Pilot Counsel

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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.

Pilot Counsel:

Article | Feb 01, 2011

Legal questions from the FAR Refresher at AOPA Aviation Summit provide insight into what members would like covered here. Several questions suggested a review of FAR 91.211, which sets out the regulatory requirements for supplemental oxygen in private, noncommercial operations.

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Pilot Counsel:

Pilot Magazine | Jan 01, 2011

From my seminars at AOPA Aviation Summit in November it’s clear that many owners and pilots continue to be concerned about their rights and obligations in an FAA ramp check. The last time I addressed the subject in this column was more than three years ago, in July 2007.

Pilot Counsel

Article | Dec 01, 2010

Even with careful preflight planning and in-flight monitoring, you could find yourself unexpectedly short on fuel, adding to your calculations for a safe landing, and maybe a concern about eating into your IFR fuel reserve. A relatively recent FAA chief counsel interpretation answered whether a pilot may “legally” use some of the required 45-minute minimum IFR fuel reserve without declaring an emergency.

Pilot Counsel

Article | Nov 01, 2010

Last month’s column on flight instructor liability stirred a more general question about the effectiveness of so-called “liability release forms” (sometimes called “covenants not to sue” and “exculpatory agreements”) that purport to protect against the liability that could result from the operation of a general aviation aircraft (“Pilot Counsel: Instructor Liability Still a Concern,” October 2010 AOPA Pilot). We have tried to track the “effectiveness” cases and report them to you as they develop.