Pilot Counsel

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Pilot Counsel

Pilot Magazine | Dec 01, 2003

The Federal Aviation Administration has issued its final rules governing fractional ownership of aircraft. The federal aviation regulations contain a new subpart K to Part 91, which became effective just last month.

Pilot Counsel

Pilot Magazine | Nov 01, 2003

From our most basic courses in American Civics we learned that our system of government creates a unique division of powers between the federal government and the individual states. It has been interesting to review in this column how this uniqueness plays out in the laws that govern our activities as aircraft owners and pilots.

Pilot Counsel

Article | Oct 01, 2003

How time flies! It was 20 years ago in this column that we announced the beginning of the AOPA Legal Services Plan. Since then the plan has grown to almost 70,000 participants, the coverages of the plan have been expanded, and grateful thousands of members have been helped with their aviation-related legal problems, all at very modest fees.

Pilot Counsel

Pilot Magazine | Sep 01, 2003

In past columns we have explained the regulations that require a pilot to present credentials and documents to the FAA for inspection. One of the documents that the FAA routinely asks for, especially after an accident or an incident is the pilot's logbook.

Pilot Counsel

Pilot Magazine | Aug 01, 2003

FAR 91.103 sets out what preflight action a pilot must take before beginning any flight. It is a regulation that deserves review from time to time because the FAA often cites it in enforcement actions against pilots.

Pilot Counsel

Pilot Magazine | Jul 01, 2003

Sometimes important law is made or interpreted in decisions of the National Transportation Board. Here is a decision that deals with the often-elusive line between private and commercial air operations.

Pilot Counsel

Pilot Magazine | Jun 01, 2003

There is a saying among lawyers that "hard cases make bad law." A perfect illustration is the flurry of legislative and regulatory activity by federal and state governments since the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. We pilots have borne the brunt of much of it, some of which has not made much sense.

Pilot Counsel

Pilot Magazine | May 01, 2003

Here is a legal topic that continues to be of interest to our members, one that we haven't covered in recent years. It is an explanation of the law and procedures that are available to protect buyers, sellers, and financers in aircraft title transactions, especially when buying an aircraft.

Pilot Counsel

Pilot Magazine | Apr 01, 2003

This case is unusual and interesting to pilots for several reasons. First and foremost, it gives us an opportunity to look at an unusual law that mandates a lifetime revocation of a pilot's FAA certificate for certain drug offenses.

Pilot Counsel

Pilot Magazine | Mar 01, 2003

Section 61.60 of the Federal Aviation Regulations requires a pilot (or flight instructor or ground instructor) to give written notification to the FAA of any change in permanent mailing address. What pilots particularly need to be alert to is that, if this notification is not given after a 30-day grace period, the pilot may not exercise the privileges of his or her certificate until the required notification is given.

Pilot Counsel

Pilot Magazine | Feb 01, 2003

Here is a reported legal decision that shows us how seriously the Federal Aviation Administration and the National Transportation Safety Board consider the mixing of alcohol and any kind of flying activity. The aviator involved is, or was, a professional pilot.

Pilot Counsel

Pilot Magazine | Jan 01, 2003

The FAA has issued new rules that add "photo identification" to the list of credentials that a pilot must have when flying. The new rules also require that the pilot present this photo ID for inspection when requested.

Pilot Counsel

Pilot Magazine | Dec 01, 2002

After conscientiously struggling through an FAA medical application form, you find next to the line for your signature a nasty warning that you could be criminally prosecuted and subject to up to a $250,000 fine and five years' imprisonment for falsification of the application. Have you ever been worried or irked by this? If you have, you may find this recent case somewhat reassuring.

Pilot Counsel

Pilot Magazine | Nov 01, 2002

Any instrument pilot knows that a safety pilot must be on board the aircraft anytime it is being operated in simulated instrument flight in such a way that the pilot's view outside the cockpit is restricted. We don't find much dispute about that.

Pilot Counsel

Pilot Magazine | Oct 01, 2002

Here is a question for you instrument pilots: May a pilot legally make an instrument approach to an airport when the reported weather is below the minimums for the approach? In other words, may the pilot take a "look-see"? Even though you might get some "hangar flying" debate about it, the answer is yes. Yes, that is, for those of us who fly privately (not air carrier, commercial, or military operations).

Pilot Counsel

Pilot Magazine | Sep 01, 2002

You may not have noticed that the regulatory concept of a "calendar month" has been gradually introduced into the Federal Aviation Regulations. It is a concept that has proven to be a good one for aircraft owners and pilots.

Pilot Counsel

Pilot Magazine | Aug 01, 2002

The Aviation and Transportation Security Act was enacted late last year. It is intended to beef up our national security in the wake of September 11.

Pilot Counsel

Pilot Magazine | Jul 01, 2002

Every pilot understands that it is his or her responsibility to be sure that the aircraft about to be flown is in good condition. It's common sense.

Pilot Counsel

Pilot Magazine | Jun 01, 2002

At my FAR refresher seminars I am surprised at how often I am asked about how to respond to an FAA request for pilot documentation, especially pilot certificates and logbooks. "What am I required to produce?" "Must the request be reasonable?" "Can the inspector take my certificate or logbooks?" "Can I physically hold on to my certificate while the inspector looks at it?" "Suppose I refuse to produce these documents, what happens then?" These questions usually lead to a lively discussion.

Pilot Counsel

Pilot Magazine | May 01, 2002

A number of FAA enforcement cases that recently came 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.

Pilot Counsel

Pilot Magazine | Apr 01, 2002

High on the list of ugly surprises is finding out, after an accident, that the insurance you have paid big bucks for doesn't cover the damage to your aircraft. Here is a recent case with an important lesson for aircraft owners and pilots.

Pilot Counsel

Pilot Magazine | Mar 01, 2002

Each year at AOPA Expo — our association's convention — we hold an insurance seminar and invite representatives of the leading general aviation insurers to respond to our members' questions. I moderate the seminar.

Pilot Counsel

Pilot Magazine | Feb 01, 2002

Many of you have followed the extensive press coverage given to the events on Capitol Hill after the September 11 terrorist attacks. The United States Congress has been preoccupied with airline and airport security.

Pilot Counsel

Pilot Magazine | Dec 01, 2001

Last month we explained the legal requirements of notams that advise pilots of emergency air traffic rules and temporary flight restrictions (see "Pilot Counsel: Emergency Rules Notams," November Pilot). A proliferation of such notams were published in the wake of the September 11 terrorist attacks and a number of pilots are being investigated for violating them.

Pilot Counsel

Pilot Magazine | Nov 01, 2001

Recent events have dramatically illustrated how important it is for pilots to check notams (notices to airmen) as part of preflight planning. In the wake of the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon several weeks ago, the FAA issued a notam that immediately grounded all civil flights in this country.