Pilot Counsel

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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.

Pilot Counsel: Reexamination

Pilot Magazine | Feb 12, 2014

One of the tools that the FAA uses in its enforcement efforts is a request to reexamine a pilot’s qualifications to hold his or her FAA certificate or ratings.

Pilot Counsel: Logging pilot-in-command time

Pilot Magazine | Jan 17, 2014

“Hangar-flying lawyers” enjoy wrestling with interesting legal problems.

Pilot Counsel: ATC instructions

Pilot Magazine | Dec 23, 2013

A recent interpretation by the FAA’s chief counsel answers the question whether the rule requiring compliance with ATC instructions applies to a pilot flying under visual flight rules in Class E airspace.

Pilot Cousel: Running on empty (2)

Pilot Magazine | Dec 01, 2013

Last month I reviewed the minimum fuel requirements for flight in VFR conditions. This month I am on to the IFR requirements, with some of its more important nuances and interpretations.

Pilot Counsel: Running on empty

Pilot Magazine | Nov 01, 2013

The fuel requirement for flight in VFR conditions is an important rule that we don’t have much occasion to look at in detail.

Pilot Counsel: Ends of the spectrum

Pilot Magazine | Oct 01, 2013

A recent legal interpretation by the FAA chief counsel gets into some complexity in dealing with the important regulatory difference between “private” and “commercial” operations.

Pilot Counsel: ASRS

Pilot Magazine | Sep 01, 2013

It seems time again to remind pilots about the FAA’s Aviation Safety Reporting Program (ASRP), administered by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) as the Aviation Safety Reporting System (ASRS).

Pilot Counsel: Safety pilot

Pilot Magazine | Aug 01, 2013

It is FAR 91.109(c) that specifically imposes the requirement that a safety pilot be on board an aircraft being operated in simulated instrument flight. This regulation is really a supplement to the see-and-avoid responsibility imposed by FAR 91.113(b). “When weather conditions permit, regardless of whether an operation is conducted under instrument flight rules or visual flight rules, vigilance shall be maintained by each person operating the aircraft so as to see and avoid other aircraft.”

Pilot Counsel: VFR weather minimums, Part II

Pilot Magazine | Jul 01, 2013

Last month we reviewed what I call the "standard" VFR weather minimums. This month we get to the more complicated but happily lower, less stringent, minimums that are available in some airspace for some particular operations.

Pilot Counsel: VFR weather minimums: Part I

Pilot Magazine | Jun 01, 2013

Federal Aviation Regulations 91.155 and 91.157 tell us the minimum weather conditions required for a flight under visual flight rules (VFR). These rules are fundamental to the primary way pilots avoid collisions--the see-and-avoid concept--using that indispensable piece of equipment, the eyeball.

Pilot Counsel: No defects?

Pilot Magazine | May 01, 2013

A pilot, while taxiing a Cessna 210D on an established taxiway at the Opa-Locka Executive Airport in Florida, struck a parked Cessna 560 XL jet that had its tail cone approximately four feet into the taxiway. The pilot inspected the damage to the 210 and said that he found only a paint scratch on its wing-tip fuel tank.

Pilot Counsel: Freedom to fly

Pilot Magazine | Nov 01, 2012

Our right to use the airspace.

Pilot Counsel: FARs 91.105 and 91.107

Pilot Magazine | Sep 01, 2012

The rules on seat belts and shoulder harnesses.

Topics Pilots

Pilot Counsel: Safety seats

Pilot Magazine | Aug 01, 2012

In our continuing review of the flight rules that apply to general aviation pilots and owners, we last reviewed the rules of FAR 91.105 and 91.107 on the use of seatbelts and shoulder harnesses in October 2004. That's because the rules have essentially remained unchanged. Now, however, the FAA has issued what it calls a "clarifying" interpretation regarding the shared use of a single restraint, which purportedly changes prior interpretations, and is worth noting.

Pilot Counsel:

Pilot Magazine | Jul 01, 2012

The flight rules of FAR Part 91, which specify the minimum safe altitudes for flight, provide that "except when necessary for takeoff or landing, no person may operate an aircraft below the following altitudes." The rule then goes on to prescribe the specific minimum altitudes.

Pilot Counsel:

Pilot Magazine | Jun 01, 2012

The number of FAA enforcement cases that come across my desk remind me that Section 61.15(e) of the Federal Aviation Regulations continues to generate an unusually large number of enforcement actions against pilots. This is the regulation that requires pilots to report certain automobile driving infractions to the FAA.