Is it legal to smoke in your own plane?

Danny Beckett
  • Is it legal to smoke in your own plane? Danny Beckett

    I was just curious, in the past, smoking on planes was permitted.

    What is the law surrounding smoking in your own private plane?

  • The short answer to "Can I smoke in my own private aircraft?" is "Yes, usually".

    As Promised, I looked up the relevant FAR (23.853 - Passenger & Crew Compartment Interiors).

    The actual rule is long and verbose, but pretty common sense. The important regulatory bits for most personal aircraft are just two points though. You must:

    • Have "an adequate number" of self-contained ash trays
      You don't want flicked ash or a snubbed cigarette to start an in-flight fire.
    • Have "No Smoking" signs you can illuminate, if the passenger/crew compartments are separated
      This doesn't apply to most of us since our "personal" airplanes are light singles, but if you've got a fancy twin with a curtain or door between you and the passengers you'll need those signs.

    For "commuter category" aircraft there are even more requirements. Those requirements don't apply to most "personal" planes, so even though it's probably a good idea to meet some of those requirements if you're going to allow smoking in your personal aircraft they're not legally required.


    All that said, while it's likely legal (unless you've removed your ashtrays or your plane didn't come with them) common sense generally dictates you don't want to smoke in your plane - It's bad for the vacuum-driven instruments' filters, will require even more attention to cleaning the inside of your windows, and a loose cigarette in turbulence or a bunch of ashes blown about by an open air vent can be a pretty substantial distraction.

Related questions and answers
  • I was just curious, in the past, smoking on planes was permitted. What is the law surrounding smoking in your own private plane?

  • I'm currently saving money for a plane and training, and the expectations are that I won't have the money for full ownership of much else north of a Cessna 150. I'm investigating partial ownership instead, and I've read that forming a company/partnership to own the plane is better than each member of the group just pitching in out of pocket. Are there any drawbacks to using this method for plane ownership?

  • I'm starting to save up to get my pilots license and I was thinking I might be able to do some amount of prep work by using a flight simulator. That being said, I realize there must be some huge limitations to what I can actually learn, on my own, on a flight sim. So, out of curiosity, are there good things to try practicing on my own in a flight sim? There's got to be a few basic things that would make it worth my time... Otherwise I'll just go back to flying around aimlessly like I usually do :).

  • So one thing that always struck me as kind of odd was when you depart a class D tower (VFR) and you get your departure instructions, that's kind of ... it. You just go on your merry way and switch off frequency whenever you want to. Do people just stay on the tower frequency listening until they're outside of the airspace? Or do you give the tower a courtesy call (N123 leaving the class D) when you get to the boundary, and then switch off? Or, is it legal to switch immediately to another frequency as soon as the tower says 'left turnout approved, resume own navigation'? It always seemed

  • Taking easyJet as an example, they have a fleet of over 200 A319's and A320's. At a price tag of around \$90m per plane, that equates to about \$18bn. Given that their turnover for 2012/13 was around \$7bn, and their net profit was only \$660m, how exactly do they own so many planes? Are they financed long-term? Are they leased? How are the deals structured for the big airlines when purchasing new planes?

  • Does an electronic database containing the various civil runways in a given region of the world exists? Maybe even categorized by type (e.g., grass vs asphalt), length, if controlled or not, etc. If it does not exists, what would be the effort related to creating one? As Danny Beckett mentions, OurAirports has such data, but there is a "use at your own risk" disclaimer. May any source be reliable and trustworthy or will I find such disclaimer on all sources?

  • Do the manufacturers who build airplanes use their own "black boxes" in the planes, or are there companies whose sole purpose is to develop black boxes? For example, in 2010 in the Airblue Flight 202 incident, the black box had to be sent to Germany for data recovery: He stated that the box would be examined by "foreign experts" in Germany or France as Pakistan does not possess... the buying airline use their own black box or their own security protocols for data encryption or encoding, to avoid having to send the black box out for analysis?

  • You are asked to fly a 91 owner trip to a destination. A 135 trip comes up after your owner flight. Does your 135 duty time start when company asked you to fly the 91 owner flight?

  • To most non-U.S. pilots who have little or no experience flying in the U.S., the concept of a FBO is not very well understood. What exactly is a FBO and what are the services that it can provide? I've heard that they can refuel your plane, move it to a hangar, clean it, provide preflight planning facilities, etc. Is there a charge for these services (I guess so) and if so, what can be expected? I've also seen many airports with multiple FBOs. How does that work? All I know is that FBO stands for "Fixed Base Operator". This may seem like a very stupid question but in Europe

  • Let's say you discover that your landing light is inoperable during the preflight. Your aircraft doesn't have a MEL, so you follow 14 CFR ยง91.213(d). Assuming you do everything else required (placard, etc.), would placing a collar around a circuit breaker be considered deactivation? If not, is there anything that a private pilot can do that would be considered deactivation?

Data information