Jerry A. Eichenberger, Aviation Law attorney with Calfee, Halter & Griswold's Columbus, Ohio office, wrote an article, "Legal Lease – Illegal Charter?" that was published in the Spring edition of the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA) Insights newsletter.
In the article, Jerry explains the concepts of a "dry lease" as one that provides the use of an aircraft to the lessee and transfers the operational controls of flights to the lessee and a "wet lease" as being similar to a charter-type flight where the lessor retains the operational control of the flight, provides the flight crew, oversees aircraft maintenance, and is responsible for insurance for the aircraft. The article notes a significant increase in FAA enforcement actions related to alleged illegal charters, particularly since the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic hit the aviation industry. Jerry cautions that it may be prudent to have an aviation attorney review lease paperwork to ensure the legitimacy of a dry lease arrangement.