Flight sharing is fully legal in the European Union according to the European Regulation (EU) No 965/2012 and it has been confirmed by the EASA itself in this letter. Private pilots are allowed to share their flights and costs with passengers in non-complex aircrafts carrying no more than 6 persons including the pilot. They are also allowed to advertise their flights. Furthermore pilots are only allowed to share the direct costs of the flight as it would be illegal for them to make any profit.
Following the EASA Charter
We are proud to have signed a Safety Charter with the EASA. This Charter has been developed in cooperation with the European Aviation Safety Agency in order to promote the safety of non-commercial General Aviation flights in light aircrafts. By signing this Charter Wingly makes the commitment to adhere to its principles, responsabilities and values.
It is important to understand that the pilot is the only decision maker on the aircraft as he/she is the pilot in command. Before departure, the pilot can decide at any time to cancel the flight. During the flight passengers must abstain from making any comments on the decisions of the pilot, to avoid distracting the pilot from safely piloting the aircraft.
As part of their pilot licence, private pilots have received training on weather conditions and the consequences of deteriorating weather conditions. Most pilots will only be allowed to fly in visual weather conditions as part of their VFR (Visual Flight Rules) training. Some pilots might have an IFR (Instrument Flight Rules) qualification and are permitted to fly under non-visual weather conditions. At all times, both VFR and IFR pilot's decision on flying, diversion during flight or not flying shall be respected. A passenger should never try to persuade a pilot to fly if the pilot has decided otherwise, at the risk of putting the passenger and the pilot in danger.
The light aircraft in which you will be flying is very sensitive to weight variations. The pilot takes into consideration the weight that passengers have declared for themselves and their luggage to check the plane’s center of gravitiy. Therefore it is mandatory that passengers respect the maximum weight authorised by the pilot on this aircraft and not move their luggage during the flight. It's for all those reasons that passengers shall indicate the weight precisely before departure and inform the pilot if it were to change.
Passengers should never take illegal or risky goods with them. If the passenger has doubts about the dangerous nature of carried goods, the passengers shall inform the pilot and check with the pilot if transportation is possible. The pilot can check your bags at any time and refuse to take you. If the pilot sees that you are carrying dangerous goods and the pilot has not been informed, the pilot shall refuse to take you on board.
When planning the flight, the pilot takes into account the planned time of departure and arrival and the expected weather conditions at those times. Thus it is important that the pilot is able to take-off at the planned time. In case of uncertainty on the timely arrival, passengers shall inform the pilot.
Passengers shall obey the following basic safety principles:
- Smoking is prohibited on all flights.
- Passengers are never allowed to touch the instruments as this it could lead to an accident.
- Passengers shall not speak when the pilot is using the radio and during take-off and landing.
- Passengers shall never touch the door lock if the pilot has not instructed them to do so.
- Passengers should refrain from using psychoactive substances, including alcohol before or during flying.
- Passenger shall be aware that there will be no toilets onboard
The pilot is the only one who has the authority to make decisions concerning the flight and the aircraft. The presence of other people on board should never make the pilot feel pressured to conduct the flight in a certain way. He is the only one who knows how to safely pilot the aircraft. The passenger will have been informed about the possibility of the cancellation of the flight at any time for any reasons.
Bad weather conditions are a primary reason for accidents in non-commercial General Aviation flights with light aircraft. Weather conditions can change quickly, as a result the pilot may cancel the flight. Therefore, the day before the actual flight, the pilot should inform the passenger of the weather forecast regarding the feasibility of the flight. The presence of the passenger on the day of the flight and their expectations that it will take place, shall not make the pilot reluctant to cancel a flight.
EU safety regulations only permit cost-shared flights by private individuals, if the direct cost (i.e. cost directly incurred in relation to the flight, e.g. fuel, airfield charges, rental fee for an aircraft) are shared between all parties, including the pilot. Cost-shared flights shall not have an element of profit. If a flight is not a cost-shared flight in accordance with EU safety regulations, the flight will be qualified as a commercial flight and commercial air operation rules will apply.
Prior to the flight, the pilot shall always indicate the type of aircraft used for the cost-shared flight. Whenever, the aircraft type and model of the aircraft changes, the pilot must inform the passenger of such a change.
The cost-shared flight will be conducted under the sole responsibility of the pilot under the applicable regulation for non-commercial flights with light aircraft by private pilots. It is also the pilot’s responsibility to ensure the flight is insured for flights with passengers. See the Insurance page: https://en.wingly.io/index.php?page=content&sub_page=insurance
The European Aviation Safety Agency built a Pilot check-list on the different step pilots shall follow to communicate wisely to their passengers the different safety and logistic elements. The aim of the check list is that both pilots and passengers spend a nice time in the best safety conditions possible. This check list is of interest for both pilots and passengers.
The Civil Aviation Authorities
The CAA is very supportive of Wingly’s activities, helping pilots advertise cost shared flights and promote light aviaiton. An official validation letter from the CAA addressed to Wingly specifically, assures users of its valid legal status. The CAA Order 1188 General Exception E4277, allows cost-sharing in the same way that EASA does.