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A site devoted to aviation law, safety and security.

February 22, 2007

The 709 Request For Re-Examination

What happens if you are involved in an incident in which your aircraft is damaged, but no one is injured, other than perhaps you and your pride? For example, you forgot to put the landing gear down and you landed your aircraft with the gear up or you didn’t put in enough wind correction and you and your aircraft ended up off the runway. Well, if the FAA finds out, you will quite possibly receive a letter demanding that you appear for the dreaded “709 ride” (formerly known as the "609 ride" under the Federal Aviation Act of 1958).

For more information on the 709 Request for Re-Examination, please read my latest article on the subject here.

Posted by Greg

February 19, 2007

FAA Publishes Procedures For SIC Type Rating

The FAA has published Notice 8000.351 establishing procedures for obtaining an SIC type rating. The Notice explains the SIC type rating requirement and the application and certification procedures the FAA will follow in processing SIC type rating applications. It also includes a question and answer appendix about the SIC type rating. Questions regarding the Notice or the SIC type rating requirements should be directed to the FAA's Certification and General Aviation Operations Branch, AFS-810, at (202) 267-8212.

Posted by Greg

February 16, 2007

National Air Tour Standards Final Rule Published By FAA

On February 13, 2007, the FAA published its National Air Tour Standards Final Rule. The Final Rule sets "safety and oversight rules for a broad variety of sightseeing and commercial air tour flights" and standardizes requirements for air tour operators and consolidates air tour safety standards within FAR Part 136. The Final Rule establishes three covered groups of operators: Group 1-Part 119 certificate holders with authority to conduct commercial air tour flights in accordance with either part 121 or part 135; Group 2-Part 91 operators conducting commercial air tour flights in accordance with the exception contained in section 119.1(e)(2) (also known as the 25-mile exception); and Group 3-Part 91 operators conducting flights for certain charitable, nonprofit,or community events in accordance with the exception contained in § 119.1(e)(2).

Group 2 operators will have to implement a drug and alcohol testing program and their pilots must hold at least a commercial or air transport pilot certificate. These operators will also need to obtain a letter of authorization from the FAA and meet many of the same safety requirements as Group 1 operators under Part 136.

Group 3 operators include operators that fly for charitable events, such as the Young Eagles. The final rule establishes a new FAR 91.146 for charitable, nonprofit, and community event flights. The Final Rule clarifies what operations qualify as charitable, nonprofit and community events. It also limits operations to four charitable and nonprofit events each year and one community event each year and an "event" may not last more than three consecutive days. Although Group 3 operators are exempt from drug and alcohol testing, the operations will still need to meet the safety requirements contained in Part 136. Additionally, pilots conducting these operations will need at least 500 flight hours or a commercial pilot's certificate and the flights will need to remain within 25 statute miles of the airports.

Finally, certain experimental or restricted category aircraft (such as warbirds, vintage or barnstorming aircraft) may still be used under the 25-mile exception, but their operators will continue to need an exemption from the standard airworthiness requirements and to obtain a letter of authorization from the FAA.

The Final Rule is effective March 15, 2007 and operators will have 180 days after that to demonstrate compliance. However, operators will have 18 months to meet the float requirements. If you would like further information regarding the Final Rule, you may contact Alberta Brown, Air Transportation Division, AFS–200, Federal Aviation Administration, 800 Independence Avenue, SW., Washington, DC 20591; telephone: (202) 267–8166; facsimile: (202) 267–8229; e-mail: alberta.brown@faa.gov. For legal information, contact: Bruce Glendening, Operations Law Branch, Federal Aviation Administration, 800 Independence Avenue, SW., Washington, DC 20591; telephone: (202)267–8011; facsimile: (202) 267–7971; email: bruce.glendening@faa.gov.

Posted by Greg

February 07, 2007

FAA Proposes Changes to FAR Parts 61, 91 and 141

The FAA today published a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking ("NPRM") proposing over 200 changes to FAR Parts 61, 91 and 141 regarding Pilot, Flight Instructor and Flight School certification. According to the FAA, the "changes are needed to clarify, update, and correct our existing regulations" and "are intended to ensure that flight crewmembers have the training and qualifications to enable them to operate aircraft safely."

The changes include addition of regulations relating to the use of night vision goggles, addition of definitions and clarifications regarding the words "current" and "valid" as they relate to operations and certifications and a whole host of other amendments and clarifications. As is always the case with a NPRM such as this one containing numerous "technical" amendments, the devil is in the details. Detailed scrutiny of the proposed changes will be required to determine their impact on the existing regulations.

Comments to the NPRM are due no later than May 8, 2007. If you would like further information, you may contact John D. Lynch, Certification and General Aviation Operations Branch, AFS-810, General Aviation and Commercial Division, Flight Standards Service, Federal Aviation Administration, 800 Independence Avenue, SW., Washington, DC 20591; Telephone No. (202) 267-3844; e-mail john.d.lynch@faa.gov.

Posted by Greg

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