Pilot Counsel

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Pilot Counsel

Pilot Magazine | Jan 01, 1998

All pilots know that you are required to have a certain minimum amount of fuel on board your aircraft before you begin a flight. The minimum you must carry is spelled out in the Federal Aviation Regulations and depends on whether you are operating in IFR or VFR conditions.

Pilot Counsel

Pilot Magazine | Dec 01, 1997

I am surprised to learn that the violation most often charged against general aviation pilots is low flying. Would you have guessed it? That being the case, pilots may appreciate a review of the very specific requirements imposed on us by federal aviation regulations.

Pilot Counsel

Pilot Magazine | Nov 01, 1997

I did not anticipate that Section 61.15(d) of the Federal Aviation Regulations would cause problems for so many of our members. Unfortunately, it has.

Pilot Counsel

Pilot Magazine | Oct 01, 1997

Under the Federal Aviation Regulations a private pilot may legally fly on business — with one important proviso. To paraphrase the regulation, a private pilot may act as pilot in command of an aircraft in connection with any business or employment so long as the flight is only incidental to that business or employment.

Pilot Counsel

Pilot Magazine | Sep 01, 1997

In this column I try my best to keep pilots informed of important legal issues that affect their flying. One of the issues that has recently concerned me is the enforcement of the regulation regarding inoperative instruments and equipment (FAR 91.213).

Pilot Counsel

Pilot Magazine | Aug 01, 1997

Every pilot needs to know the recent experience requirements of Section 61.57 of the Federal Aviation Regulations. We have just been through a major overhaul of FAR Part 61, and there have been some changes to these requirements.

Pilot Counsel

Pilot Magazine | Jul 01, 1997

Thankfully, in-flight emergencies are rare. Most of us will never experience one.

Pilot Counsel

Pilot Magazine | Jun 01, 1997

Can a pilot who thinks that he (or she) is on board a light aircraft only as a passenger, but who helps the pilot with some of the flying chores, be held responsible by the FAA for a violation of the Federal Aviation Regulations arising out of the flight? This is a good case to review because it could heighten our awareness of our legal responsibilities in situations we may often find ourselves in. Pilots are frequently flying with other pilots as passengers, in aircraft that can be flown from either of two pilot seats.

Pilot Counsel

Pilot Magazine | May 01, 1997

In October 1995, when I wrote about FAR 91.213, regarding inoperative equipment, I called it "a foolish and impractical regulation." I added: "Nevertheless, it is a regulation we are charged with knowing, and we should try our best to comply with it to the extent practical." We have been fortunate that most FAA inspectors understand the folly of a literal reading of the regulation and apply it reasonably. Only the good-faith efforts of the general aviation community and the reasonableness of most inspectors have forestalled a problem — until now.

Pilot Counsel

Pilot Magazine | Apr 01, 1997

It has been two-and-a-half years since the general aviation community helped to pass a federal statute of repose. This statute carries the ambitious title of The General Aviation Revitalization Act of 1994.

Pilot Counsel

Pilot Magazine | Mar 01, 1997

Here is the story of a pilot who crashlanded his aircraft after it ran out of fuel. The FAA investigated the accident and took legal action against the pilot.

Pilot Counsel

Article | Feb 01, 1997

Many pilots will be interested in knowing about a new law that will require the sharing of their pilot records if they apply for an airline job. On October 9, 1996, President Clinton signed into law what is officially called the "Pilot Records Improvement Act of 1996." This act will require that any airline, before hiring a pilot, must obtain and check all sorts of records of the pilot applicant.

Pilot Counsel

Pilot Magazine | Jan 01, 1997

I doubt that any of us missed the widely publicized news accounts of the two U.S.-registered Cessna 337 Skymasters shot down by Cuban MiGs over the Straits of Florida last February. A third Skymaster escaped.

Pilot Counsel

Pilot Magazine | Dec 01, 1996

A month or two ago, I moderated a seminar on aircraft insurance at AOPA Expo in San Jose, California. The seminar was a unique opportunity to learn what questions AOPA members have about their aircraft insurance.

Pilot Counsel

Pilot Magazine | Nov 01, 1996

Suppose that you need your pilot certificate to earn your livelihood. Many of us do — flight instructors, professional pilots, even pilots on business.

Pilot Counsel

Pilot Magazine | Oct 01, 1996

Do you know whether you have insurance protection when you rent an aircraft? This is a question that continues to plague pilots. We first posed it in this column as long ago as January 1965, then again in November 1974, and in May 1980.

