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IFR Fix: Lines of revisionIFR Fix: Lines of revision

You contacted your instrument flight instructor after checking your logbook revealed that an endorsement was required to maintain your IFR currency. And some proficiency work can never hurt.

When flight planning, it is important to research any changes to regulations pertaining to your intended flight such as the changes highlighted by a "€œrevision bar"€ under FAR 91.225 regarding Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast (ADS-B) and its use. Photo by David Tulis.

There’s some new gear you’d like to try during the flight, and it also would be worthwhile to talk a bit about the ins and outs of the year-2020 Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast (ADS-B) installation mandate, on which some pilots have already acted.

Your CFII has some other suggestions. One is to go ahead and look over “the latest revision bar items” before the flight.

Look over what? You keep the question to yourself, resolving to figure out what he’s talking about by doing what he’d tell you to do anyway: “Research it.”

You have doubtless seen “revision bars” dozens of times. They’re the thick black vertical lines used in the Aeronautical Information Manual (AIM) to pinpoint the new or changed material itemized in the Explanation of Changes section of the AIM. The latest three pages of AIM revisions were published May 26 and offer a helpful reference for prepping for an IFR proficiency check or a checkride.

For example, the Explanation of Changes section describes revisions to the Class D airspace definition, including the effect of part-time tower operation on the status of surface area arrival extensions of the airspace. Extensive revision of language related to Class E airspace updates “the definition, vertical limits, and types of Class E airspace.”

Winter’s coming, and it is necessary to be aware of a change that took effect Oct. 1 to the terminology used for pilot braking action reports. Now “the terminology ‘Fair’ will be replaced by ‘Medium.’” And, “It will no longer be acceptable for an airport to report a NIL (none) braking action condition. NIL conditions on any surface require the closure of that surface.”

The Explanation of Changes also points you to items to review in the Pilot/Controller Glossary, where numerous revision bars appear, for example, alongside references to the chart supplement (the recently adopted name of the former airport/facility directory); the FAA’s three-element definition of an unmanned aircraft system; the NextGen technology “TIS-B”; and a revised definition of the term visual climb over airport.

The recent revisions also reworked the definition of a flight service station, and refined the definition of the intensity of icing designated as severe.

Dan Namowitz

Dan Namowitz

Associate Editor Web
Associate Editor Web Dan Namowitz has been writing for AOPA in a variety of capacities since 1991. He has been a flight instructor since 1990 and is a 30-year AOPA member.
Topics: FAA publications, Technology, Pilot Training and Certification

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