What is the difference between a “Dry Lease” and a “Wet Lease”?
A. A “Dry Lease” is the lease of an aircraft without a crew. It is the aviation equivalent of renting a car. A “Wet Lease” is a lease of an aircraft with a crew. In general, this would be considered a “charter”, and would require both the crew and the aircraft to adhere to special regulations. It is the legal equivalent of hiring a taxicab or a limousine, each of which is operated under more strict regulations than a rental car you would drive yourself. Many people have tried to “get around” the restrictions on ‘wet leases’ by using complicated contracts and leases which have the end result of making sure that only certain pilots actually fly the aircraft that are leased. These agreements are being scrutinized closely by the FAA to make sure that it is very clear who has “operational control” of the aircraft. This is NOT something that you should attempt to draft without very experienced legal counsel.