Frequently Asked Questions for Pilots
What about personal liability?
The VAC is a coordinating agency only. As such, it assumes no liability for any pilot actions. The liability is the same as if you were transporting any other non-related passengers. If you require a release from the passengers, the VAC has a sample release that you can review online. The VAC, however, takes no position as to its completeness or validity. The release is provided simply as a convenience. Your own attorney should review any release you use.
What about a copilot?
As the pilot-in-command (PIC), you can elect whether or not to have a copilot. We encourage you to take a copilot along if the passenger load permits it.
What if I don’t have an airplane?
The same pilot requirements apply, but you may register a rental aircraft. This would also be a great opportunity to pass this along to your friends who own or operate high-performance aircraft…you can fly as their co-pilot!
How much control does the PIC have over the mission?
As the PIC, you control all flying aspects of the mission, the same as you do on any flight you fly. Once you receive the mission assignment, all communications with the passengers are your responsibility. Safety first is number one.
How will I know when a mission comes up?
VAC staff will contact you (generally via email) when a mission becomes available. You will know the mission date, pickup and delivery cities, and the number and weight of all passengers. Whether or not you accept the mission at this point is up to you. Open unassigned missions also appear under the aircraft tab on the website homepage.
How much advance notice is given?
Advance notice varies, but VAC staff give notice as soon as the mission request is approved. Many of the missions, however, come up on short notice as medical conditions are often not known in advance. You will receive email notifications of missions that are within 30 days. Missions beyond that will be on the open mission page.
What information do I get if I accept the mission?
You will receive an email Mission Assignment with instructions to log on to the website where you will see the mission detail. This contains the mission date, pickup and delivery cities, and the number and weight of all passengers. In addition, you will receive the name, phone number, e-mail address and other contact information of the Passenger Coordinator, who is designated to speak for the passengers on the mission.
Who does the actual planning of the flight?
You do the flight planning. You set up the pickup and delivery times and places in consultation with the passenger. When talking to the passenger, you can communicate any rules about snacks, luggage, etc.
Is there any compensation for fuel or any other airplane expenses?
No. These missions normally are flown under Part 91 of the Federal Air Regulations, which prohibit any direct compensation.
Are VAC flights deductible from income tax as a charitable contribution?
Yes, VAC flights normally are deductible since the VAC is organized as a not-for-profit corporation under 501c3 of the IRS code. The VAC, however, does not give out tax advice; consult your tax advisor for a final determination. The VAC will provide you with the number of hours and missions flown each year. The valuation of the deduction is up to you and your tax advisor.