AOPA Pilot Magazine - April 2021 - 106

NEWS & NOTES 

MEMBER PRODUCTS AND SERVICES

LEGALLY SPEAKING |

How low
is too low?
Low-flying aircraft

AVIATION FINANCE

|

ADAM ANSWERS
BY IAN ARENDT

Pilot Protection Services

FLYING " LOW AND SLOW " seems to be
increasingly popular lately, so to help keep
your scenic flight safe and legal, refamiliarize yourself with FAR 91.119.
FAR 91.119 prescribes four important
altitude minimums, except for when necessary for takeoff or landing. Specifically,
over a " congested area, " an aircraft may not
be operated at less than 1,000 feet above the
highest obstacle within a horizontal radius

Avoid the common mistake
of assuming a " congested
area " is depicted on a
sectional chart.
of 2,000 feet of the aircraft (FAR 91.119[b]).
Over an " other than congested area, " an aircraft may not be operated at less than 500
feet above the surface, per FAR 91.119(c).
Over " open water " or a " sparsely populated area, " an aircraft may not be operated
closer than 500 feet from any person, vessel,
vehicle, or structure (FAR 91.119[c]). A pilot
must always maintain a sufficient altitude to
avoid undue hazard to people or property
on the surface in the event of an emergency landing (FAR 91.119[a]). Helicopters,

powered parachutes, and weight-shiftcontrol aircraft may deviate from certain
minimum altitudes if the operation can
be conducted without hazard to people or
property on the surface (FAR 91.119[d]).
Avoid the common mistake of assuming a " congested area " is depicted on a
sectional chart as the yellow area outlining
cities and towns. Even the FAA can't tell you
exactly what constitutes a " congested area, "
" other than congested area, " " open water, "
or " sparsely populated area. " These terms
are neither defined nor readily determinable by a formula. Rather, the FAA utilizes
a case-by-case approach, considering all
the circumstances, to determine compliance with FAR 91.119. Precedent reveals
that a " congested area " can include a small
area with 10 houses and a school, a university campus, a beach along a highway, or a
camp with numerous people on the docks
and children playing on the shore.
At the end of the day, it is the pilot in
command's responsibility to consider " all
available information " to ensure compliance with the regulations (FAR 91.103).
IAN ARENDT is an in-house attorney with

B Y A DA M M E R E D I T H
P R E S I D E N T, A O PA F I N A N C E
Q: My friend and I (both AOPA members) now each own 50 percent of an
LLC that owns a Piper Cherokee with
no debt. We plan to sell the Piper and
purchase a used Cirrus SR20 after
COVID-19, hopefully later this year.
We will finance. However, we will have
asymmetric ownership-I may own
$270,000 and my friend may own
$70,000 of the LLC, including its asset
of the Cirrus (assuming we purchase
one for $340,000, for example). I can
pay the down payment portion (10 or
20 percent) and finance my remaining portion. We both have excellent
credit ratings and credit history and will
be approved for our amounts. Can the
LLC have a 20-year loan with us as cosigners? Will a bank loan to an LLC? Or
will we each need direct personal loans
outside the LLC, but with the LLC (or
the airplane itself) listed as a secured
asset for collateral?
A: AOPA Finance works as a broker
and has multiple lenders to consider.
All lenders will treat the LLC as the
borrower and use the aircraft as collateral. Additionally, lenders will require
that all members of the LLC personally
guarantee the loan. Depending on the
lender, you may be shown on the loan
documents as either guarantors or coborrowers with the LLC.
aopafinance.org
800-62-PLANE (75263)

AOPA's Legal Services Plan.

CONTACT AOPA
ADDRESS CHANGE?

Send your new address and AOPA
membership number to AOPA:
421 Aviation Way
Frederick, Maryland 21701-4798
Fax: 301-695-2375
aopa.org
TOLL-FREE PILOT
INFORMATION CENTER

800-USA-AOPA (872-2672)
pilotassist@aopa.org

AOPA FOUNDATION

AOPA AIRCRAFT FINANCING

AOPA AIR SAFETY INSTITUTE

AOPA PERSONAL INSURANCE

800-955-9115
aopafoundation.org
800-638-3101
airsafetyinstitute.org

AOPA CREDIT CARD PROGRAM

Top off your airplane and wallet
with the best card for pilots.
877-787-3171
aopa.org/creditcard

800-627-5263
aopafinance.org

800-USA-AOPA (872-2672)
aopa.org/membership/personal
AOPA PILOT PROTECTION SERVICES

800-USA-AOPA (872-2672)
aopa.org/pps
AOPA TRAVEL DISCOUNTS

aopa.org/cars | aopa.org/hotels

AOPA PILOT INFORMATION CENTER HOURS

Do you have questions or need information about an aviation topic? Access the team of aviation experts in our Pilot Information Center
during our convenient weekday hours. Call 800-USA-AOPA (872-2672) Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. until 6 p.m. Eastern time, with
your questions and our staff will be happy to assist you.
Visit the website (aopa.org/membership) to learn about upgrading to our higher levels of membership with Pilot Protection Services
coverage included.
106 | AOPA PILOT April 2021


http://www.aopafinance.org http://www.aopafoundation.org http://www.aopafinance.org http://www.aopa.org/membership/personal http://www.airsafetyinstitute.org http://www.aopa.org http://www.aopa.org/pps http://www.aopa.org/creditcard http://www.aopa.org/cars http://www.aopa.org/hotels http://www.aopa.org/membership

AOPA Pilot Magazine - April 2021

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of AOPA Pilot Magazine - April 2021

Contents
AOPA Pilot Magazine - April 2021 - Intro
AOPA Pilot Magazine - April 2021 - Cover1
AOPA Pilot Magazine - April 2021 - Cover2
AOPA Pilot Magazine - April 2021 - Contents
AOPA Pilot Magazine - April 2021 - 2
AOPA Pilot Magazine - April 2021 - 3
AOPA Pilot Magazine - April 2021 - 4
AOPA Pilot Magazine - April 2021 - 5
AOPA Pilot Magazine - April 2021 - 6
AOPA Pilot Magazine - April 2021 - 7
AOPA Pilot Magazine - April 2021 - 8
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AOPA Pilot Magazine - April 2021 - Cover3
AOPA Pilot Magazine - April 2021 - Cover4
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