Part 134-1/2 Operators Using Part 91 Dry Leases

Part 134-1/2 Operators Using Part 91 Dry Leases

Recently there was an article published on the Aircraft Guys blog about Part 134-1/2. This refers to an aircraft charter operator who is operating as a Part 135 operator without certification. We have recently heard stories about how Part 134-1/2 operators using Part 91 dry leases to accomplish this.

While we are not here to provide legal advice or interpret between the lines of FAA regulations, it does seem there may be some gray areas.

A Part 91 aircraft can have multiple owners. Fractional ownership is very popular. When it comes to leasing an aircraft, they are generally broken down into two parts.

One is a dry lease. Generally, this means that the lessee has leased just the aircraft itself. The other is a wet lease. This usually means the aircraft has a crew and may even have maintenance included in the lease.

Now back to the gray areas:

Technically, when an aircraft owner receives any compensation from a passenger, that crosses the line into becoming a charter or being bound by Part 135. There are some lines here where if someone is just contributing to the cost of operating the aircraft it may still be a Part 91 aircraft.

Where this gets very tricky is when someone has a Part 91 lease. Obviously a lease can have multiple lessees but what about a sub-lease ? If a lessee sublets to someone who uses the aircraft and pays for a period similar to a jet card that would still seem to still fall within Part 91. Or maybe not.

If true, this could potentially reduce the hourly cost of an older aircraft for that sublease from the traditional up to $10,000 per hour jet card rate to as low as $2,500 per hour.

While usure of the legalities here, we have heard rumblings that this is going on. Let us know what you think.

And if you want to improve your bottom line, your current advertising is not working as well as you would like or just want to fresh eyeballs to give you some strategy ideas. Get in touch with us.

Send us an email at

Part 134-1/2 Operators Using Part 91 Dry Leases