Safety Publications/Articles

Who you gonna call?

As a flight instructor, do you often have questions about Part 61 of the FARs? Where do you go for answers? Until the end of 2007, you could look up FAA inspector John Lynch's Part 61 Questions and Answers on the FAA's Web site. Lynch was the source for accurate interpretation of the regulations, given that he helped rewrite Part 61.

For reasons known only to the higher ups at the FAA, Lynch's Part 61 Q&A Web site was shut down. In its place the FAA offered a new public Q&A site that's sure to cause more questions in the flight instructor community. You can find this site online.

Early last year, when I originally wrote about the FAA's new Q&A offering, it had a limited number of questions and answers. The site now boasts 324 infrequently asked questions on important issues of concern to our nation, such as "How do I close an airport?" and "How do I apply for a job at the FAA?" Color me a skeptic, but I'm just not seeing the value of these types of questions for your typical flight instructor.

On Lynch's original site, which boasted hundreds of practical and useful questions and answers, I searched for the word log (as in "to log flight time") and received 278 returns. Last year I typed this word into the FAA's new Q&A site and received two replies. Typing it in again just recently, I received, well, two replies again, one of which involves learning how to become an FAA Safety Team representative. Go figure.

Hopefully the FAA will reconsider its decision and reinstate the previous version of the FAQs. Meanwhile, if you type, "frequently asked questions 14 CFR" into Google, you'll find plenty of sites that still host the previous version of John Lynch's Part 61 FAQs.

By Rod Machado

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