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August 31, 2009

More Changes Proposed For FAR Parts 61, 91 And 141

On the heels of the FAA's August 21, 2009 Final Rule Amending FAR Parts 61, 91 and 141, the FAA today published a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking ("NPRM") proposing additional changes to those parts of the FARs. The FAA believes the proposed changes "are needed to respond to changes in the aviation industry and to further reduce unnecessary regulatory burdens." Significant changes proposed by the NPRM include the following:

(1) requiring pilot-in-command ("PIC") proficiency checks for pilots who act as PIC of single piloted, turbojet-powered airplanes;

(2) allowing pilot applicants to apply for a private pilot certificate and an instrument rating concurrently;

(3) making allowance in the rule to provide for the issuance of standard U.S. pilot certificates on the basis of an international licensing agreement between the FAA and a foreign civil aviation authority;

(4) allowing pilot schools to use Internet-based training programs without requiring schools to have a physical ground training facility;

(5) allowing pilot schools and provisional pilot schools to apply for a combined private pilot certification and instrument rating course;

(6) revising the definition of "complex airplane" to include airplanes equipped with a full authority digital engine control ("FADEC").

Comments for the NPRM are due on or before November 30, 2009. If you would like further information regarding the NPRM, you may contact the following: For technical questions contact John D. Lynch, Certification and General Aviation Operations Branch, General Aviation and Commercial Division, AFS-810, Federal Aviation Administration, 800 Independence Avenue, SW., Washington, DC 20591; telephone (202) 267-3844; e-mail john.d.lynch@faa.gov; and For legal questions contact Michael Chase, Esq., Office of Chief Counsel, AGC-240, Regulations Division, Federal Aviation Administration, 800 Independence Avenue, SW., Washington, DC 20591; telephone (202) 267-3110; e-mail michael.chase@faa.gov.

Posted by Greg

August 28, 2009

D.C. Circuit Court Of Appeals Allows Air Carrier Employee To Assert Compliance With Voluntary Disclosure Reporting Program As An Affirmative Defense

The D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals recently vacated an NTSB decision in which the Board refused to allow the employee of an air carrier to assert compliance with the Voluntary Disclosure Reporting Program ("VDRP") as an affirmative defense to an FAA order of suspension. In Moshea v. NTSB, the FAA suspended the airman's commercial pilot certificate based upon alleged violations of FARs 91.7(a) (aircraft must be in airworthy condition for operation), 135.65(b) (requiring pilot to enter any mechanical irregularities into aircraft logs), and 91.13(a) (careless and reckless). The airman appealed to the NTSB and attempted to raise an affirmative defense based on his compliance with the VDRP set out in FAA Advisory Circular 00-58. However, in its decision in the underlying case, Administrator v. Moshea, the Board ruled that it lacked jurisdiction to entertain the airman’s affirmative defense, and it affirmed his suspension. The airman then appealed the Board's decision to the United States Court of Appeals-D.C. Circuit.

On appeal, the airman argued that he should have been able to offer evidence to support his affirmative defense that he complied with the VDRP as an employee of the air carrier certificate holder. However, the FAA and the NTSB argued that the VDRP was unavailable to the airman because it purportedly "does not relate to the sanctions to be imposed," as required by 49 U.S.C. § 44709(d)(3), even though the the VDRP provides that no sanctions will be imposed in cases of voluntary disclosure.

The Court rejected what the Court characterized as the FAA's/NTSB's attempt to "evade" the VDRP. The Court stated that when the VDRP says no sanction will be imposed in a case of voluntary disclosure it is "quite obviously 'related to sanctions'" and, as a result, the Board’s analysis was unreasonable and contrary to the statute. The Court also found that the NTSB's decision was inconsistent with its handling of a prior case (Administrator v. Liotta) in which the Board allowed an employee of an air carrier to assert an affirmative defense based on the VDRP. According to the Court, this failure to follow precedent without an explanation was arbitrary and capricious and provided an independent basis for vacating the NTSB's decision.

The Court concluded that the NTSB did have jurisdiction to decide whether the FAA’s suspension of the airman's certificate comported with the VDRP. It then vacated the NTSB's decision and remanded the case to allow the airman to offer evidence of compliance in support of his affirmative defense.

Nice to see the Court force the FAA/NTSB to comply with their own rules for a change. Of course the airman will still need to prove his compliance, another issue altogether. But at least now he gets that chance.

Posted by Greg

August 27, 2009

You Can't Win An EAJA Award When The FAA Dismisses Its Case Before The Hearing

In a recent case, the NTSB held that an award of attorney fees and costs under the Equal Access to Justice Act ("EAJA") is not appropriate when the FAA dismisses its case prior to a hearing. Unfortunately, this ruling is yet another barrier to recovery of attorney fees and costs when the FAA improperly pursues a case against a certificate holder. For a discussion of the decision, please read my latest article here.

Posted by Greg

August 21, 2009

FAA Publishes Final Rule Updating FAR Parts 61, 91 And 141

The FAA today published a Final Rule in the Federal Register that revises the training, qualification, certification, and operating requirements for pilots, flight instructors, ground instructors, and pilot schools. According to the Final Rule, "[t]hese changes are needed to clarify, update, and correct our existing regulations...to ensure a better understanding of these rules that relate to aircraft operations in the National Airspace System."

