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The Flight Department Company Trap

(162 reviews)

Produced on August 19, 2019

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Course Information

Time 1h
Difficulty Intermediate
Topics covered in this course: Aviation

Course Description

Many regulatory issues arise when owning or operating an aircraft. Aircraft owners or operators who are unfamiliar with these regulatory restrictions commonly attempt to shield tort liability by creating some form of corporate entity that is a subsidiary of the “real” operating company, or they have that company solely owned by the individual who really wants to use the aircraft. They then make the aircraft the sole substantive asset of the company, and use that company to maintain and fly the aircraft for the benefit of the parent company or sole shareholder. By doing so, they have just fallen into the “flight department company trap.”

This course, taught by aviation attorney Greg Reigel, will provide details on the various Federal Aviation Administration rules that have a significant impact on how businesses or individuals can utilize private aircraft, as well as how counsel can identify the flight department company trap, understand the consequences of creating a flight department company, and the available alternatives to avoid falling into the trap and legally conduct private aircraft operations.

Learning Objectives:

  1. Review relevant federal and state laws and regulatory activity applicable to aircraft operations
  2. Assess how these laws apply to different types of aircraft operations
  3. Identify a flight department company flight operation
  4. Provide practical guidance to avoid the flight department company trap and properly structure private aircraft operations

Credit Information

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Gregory J. Reigel

Shackelford, Bowen, McKinley & Norton, LLP

Greg has more than two decades of experience working with airlines, charter companies, fixed base operators, airports, repair stations, pilots, mechanics, and other aviation businesses in aircraft purchase and sale transactions, regulatory compliance including hazmat and drug and alcohol testing, contract negotiation, airport grant assurances, airport leasing, aircraft related agreements, wet leasing, dry leasing, FAA certificate and civil penalty actions and general aviation and business law matters.

He routinely represents and counsels both U.S. and international aviation industry clients on complex FAA, DOT, and TSA, regulatory compliance and enforcement issues. His clients include a diversity of lenders, buyers, sellers, lessors and lessees who he helps implement legal strategies and transaction structures with the goal of securing and optimizing their legal and financial interests. He also assists aviation clients in resolving disputes arising from their aviation activities including litigation, alternate dispute resolution and representation before local, state and federal agencies and legislative bodies.

As an aviation law authority, Greg has extensive experience teaching the next generation of aviation and legal professionals. He has taught aviation law, aviation transactions, aviation security, and business law and trial advocacy courses. Greg is a noted presenter and has spoken at multiple conferences and to numerous groups over the years about aviation regulatory, security and legal issues. He also regularly writes on these same issues for a variety of aviation and legal publications.

Greg holds a commercial pilot certificate (single-engine land, single-sea and multi-engine land) with an instrument rating.


Irena L.

Informative and detailed without getting bogged down.

Andrew P.

Great program Excellent speaker Please offer more programs on aviation and space law.

Daniel B.

Greg has the most knowledge of the FAA issues in this area of any practicing lawyer, great CLE

John C.

A complex topic, but the presentation covered all the bases...so reference materials will be important.

John D.

The faculty was incredibly knowledgeable and engaging in the presentation.

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