Carrying Firearms On Aircraft

Written by Greg Reigel

Continued from page 1

At first glance, these statutes seem to be very broad and all encompassing. However,repparttar definitions of “air transportation” and “intrastate air transportation” as defined in 49 USC §40102 limitrepparttar 119261 applicability of these statutes to air carriers. What is an air carrier? It is an individual or business who provides transportation for hire either between two states or within one state using a turbojet aircraft with more than 30 seats. Practically speaking, these definitions limitrepparttar 119262 applicability of this statute torepparttar 119263 airlines and charter operators who are either flying between states or operating larger, turbojet aircraft.

U.S. Statute 49 CFR §1550.7 is a more specific “catch-all” that applies to aircraft weighing more than 12,500 pounds and whererepparttar 119264 aircraft’s operation is not otherwise subject torepparttar 119265 statutes and regulations addressed above. This regulation requires that an operator “must conduct a search ofrepparttar 119266 aircraft before departure and screen passengers, crewmembers, and other persons and their accessible property (carry-on items) before boarding”, regardless of whether boarding and loading occurs from a sterile area.

Another regulation that affects your ability to carry a firearm on a flight operated by a charter operator is 14 CFR §135.119. Under this regulation “no person may, while on board an aircraft being operated by a certificate holder, carry on or about that person a deadly or dangerous weapon, either concealed or unconcealed. Section 135.119 does not apply to LEO’s or to “Crewmembers and other persons authorized byrepparttar 119267 certificate holder to carry arms”. Thus, although this regulation appears to limitrepparttar 119268 possession of firearms, ifrepparttar 119269 charter operator grants you permission, either directly or within its operations specifications, you would be exempt from this regulation and able to carry firearms subject to any other applicable statutes or regulations.

Finally, if you are flying in a private aircraft that is not being operated by a common carrier from one state to another, and no other statutes apply to your flight, you will still be subject to 18 USC §926A regardingrepparttar 119270 interstate transportation of firearms which states that “any person who is not otherwise prohibited by this chapter from transporting, shipping, or receiving a firearm shall be entitled to transport a firearm for any lawful purpose from any place where he may lawfully possess and carry such firearm to any other place where he may lawfully possess and carry such firearm if, during such transportationrepparttar 119271 firearm is unloaded, and neitherrepparttar 119272 firearm nor any ammunition being transported is readily accessible or is directly accessible fromrepparttar 119273 passenger compartment of such transporting vehicle”.

This statute allows you to transport firearms between states subject torepparttar 119274 statute’s conditions: that you can lawfully possessrepparttar 119275 firearm at your points of departure and arrival, andrepparttar 119276 firearm is unloaded and inaccessible duringrepparttar 119277 trip. However, what if you are a CCW permit holder and you want to carry concealed between states? Well, fortunately 18 USC §927 states that Section 926A does not pre-empt applicable state law. Thus, if you can lawfully carry a concealed weapon inrepparttar 119278 state in which you boardrepparttar 119279 aircraft and inrepparttar 119280 state in which you land, you are not subject torepparttar 119281 unloaded and inaccessible restrictions of Section 926A.

For operations of private aircraft within one state, you will only be subject torepparttar 119282 laws ofrepparttar 119283 state within which you are operating. You will need to review your state’s statutes to determine whether they impose any restrictions on possession of firearms within non-sterile areas of airports. You will also need to be familiar withrepparttar 119284 airports you will be visiting to determine whether each airport has any restrictions (e.g. posting to prohibit concealed carry etc.).


What does all this mean? Well, forrepparttar 119285 majority of people traveling on commercial aircraft,repparttar 119286 ability to transport firearms onrepparttar 119287 aircraft is severely restricted. In almost all cases, unless you are flying in a private aircraft, carrying firearms with you on an aircraft, either on your person or in your carry-on luggage, is prohibited.

You may still bring firearms and ammunition with you on a flight, but they will need to be unloaded and contained in a locked case within your checked luggage in compliance with your airline or aircraft operator’s policies. Your best bet is to check with your airline or aircraft operator ahead of time to make sure you know and can comply with their policies for transporting firearms. With a little planning and preparation, it can be done.

If you are flying on a charter aircraft that weighs less than 12,500 pounds, you can only carry firearms withrepparttar 119288 operator’s permission and as long as you can lawfully do so at both your departure and arrival airports.

For those of you who fly in private aircraft and carry firearms with you, knowingrepparttar 119289 areas at an airport within which you can and cannot possess a firearm will help you avoid accepting a clearance or taxiing to an area within which possession of firearms is prohibited. So long as you remain outside of airport sterile areas, your possession of firearms will only be subject torepparttar 119290 laws ofrepparttar 119291 state in which you are flying.

As always, fly safe and, especially if you are carrying firearms, fly smart.

Greg is an aviation attorney, author and holds a commercial pilot certificate with instrument rating. His practice concentrates on aviation litigation, including insurance matters and creditor’s rights, FAA certificate actions and aviation related transactional matters. He can be reached via e-mail at or check out his website at

Understanding Aircraft Insurance Policies

Written by Greg Reigel

Continued from page 1

Rather,repparttar insurance company will pay a maximum of $1,000,000 per occurrence, but will only pay each passenger up to a maximum of $200,000. Thus, for an accident in which only one passenger is injured,repparttar 119260 insurance company’s maximum exposure is $200,000, exclusive of any amounts it spends on your defense.

