Pilot Counsel

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Pilot Counsel:

Pilot Magazine | Nov 01, 2011

At AOPA's Aviation Summit in Hartford, Connecticut, I was reminded that general aviation pilots still wrestle with who and what they can legally carry in their aircraft without running afoul of the commercial regulations. The question that caused the most consternation was whether a pilot flying incidental to his/her business or employment could legally carry other employees, customers, or passengers in connection with that business or employment.

Pilot Counsel:

Pilot Magazine | Nov 01, 2011

General aviation pilots are interested to know, or be refreshed, about who and what they may legally carry on their personal and business flights, where "compensation" could arguably be involved. The FAA very broadly applies the term. To mention an extreme, the FAA has long held that transporting someone to where he/she wants to go, for the purpose of logging flight time, is compensation.

Pilot Counsel:

Pilot Magazine | Oct 01, 2011

Rule FAR 91.211 requires supplemental oxygen for general aviation (noncommercial) operations (airliners and some other commercial operations and aircraft have stricter requirements).

Pilot Counsel:

Pilot Magazine | Sep 01, 2011

If an aircraft is equipped with an "anticollision light system," as most modern aircraft are, a pilot must not "operate" that aircraft unless the system is lighted, or in other words, the anticollision lights are "on." That's the basic rule of FAR 91,209(b). Yet, there are two questions raised by the rule that we oftentimes hear debated in spirited hangar flying sessions. Now we have a recent interpretation of the FAA chief counsel that authoritatively answers these debates within the strict terms of the rule, but with important safety precautions.

Pilot Counsel:

Pilot Magazine | Aug 01, 2011

In the many columns in which I review the rules that govern our flying I have tried to include an important secondary message. These are the rules that have associated logging requirements.

Pilot Counsel:

Pilot Magazine | Jul 01, 2011

For a long time, it has been my opinion that FAR 91.175 (formerly FAR 91.116) allows a pilot shooting a standard instrument approach in a noncommercial IFR operation to take a “look see” that the flight visibility is at or above the minimum prescribed for the approach—regardless of the officially reported visibility. This opinion has recently been reaffirmed by FAA Chief Counsel Interpretation No.

Pilot Counsel:

Pilot Magazine | Jun 01, 2011

Some say that it was inevitable that a manufacturer of electronic flight displays would get sued over the in-flight distraction that a display might cause. We now have such a case.

Pilot Counsel:

Pilot Magazine | May 01, 2011

I am surprised to find that the legal issue of straight-in approaches continues to be debated in hangar-flying sessions. In my opinion, a straight-in approach to a runway at a nontowered airport—rather than the FAA-recommended rectangular traffic pattern—is legal, and can frequently be operationally advantageous.

Pilot Counsel:

Pilot Magazine | Apr 01, 2011

In a letter of February 4, 2011, the FAA chief counsel has advised pilots and other members of the aviation community that the FAA is suspending its policy of erasing old, stale violation histories from its records. At first blush this may not seem significant to pilots who have never been in trouble with the FAA.

Pilot Counsel:

Pilot Magazine | Mar 01, 2011

The glass cockpit has raised this frequently asked legal question: Do I need to carry paper aeronautical charts on a typical general aviation flight (noncommercial, under FAR Part 91) if I have the same information on electronic cockpit displays? IFR or VFR? The short answer is, no. You may substitute an electronic display of the information in the place of paper navigation charts during all phases of flight operations.