Informal Avionics Testing Found Not to Violate FAR 61.113(a)

A private pilot who installed her company’s avionics in her personal aircraft and provided feedback on the avionics’ performance was found not to have violated FAR 61.113(a), which prohibits private pilots from carrying passengers or property for compensation or hire. ┬áIn a recent response to a request for legal interpretation, the FAA determined that because the private pilot was not compensated for testing the avionics or for providing feedback on the avionics’ performance, and because she did not conduct her flights at the direction of her company, she was not carrying passengers or property for compensation or hire as proscribed by FAR 61.113(a).

Because every situation is unique, any determination regarding whether a private pilot could potentially violate FAR 61.113(a) should be made with the assistance of an experienced aviation attorney.