Onrepparttar 119261 other hand, smooth limit coverage of $1,000,000 per occurrence will provide up to $1,000,000 of coverage regardless ofrepparttar 119262 number of passengers. This coverage presents a greater risk torepparttar 119263 insurance company since it could have to payrepparttar 119264 full policy limits even if only one person is injured. As a result, greater risk means thatrepparttar 119265 premium for this coverage is going to be more expensive thanrepparttar 119266 premium for a policy containing sub-limits.

Policy Definitions

When you read an aircraft insurance policy, you need to pay special attention torepparttar 119267 definitions section. Many ofrepparttar 119268 terms used inrepparttar 119269 policy have specific definitions that are different from a dictionary definition or common usage for that word.

Examples includerepparttar 119270 definition of “accident” which is often defined as a “sudden and unexpected event resulting in bodily injury, death or property damage”. This is different thanrepparttar 119271 definition of accident contained in NTSB Rule 830 and is also more specific than a dictionary or common usage definition ofrepparttar 119272 word.

Another example isrepparttar 119273 definition of “commercial operations” or “commercial purpose.” An insurance policy’s definition of this term is usually different from, and in some cases may be broader than,repparttar 119274 FAA’s or IRS’s definition or a dictionary definition.

These are just two examples. However, remember thatrepparttar 119275 aircraft insurance policy is a contract between you andrepparttar 119276 insurance company. Both you andrepparttar 119277 insurance company agreed torepparttar 119278 policy definitions when you paidrepparttar 119279 premium andrepparttar 119280 insurance company issuedrepparttar 119281 policy. As a result, both you andrepparttar 119282 insurance company will be bound by those definitions.

Coverage Exclusions

Your aircraft policy will also contain exclusions. Exclusions define circumstances in whichrepparttar 119283 insurance company will not provide you with coverage for operation of your aircraft. An aircraft insurance policy usually includes both specific and general exclusions.

Specific exclusions arise when you assume additional liability (e.g. you sign a contract that indemnifies or holds someone else harmless for damage they cause), damage occurs to your own property or injury occurs to members of your family. The policy may also specifically exclude coverage for your own medical expenses or for your operation of an aircraft that you do not own.

Depending uponrepparttar 119284 state in whichrepparttar 119285 aircraft is based, general exclusions can result in denial of coverage regardless of whether they directly caused a particular claim. These exclusions will preclude coverage for operation of your aircraft in commercial operations (as defined byrepparttar 119286 policy, not necessarilyrepparttar 119287 FAA or IRS), using your aircraft to commit unlawful acts, damage caused by war or terrorism or if your aircraft is operated by a pilot that is not named as an insured onrepparttar 119288 policy and does not meetrepparttar 119289 open pilot qualifications.

Who Is Covered

Assuming no exclusions are applicable,repparttar 119290 policy will provide coverage to each person named as an insured underrepparttar 119291 policy and to pilots who meetrepparttar 119292 “open pilot” requirements. As a threshold matter, each pilot operatingrepparttar 119293 aircraft, whether named insured or qualifying underrepparttar 119294 open pilot provision, will need to possessrepparttar 119295 appropriate pilot and medical certificates and meet all currency requirements for operation of your aircraft.

The open pilot provision extendsrepparttar 119296 coverage of your aircraft insurance policy to a pilot operating your aircraft who is not a named insured on your policy. The provision sets out total time, time in type and training requirements thatrepparttar 119297 unnamed pilot must meet in order forrepparttar 119298 pilot to be covered underrepparttar 119299 policy. Generally, if those requirements are met andrepparttar 119300 pilot is operating your aircraft with your consent, your insurance coverage should extend to that pilot.

What You Can Do

The complexities of aircraft insurance can seem daunting. But, what can you do to protect yourself? The first, and one ofrepparttar 119301 most important things you can do, is to read your insurance policy. If you have questions regarding terms or coverage talk to your insurance agent or contact an aviation attorney who is familiar with aviation insurance matters.

Once you understandrepparttar 119302 policy, make sure you abide byrepparttar 119303 policy and comply with its terms and requirements. It makes little sense to spend substantial amounts of money on insurance premiums and then place your coverage in jeopardy by doing or allowing something your policy prohibits.

Next, document your operations. What do I mean by that? Simple: Keep good records. Make sure your pilot logbook is up-to-date and current. If you take your pilot logbook with you when you fly, make copies ofrepparttar 119304 pages containing your satisfaction ofrepparttar 119305 FAR currency requirements and keeprepparttar 119306 copies in a safe place.

This way, if something happens to your pilot logbook and your insurance company orrepparttar 119307 FAA later question your currency, you will have back-up proof that you were current for your flight. Although not as critical, you may also want to keep a photocopy of your pilot certificate(s) along with your logbook records.

Finally, you should use this same procedure for your aircraft and engine logbooks. If you must take them with you inrepparttar 119308 airplane, make copies and keep them in a safe place. In this instance, you may want to make a full set of copies ofrepparttar 119309 logbook entries, rather than justrepparttar 119310 pages showingrepparttar 119311 aircraft’s current airworthiness. An aircraft that contains logbook entries for all ofrepparttar 119312 work ever performed onrepparttar 119313 aircraft is worth more to a potential purchaser than if those records are incomplete or missing.

These simple steps can prevent potentially costly disputes downrepparttar 119314 road. It’s been said thatrepparttar 119315 best insurance isrepparttar 119316 insurance you never have to use. That may be, but if you take these steps, you should have greater peace of mind that your insurance will be there if you need it.

Greg is an aviation attorney, author and holds a commercial pilot certificate with instrument rating. His practice concentrates on aviation litigation, including insurance matters and creditor’s rights, FAA certificate actions and aviation related transactional matters. He can be reached via e-mail at or check out his website at

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