Does anyone other than you ever fly your aircraft? Even for short post-maintenance or ferry flights? If so, and if you hold title individually, then you can be held 100% personally liable for any accident involving your aircraft. The accident might not be covered by insurance, or the damages could exceed your policy limits, putting your home and other personal assets at risk.
The best protection for these risks is to hold title in an aircraft Limited Liability Company. While an LLC won’t shield you from liability when you personally are the Pilot in Command, it will limit your liability when others are flying your aircraft.
An essential element of holding title is to establish that the LLC is only providing the aircraft to you (and/or others) in what is called a “dry lease”. In the eyes of the FAA, the term “dry” has nothing to do with fuel, but instead refers a lease without any pilot services provided. All pilot services must be provided by (or paid for by) the lessee who is leasing the aircraft from the LLC. The dry lease must specify that the lessee (usually the LLC member or their other business entities) is in “Operational Control” of the aircraft as defined in 14 C.F.R. §1.1. If the aircraft is transferred to an LLC without a proper dry lease in place, the FAA can allege that the aircraft is a flight company department, aka an illegal charter that is required to operate under Part 135. The General Aviation Law Firm, P.C. understands all aspects of LLC formation and drafting of proper dry leases to keep our clients in Part 91 and out of Part 135.
Our firm provides LLC formation services in all 50 states. See HERE for our flat rate pricing for both LLCs and dry leases.