimbursement for pilots flying medical mercy flights.
There are currently waivers available for pilots to get paid for their fuel, but the ACA wants to streamline the process. Under 14 CFR 61.113(c), the rule is: “… for any flight carrying passengers, a private pilot may not pay less than the pro rata share of operating expenses (fuel, oil, airport expenditures or rental fees).”
Several volunteer pilot organizations have been granted exemption from this rule, but only if they abide by 10 restrictions, including developing a pilot qualification program; requiring a second-class medical certificate; only flying on IFR flight plans; and incorporating IFR weather minimums that exceed those required under the FARs.
ACA reports it has achieved good progress in meeting with the FAA on reducing the burden on pilots to receive reimbursement for their mercy flights. Language was included in last year’s FAA reauthorization bill to further pursue encouraging such reimbursement privileges.