Flying for Business

Flying for Business

Technically, you cannot fly your private aircraft for pay. You can't carry passengers or freight for money. However, you can accept remuneration of their fair share of costs (fuel, oil, etc.). To fly passengers for profit you'll need to step up to a commercial rating.

But you can use your aircraft in your business, if you follow the FAA and IRS rules. For example, if you need to fly commercial airlines or drive to locations as part of your job or business you can fly your own aircraft to the same location and deduct the business costs. It's just like getting mileage for your car.

I don't know what business you're in, if any, or how you might use your new plane for business purposes, so I advise you to talk with an accountant before attempting to expense plane travel. However, you might find that using your plane for business can help you better afford a sport aircraft. At the least you'll need to track these expenses:

  • Fuel costs
  • Replacement oil
  • Maintenance
  • Insurance
  • Hangar or tie-down costs
  • Landing fees
  • Plane value and depreciation
  • How and how much you use the aircraft for business

It's similar to what you need to do for declaring a car as a business expense. If you need further help, contact your accountant, the AOPA, the EAA, or discuss this with other pilots who use their planes for business purposes.