Well I have to say...I'm certainly not in the best of moods after today. Here's the story.
I have one buddy of mine (a VFR private pilot) that I fly with quite often. There are two flights that we made together out of the flying club where I do my recreational flying. While enroute, I let him fly the plane for a very short amount of time, however in his logbook he logged the entire flight, landings and all. This was done basically for sentimental purposes only. It's to my understanding that as long as he doesn't use the flight for currency purposes or towards the time requirements for another certificate or rating, doing this is okay. I should mention also, that at the time he didn't have to much intention of doing any more training.
Anyway, recently he decided to go for his IFR ticket. After flying with me those couple of times out of my flying club, he was very impressed with the aircraft (almost all brand new) and the people there. So he decided that this is where he wanted do his training. Today he went out to the club for his first flight and membership registration. While going through the membership process, one of the owners had to make a copy of his certificates and logbook pages. In the process of making the logbook copies, the co-owner noticed that he had time in the club's aircraft. She also saw my name in his logbook written in as safety pilot on a previous flight out of a different FBO. When she recognized my name she asked my friend if I was who he had flown with. Of course, he told her yes.
The issue with this situation is that club rules state that only club members are allowed to fly the club's aircraft. At the time, I didn't recall this being a rule. Had I known it was, I never would have let anyone else fly.
So this afternoon I took a drive out to the airport to try and clear everything up. Things didn't clear up as well as I had hoped. Because I broke a club rule (apparently a very BIG rule) I'm facing the possibility of being ejected from the club. The woman that I was talking to (the co-owner mentioned before) said that if she had to make a decision right then and there, it would be that my membership would be revoked and I would no longer be allowed to fly the club's aircraft. She said she didn't want to make any hasty decisions, so she wanted to sleep on it and talk to her husband (the owner) and would call me by Tuesday or Wednesday to let me know what was decided.
I tried to explain that he only handled the controls in flight for a short time and never did any t/o's or landings. Unfortunately, his logbook stated that he did and that's what they are going by. I guess my word is no good against a logbook.
Here's the part the is really bothersome to me. During the discussion in the woman's office, it was implied that I was being irresponsible and not using common sense when I decided to let my friend fly for a few minutes. She felt that a "multi-engine rated commercial pilot should have more sense than that." Maybe I'm too sensitive but hearing the words irresponsible and lack of common sense thrown around kinda hit home a bit.
So my question is this. How many of you pilots out there have let someone else handle the controls for a bit during a flight? Do a lot of people do it or do I just think that a lot of people do it. Was I really being that irresponsible?
Oh well. I broke a rule and I guess I have to deal with the consequences. I'm certainly hoping that she was just trying to put the fear of God in me to make sure that I never do it again; and, that I'm really not facing being kicked out of the club. What sucks even more is that I have an application for a line position in with them as well as hopes of working as a CFI there. I guess I can kiss those two job goodbye.
Sorry for the lengthy post, but I need to vent a little.
Right rudder....Right rudder...Come on, more right rudder....Right rudder......Aw forget it, I quit!!