Pilot Counsel

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Pilot Counsel

Pilot Magazine | Nov 03, 2015

The ‘standard’ minimums

Pilot Counsel: Aircraft lights

Pilot Magazine | Sep 29, 2015

The FAA flight rule that specifies the requirement for aircraft lights is an important part of the collection of rules intended to help pilots to see and avoid other traffic.

Pilot Counsel: The hemispheric rule

Pilot Magazine | Sep 01, 2015

The FAA flight rule that specifies VFR cruising altitudes is an important part of a collection of rules that is intended to help pilots to see and avoid other traffic.

The ‘see and avoid’ rules

Pilot Magazine | Jul 06, 2015

Faithful readers of this column recognize that over many years I have reviewed for pilots and aircraft owners the general operating and flight rules of the federal aviation regulations.

Pilot Counsel: Some miscellaneous rules

Pilot Magazine | Jun 03, 2015

Here are a few miscellaneous rules about which you might enjoy being reminded.

Pilot Counsel: IFR to a VFR airport

Pilot Magazine | May 06, 2015

The bottom line is, an alternate airport must be included in every case if the destination airport does not have an instrument approach procedure.

Pilot Counsel

Pilot Magazine | Apr 03, 2015

A recent legal decision reminds us that a pilot (or any other operator) is personally responsible to ensure that an aircraft on which any maintenance has been performed is appropriately signed off for return to service before the aircraft is operated.

Try to comply

Pilot Magazine | Mar 09, 2015

FAR 91.213 is a rule that has troubled general aviation pilots and owners for years.

Unmanned aircraft systems

Pilot Magazine | Jan 08, 2015

The legal status of unmanned aircraft systems (also called UAVs—unmanned aerial vehicles—and more colloquially, “drones”) has now been confirmed to technically be “aircraft” subject to relevant FAR Part 91 general operating and flight rules.

Pilot Counsel: Defining airworthiness

Pilot Magazine | Dec 01, 2014

A recent opinion of the NTSB in an FAA enforcement case illustrates the sometimes convoluted concept of aircraft “airworthiness.”

It could happen to you

Pilot Magazine | Nov 07, 2014

It could happen to you. Flying into notam-established security airspace is one of the most prevalent violations charged against general aviation pilots.

Hangar storage

Pilot Magazine | Oct 02, 2014

One of the many benefits offered to participants in the AOPA Legal Services Plan is a one-time annual review and critique of certain aviation documents—in this case, a hangar lease agreement that a LSP participant has been asked to execute.

Pilot Counsel: Revisiting shared expenses

Pilot Magazine | Sep 04, 2014

Two recent legal interpretations by the FAA’s chief counsel deal with the time-honored privilege of a private pilot—and a commercial and ATP pilot while exercising only private pilot privileges—to conduct a shared-expense flight.

Pilot Counsel: Aircraft ‘accidents’ and mishaps

Pilot Magazine | Aug 05, 2014

The NTSB’s official definition of an aircraft accident is different from what is more frequently referred to colloquially as an aircraft accident.

Pilot Counsel: Don’t wait too long

Pilot Magazine | Jul 31, 2014

It is time to remind readers about the FAA’s Aviation Safety Reporting Program—administered by NASA as the Aviation Safety Reporting System (ASRS).

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.