Sundance Flying Club
April 2007 Newsletter

Charitable Flights

Local charities often ask for donations of sightseeing flights, which they auction off to benefit their cause. While some of us have enjoyed donating in this manner, the FARs have been somewhat unclear on what is required to legally do this. The FAA has now spelled out the rules for charitable flights, effective March 15, 2007.

The FAA recognizes 3 types of charitable flight - for a registered charity, for a non-profit organization, and for community events. Notably, in a ruling since sent to the EAA, the FAA exempts Young Eagles flights from being classified as charitable flights.

A private pilot may engage in a charitable air tour subject to a number of restrictions. The FAA finds that (1) logging flight time is a form of compensation; (2) most charities are a business holding out to the public through advertising and collection of fees directly through payment of money much like an air carrier, or indirectly through donations; and (3) private pilots normally may not fly for compensation or hire. However, the FAA allows some charitable, nonprofit, and community event flights to be conducted under part 91. Lets look at the requirements.

  • These flights will be limited to a 25-mile exception.
    • The flight begins and ends at the same airport
    • The flight is conducted within a 25 mile radius of the airport
    • The flight is not aerobatic or formation
    • The flight is Day VFR
  • Private pilots can fly such events, and they can operate without drug and alcohol testing
  • Private pilots must have at least 500 hours total flight time.
  • Sponsors and their pilots for charitable and nonprofit events are limited to four events each calendar year.
  • Sponsors and their pilots for a community event are limited to one event per calendar year. An event may involve several flights but may not last more than three consecutive days.
  • The operators of these flights must comply with the safety requirements in part 136 but without drug and alcohol testing.

In order to conduct such a flight, at least 7 days in advance of the event, the sponsor must send the local FSDO a signed letter with photocopies of each pilot's currency information and a statement from the pilot listing all prior events of this type in which the pilot has participated during the current calendar year.

This is spelled out in the relevant FARs - 14CFR 61.113(d), 91.146, 119.1(e)(2),and 136 Subpart A.

Car Rental

One of the joys in flying is to land at a new airport and explore. Finding transport at the destination is often not one of the joys. One car rental agency, Enterprise, has realized the potential of renting from many of the airports we frequent. We have now negotiated a corporate rate with Enterprise for our members. You can get this by quoting our id - 23J3022, by going to the GA link on their web site and entering 23J3022, or by clicking the new link on the Sundance web site scheduling page.

Oil Supplies

As announced last month, spare oil is now located on the flight-line. We have changed the oil to Castrol 100. This oil comes in a green container which has its own pouring funnel! Simply fold up the two flaps on the oil container lid and pull them up and away from the container. The pouring funnel will then be extended. You unscrew the cap and pour the oil. This oil contains the Lycoming additive for O320s and so is good for all club airplanes.

Ongoing Office Rearrangement

With the major rearrangement complete for the front office, we are now focusing on the Briefing Room. We have moved the video library into the old flight book cabinet (now with transparent doors) and have added a DVD player to the VCR. This makes an ideal 1-2 person viewing station. More changes are coming to facilitate viewing by larger groups.

The next steps are to improve the briefing stations, and to relocate the soda machine into the Briefing Room.

Airplane Keys

The airplane keys are now on uniform key rings, a different color for each airplane. The keys have been stamped with O, B, D, and M so you can identify the appropriate Oil, Baggage, Door and Magneto keys without guesswork.

FAA Charts

The only western region chart to change this month (April 12) was the Klamath sectional. The new chart is available at the office at the usual member discount. Next month will see the next cycle of Approach plates and IFR enroute charts.

Pilot Supplies

Sundance now carries a number of ASA pilot supplies, such as log books and kneeboards. Our current range is on display in the front office, where they can be purchased during office hours. Club members get a discount. If you want something we do not have, ask, as we can often get it quickly and cheaply.

Airplane Equipment Changes

N2865M will be back on line on April 24 after having its GPS upgraded for WAAS capability. This will enable it to fly the new precision RNAV (GPS) approaches being commissioned at airports such as Half Moon Bay. We will be putting on GPS/WAAS courses shortly, so stay tuned.

Airplane of the Month - N94565

For many decades the mainstay of initial instruction has been the Cessna 150 and 152. These 2 seat airplanes have probably taught more people to fly than any other airplane outside the military. N94565 is one of the later 152s and is equipped, as are most, with a full VFR and minimalist IFR, set of flight instruments. This encourages the student to focus on the key skill to be acquired, keeping their head out of the cockpit and their eyes scanning the horizon. The airplane has a 110 hp Lycoming O235 engine. The most significant engine management issues are the possibility of spark plug fouling (prevented by proper leaning on the ground) and carb. icing (prevented by judicious use of carb heat).

Although the smallest airplane in the Sundance fleet, N94565 is the most heavily used, a true testament to its continuing popularity as a primary trainer.


Partnership Share - Cessna 310R (1975)

Vincent Wilkins is looking for a new partner for his 310R based at Palo Alto. 1/2 share is $73,000, 1/3 share is $50,000. Details at Sundance. Vincent's phone number is (650)465-3853.

Fractional share - Cessna 414

Pressurized cabin class twin. 7 seats. 196 ktas at FL230. Potty, air conditioning, auto-pilot, gps, etc. Transition training available. 1/6 share $35,000. Contact Howard on (650)787-7630.