Wet versus dry leasing: It’s not about the fuel

February 7, 2014


Mike Yodice

  • Director of Legal Service Plans at Yodice Associates
  • Counsels Legal Services Plan/Pilot Protection Services members on FAA compliance and enforcement
  • Regularly flies a Piper J-3 Cub and a Cherokee 180

Aviation terminology can be confusing. In the context of regulatory compliance, it’s quite important to make a distinction between wet and dry leasing. To start, however, it’s equally important and necessary to establish that we’re not talking about a wet rate lease or a dry rate lease. Fuel, of course, is wet and so renting (or leasing) an airplane “wet” can mean the cost of fuel is included in the rate as opposed to “dry” which means it does not. The FAA doesn’t care if you rent or lease an airplane with or without fuel. They certainly do care, however, if you lease both the aircraft and the crew from the same source, which is the wet lease operation we are talking about here and that could run afoul of the regulations.

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