Pilot Counsel

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Unmanned aircraft systems

Pilot Magazine | Jan 08, 2015

The legal status of unmanned aircraft systems (also called UAVs—unmanned aerial vehicles—and more colloquially, “drones”) has now been confirmed to technically be “aircraft” subject to relevant FAR Part 91 general operating and flight rules.

Pilot Counsel: Defining airworthiness

Pilot Magazine | Dec 01, 2014

A recent opinion of the NTSB in an FAA enforcement case illustrates the sometimes convoluted concept of aircraft “airworthiness.”

It could happen to you

Pilot Magazine | Nov 07, 2014

It could happen to you. Flying into notam-established security airspace is one of the most prevalent violations charged against general aviation pilots.

Hangar storage

Pilot Magazine | Oct 02, 2014

One of the many benefits offered to participants in the AOPA Legal Services Plan is a one-time annual review and critique of certain aviation documents—in this case, a hangar lease agreement that a LSP participant has been asked to execute.

Pilot Counsel: Revisiting shared expenses

Pilot Magazine | Sep 04, 2014

Two recent legal interpretations by the FAA’s chief counsel deal with the time-honored privilege of a private pilot—and a commercial and ATP pilot while exercising only private pilot privileges—to conduct a shared-expense flight.

Pilot Counsel: Aircraft ‘accidents’ and mishaps

Pilot Magazine | Aug 05, 2014

The NTSB’s official definition of an aircraft accident is different from what is more frequently referred to colloquially as an aircraft accident.

Pilot Counsel: Don’t wait too long

Pilot Magazine | Jul 31, 2014

It is time to remind readers about the FAA’s Aviation Safety Reporting Program—administered by NASA as the Aviation Safety Reporting System (ASRS).

Pilot Counsel: An airspace incursion

Pilot Magazine | May 12, 2014

This is a case in which the FAA ordered a 165-day suspension of a Cessna 172 pilot’s private certificate for an incursion into San Francisco’s Class B airspace.

Pilot Counsel: It was 1965...

Pilot Magazine | Apr 04, 2014

My editors, otherwise great people, twisted my arm to write something about my long and happy relationship with AOPA Pilot magazine as being appropriate to this seventy-fifth anniversary of AOPA.

Pilot Counsel: Careful consideration

Pilot Magazine | Mar 06, 2014

Last month I talked about a demand from the FAA for the reexamination of a pilot’s qualifications to hold his or her certificate or ratings.