What does the FAA consider "commercial"


Came across this from an FAA pilot exam training program:

"Question: May a recreational pilot act as pilot in command of an aircraft in furtherance of a business?
 ANSWER: No, it is not allowed.
Recreational pilots may not act as pilot in command of an aircraft that is used in furtherance of a business. There is no exception." (Bolding mine, DB)"


Note the phrase "furtherance of a business", that includes a plethora of things such as advertising, product demonstrations and even product placement or use in a movie or TV show.


While this is referring to private vs commercial manned aircraft, this could be applied (via precedent) to differentiate commercial vs recreational as it pertains to (s)UAS uses, pilots and vehicles.

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  • Just to clear some (perceived) confusion.  The certificate being referred to is the Recreational Pilot Certificate.  This certificate allows a pilot to fly under certain limited conditions, where the Private Pilot License allows flight under most VFR conditions.  In certain circumstances, the PPL DOES allow a pilot to fly "in furtherance of a business" but not "for hire".  For instance, a pilot can be paid to fly himself to a meeting, but not to fly his boss there.  The key phrase in the regs is that the flight must be "Incidental" to the business, meaning that if he didn't fly, the pilot would be traveling (and being paid for the time) by some other means.
  • Zak, Does the FAA make a distinction between recreational and commercial use of kites?

    Is the kite being used to further a business?

    Ramon, It comes down what the FAA considers "commercial" to seperate recreational and commercial sUAS, the FAA considers "commercial" as any "furtherance of a business".

    Very much a current issue here. Even now, in the USA, people are still using recreational sUAS guidance to slip commercial use past the FAA. That was the whole problem that started the FAA involvement in the first place.

  • What about other types of recreational type devices (ie kite photography)?
  • It is important to note here that a Recreational Pilot still requires official training and a license.  With only a few exceptions to the Private certificate, a Commercial Pilot Certificate is required to act as PIC for any flight that you get paid.
  • Trying to uncover the hidden algorithm behing the letters of the FAA Pilot Exam. lol? I dont think this is the correct blog for that, so many blogs post of the same???? can you just keep only one for the same theme?
    "this is referring to private vs commercial manned aircraft" more clear it cant be.....
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