Pilot Counsel

Pilot Magazine | Sep 01, 1996

The Federal Aviation Administration and its boss, the U.S. Department of Transportation, have just issued a policy statement on airport rates and charges.

Pilot Counsel

Pilot Magazine | Aug 01, 1996

A recent decision by FAA Administrator David R. Hinson has dramatically changed our understanding of an important principle of aviation law.

Pilot Counsel

Pilot Magazine | Jul 01, 1996

Unless you are in the business of buying and selling aircraft, you are probably only vaguely familiar with AOPA's title and escrow services. These are services that could prove to be very helpful to you.

Pilot Counsel

Pilot Magazine | Jun 01, 1996

How much should a pilot be able to rely on someone else to help with preflighting an aircraft, and even help with flying the aircraft? After all, it is not unusual for one pilot to help another with such flying activities as calling for the weather; filing a flight plan; checking the fuel and oil levels; untying the aircraft; pulling chocks; or even helping with the radios, navigation, and the like. If the "someone else" makes a mistake, should the pilot in command be held responsible? This becomes an important question if the mistake leads to an infraction of the Federal Aviation Regulations.

Pilot Counsel

Pilot Magazine | May 01, 1996

A recent legal decision of the National Transportation Safety Board provides a look at an actual FAA ramp check. The case shows us how a few technical violations, coupled with some prior antagonism, can escalate into a serious problem for the pilot of the flight being checked — in this case, a 90-day suspension of the pilot's ATP certificate.

Pilot Counsel

Pilot Magazine | Apr 01, 1996

It is that time again when election campaigning brings up the usual questions about the law governing the use of private aircraft in federal elections. Many candidates and political committees have discovered that the speed and flexibility of private aircraft are especially suited to campaigning in most parts of the country.

Pilot Counsel

Pilot Magazine | Mar 01, 1996

An FAA legal interpretation that is circulating may cause unnecessary concern among pilots and aircraft owners who contribute their services for charitable or humanitarian flights. These flights include good works such as transporting poor, sick, or injured people to medical treatment facilities and transporting blood or human organs and the like.

Pilot Counsel

Pilot Magazine | Feb 01, 1996

It was a fairly typical traffic situation on a balmy fall afternoon. A light twin-engine airplane was departing a small general aviation airport.

Pilot Counsel

Pilot Magazine | Jan 01, 1996

The aviation world was elated when the FAA gave back to Bob Hoover his medical certificate (See "Pilot Briefing," November Pilot). He had been denied his FAA medical certificate for almost 2 1/2 years, and — sadly, as it turns out — there was no good reason why he should have been grounded.

Pilot Counsel

Pilot Magazine | Dec 01, 1995

A straight-in approach to an uncontrolled airport is legal under the Federal Aviation Regulations. It may not always be wise, but it is definitely legal.

Pilot Counsel

Pilot Magazine | Nov 01, 1995

"Who is pilot in command of an aircraft when there is more than one qualified pilot at the controls?" That's an often debated legal question. We can't find the answer to this question in the Federal Aviation Regulations.

Pilot Counsel

Pilot Magazine | Oct 01, 1995

Many pilots are unaware of the very stringent requirements of FAR 91.213. It is not at all unusual to find this regulation inadvertently violated, typically without any serious compromise of safety.

Pilot Counsel

Pilot Magazine | Sep 01, 1995

It's a sad story. It's a story of three tragedies.

Pilot Counsel

Article | Aug 01, 1995

Many of you are already members of the AOPA Legal Services Plan. The plan is available exclusively to AOPA members, and it has been very successful in terms of member participation and satisfaction.

Pilot Counsel

Pilot Magazine | Jul 01, 1995

Technically, a standard instrument approach procedure (SLAP) is the way to let down and land an IFR flight at the destination airport. However, when the weather is good, it is a waste of time to shoot the full approach procedure — unless you need the practice or the recent experience.

Pilot Counsel

Pilot Magazine | Jun 01, 1995

Last month we reviewed the requirement that a pilot must land his or her aircraft at the first suitable airport when something happens in flight which makes the aircraft "unairworthy." This is just one of many regulatory requirements that deal with airworthiness. One of the most important of these requirements is Federal Aviation Regulation 91.7(a).

Pilot Counsel

Pilot Magazine | May 01, 1995

As pilots we should know that the regulations require us to discontinue any flight in which certain mechanical, electrical, or structural conditions occur to our aircraft. That's the requirement.

