The South Carolina Flight Standard District Office – Educational Outreach to Identify Suspected Illegal Charter Flights

Unfortunately, there have been instances where unsuspecting members of the public have chartered aircraft for flights only to find out after the fact that the operators of these flights were not legally qualified, i.e., not certificated, to conduct those flights.
Unscrupulous entities have used many schemes to ostensibly legitimize the flight, i.e., illicit and/or devious lease agreements, conditional sales contracts, operational control conveyances, etc. Regrettably, many members of the public simply are not aware that an operator must possess and display either an “Operating Certificate” or “Air Carrier Certificate.”  Moreover, many members of the public have chartered a flight and unwittingly accepted the responsibilities of “operational control” when they were not aware that “operational control” involved:
1.     Flight Crewmember Selection;
2.     Manual Control;
3.     Flight Planning;
4.     Airworthiness of Aircraft;
5.     Flight Release;
6.     Flight Locating; and
7.     Flight Information
This knowing or unknowing assumption of the responsibility of operational control creates a serious problem in air safety and involves substantial legal liabilities for the unsuspecting user who has become a victim of an uncertificated operator.
Therefore, in an effort inform members of the public accordingly, SC FSDO personnel will convey the requirements of legitimate operators to possess and display their Operating Certificate or Air Transportation Certificate and that the operators are responsible for all matters concerning operational control.  SC FSDO personnel will post informational posters at FBOs throughout the District of SC (see attachment).  Any questions may be directed to the SC FSDO at (803) 765-5931.