Pilot Counsel

Pilot Magazine | Apr 01, 1995

How often do you fly with other pilots, never intending to be pilot in command? Most of us do this fairly frequently. It is common for us to help with the flying — certainly helping to look out for other traffic, sometimes handling the radios, sometimes working the controls, even making takeoffs and landings — but never assuming the status of pilot in command.

Pilot Counsel

Pilot Magazine | Mar 01, 1995

Carrying passengers on a flight where the passengers pay for the flight, or even give anything of value in exchange for the flight, can be legally troublesome for the pilot. The law on this point is tricky.

Pilot Counsel

Pilot Magazine | Feb 01, 1995

We have spent a good deal of space in this column explaining the privileges and limitations of a private pilot certificate as set out in the Federal Aviation Regulations. Essentially, these come down to commanding an aircraft without the supervision of a flight instructor and, most importantly, the legal ability to carry passengers.

Pilot Counsel

Pilot Magazine | Dec 01, 1994

It is a rare pilot who can recite from memory the specific weather minimums required to operate an aircraft under VFR (visual flight rules). And for good reason.

Pilot Counsel

Pilot Magazine | Nov 01, 1994

The FAA and the NTSB have once again teamed up to temporarily rid our skies of a particularly dangerous pilot, albeit at the cost of untold thousands of our taxpayer dollars. This particularly brave deed by these twin bureaucracies should be chronicled to the aviation world.

Pilot Counsel

Pilot Magazine | Oct 01, 1994

They say that a picture is worth a thousand words. Well, to the extent that the facts of an actual case can paint a picture, "seeing" the flight rules applied in an enforcement case can help us to better understand the rules, or at least how the Federal Aviation Administration is enforcing them and how the National Transportation Safety Board is handling the appeals.

Pilot Counsel

Pilot Magazine | Sep 01, 1994

As we go to press, the General Aviation Revitalization Act of 1993 has passed both Houses of Congress and is on the President's desk for signature. The Act is essentially a statute of repose.

Pilot Counsel

Pilot Magazine | Aug 01, 1994

The regulations regarding safety belts and shoulder harnesses are very important for pilots, and are worth reviewing. These rules are contained in FARs 91.105 and 91.107, and I have found that they are much easier to understand if we parse them out into three separate areas: briefing, notification, and use.

Pilot Counsel

Pilot Magazine | Jul 01, 1994

The FAA's "kinder and gentler" approach to enforcement may be on the wane, as evidenced by the increasing number of questionable cases being brought against our members. My last two columns gave current examples of how heavy-handed the FAA can be.

Pilot Counsel

Pilot Magazine | Jun 01, 1994

A pilot has been found in violation of FAR 61.15 for failing to report to the FAA a motor vehicle conviction, even though he did report it to the FAA. Sounds like double-talk, doesn't it? Well, it is.

Pilot Counsel

Pilot Magazine | May 01, 1994

AOPA Counsel John S. Yodice also maintains an independent aviation law practice.

Pilot Counsel

Pilot Magazine | Apr 01, 1994

The regulations regarding the logging of flight time are buried deep in the volumes of the FARs, seemingly to be deciphered only by flight instructors and a few ultra-studious pilots. Most pilots with a general understanding of these regulations simply log all of their time and put entries in the various columns as best as they have been taught.

Pilot Counsel

Pilot Magazine | Mar 01, 1994

How does an airport compute the fees it charges to the airlines and general aviation for the use of the airport? In January of this year, the U.S. Supreme Court, which usually deals with more exotic issues, turned its attention to airport fees.

Pilot Counsel

Pilot Magazine | Jan 01, 1994

It was a bizarre accident. A parachutist in freefall struck the tail of a Piper Warrior, knocking it out of control, which caused it to crash.

Pilot Counsel

Article | Dec 01, 1993

The U.S. Supreme Court has refused to hear a landmark aviation product liability case reported on in this column in December 1992 ("Product Liability: A Case Study").

Pilot Counsel

Article | Nov 01, 1993

Bad news: The law allows an aircraft to be taken from its owner — permanently, and without compensation — for what could be a relatively minor infraction of the Federal Aviation Regulations. This is a law that was pushed through by a few well-meaning but poorly informed senators and representatives who were reacting to the frustration of drug enforcement officials.

Pilot Counsel

Article | Oct 01, 1993

While air traffic control rules have stayed generally the same under the new airspace reclassification program, there have been changes that we need to know. One of the purposes of the redesignation was "simplification." The new alphabet designations may well be simpler for someone learning the system for the first time, but for those of us who dutifully learned the old system, it's not so simple.