The Final Rule contains a significant number of changes to FARs 61, 91 and 141 in a variety of areas. Fortunately, the Final Rule does not include changes to instrument currency requirements that the FAA proposed in its original notice of proposed rulemaking ("NPRM"). (The NPRM proposed requiring pilots to perform precision and nonprecision approaches; fly a missed approach; hold at a "radio station," intersection, or waypoint; and conduct a one-hour cross-country flight, all in addition to the current instrument currency requirements.)

Pertinent changes include changing the duration of student pilot certificates to match the duration of a third-class medical certificate, changing the definition of "cross country" from "at least 50 nautical miles" to "more than 50 nautical miles," adding training and currency requirements for the use of night vision goggles and allowing for issuance of flight instructor certificates and ratings to military instructor pilots and examiners who can show having been designated as a U.S. military instructor pilot or examiner, to name a few.

The Final Rule goes into effect October 20, 2009. If you would like further information regarding the Final Rule, 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 (202) 267-3844; e-mail to john.d.lynch@faa.gov. For legal interpretative questions about this final rule, contact: Michael Chase, AGC-240, Office of Chief Counsel, Regulations Division, Federal Aviation Administration, 800 Independence Avenue, SW., Washington, DC 20591; telephone (202) 267-3110; e-mail to michael.chase@faa.gov.

Posted by Greg

August 20, 2009

NTSB Rejects ASRP Waiver Of Sanction For D.C. ADIZ Incursion

The NTSB recently determined that an airman's incursion into the Washington, D.C. Air Defense Identification Zone ("D.C. ADIZ") was not inadvertent and, as a result, the airman was not eligible for waiver of sanction under the Aviation Safety Reporting Program ("ASRP"). In Adminstrator v. Schwarzmann, the FAA alleged that the airman violated FARs 91.139(c) (compliance with airspace NOTAM), 91.13(a) (careless and reckless) and 99.7 (compliance with ADIZ security instructions) when he operated within the D.C. ADIZ while squawking a transponder code of 1200 (applicable NOTAMs require a discrete transponder code other than 1200 must be used during operations within or egress from the D.C. ADIZ). The FAA sought to suspend the airman's commercial pilot certificate for 30 days as a sanction for the alleged violations.

After a hearing before an NTSB administrative law judge ("ALJ"), the ALJ determined that the FAA had proved the violations as alleged. Although the airman had asserted an affirmative defense that his transponder malfunctioned and transmitted the wrong code, the ALJ decided that the FAA had rebutted this affirmative defense. The ALJ deferred to the FAA's choice of sanction and ordered the 30-day suspension of the airman's certificate. However, the airman then appealed the ALJ's decision to the full NTSB.

On appeal, the airman argued that the FAA was at fault for his incursion because it failed to provide a means for the airman to verify that his transponder was transmitting the correct code before taking off; that the ADIZ is a restricted area that includes aircraft sitting on the ground, and that such an inclusive definition amounts to entrapment; that because ATC cleared him for takeoff, and that he believed his transponder was transmitting the correct code he was therefore neither careless nor reckless; that he was eligible for a waiver of sanction under the ASRP; and, finally, that the FAA’s actions violated his rights to equal protection and due process.

The Board rejected all of the airman's arguments. Initially, the Board observed that the airman did not cite any regulations or authority indicating that the FAA was responsible for verifying a code that a pilot is transmitting before the pilot takes off. Rather, it found that case law and the FARs provide "that pilots are the responsible parties for ensuring that their aircraft contain equipment that functions appropriately, so as to comply with all regulatory requirements."

Next, the Board held that the airman's entrapment argument was without merit since FAR 91.139(c) provides that the special requirements apply to pilots in "airspace." It went on to conclude that the finding of an operational violation under FAR 91.139(c) was per se careless and reckless in violation of FAR 91.13(a). The Board further rejected the airman's constitutional arguments since the airman received due process when the ALJ allowed him the opportunity to present and cross-examine witnesses and, with respect to equal protection, the Board does not have authority to consider issues of selective prosecution by the FAA.

With respect to the airman's argument that he was entitled to waiver of sanction under the ASRP, the Board initially noted that it imposes a strict standard with regard to the ASRP's requirements and, in order to be eligible, the violation at issue must be inadvertent and not deliberate (in addition to satisfying the other program requirements). It further observed that an airman's "exercise of poor judgment, even when the [airman] alleges that he or she believed that they chose the safest action, may amount to a deliberate action under the ASRP."

The Board reiterated the deliberate/inadvertent distinction from an earlier case that "[a]person who turns suddenly and spills a cup of coffee has acted inadvertently. On the other hand, a person who places a coffee cup precariously on the edge of a table has engaged in purposeful behavior. Even though the person may not deliberately intend the coffee to spill, the conduct is not inadvertent because it involves a purposeful choice between two acts——placing the cup on the edge of the table or balancing it so that it will not spill. Likewise, a pilot acts inadvertently when he flies at an incorrect altitude because he misreads his instruments. But his actions are not inadvertent if he engages in the same conduct because he chooses not to consult his instruments to verify his altitude."

It then concluded that the airman's conduct was not inadvertent. According to the Board, the airman "did not consider obtaining a ferry permit, contacting the local FSDO, or cancelling his flight in order to ensure that his transponder was functioning" and "[t]o the extent that respondent believed that his transponder may have mechanical problems, he should not have operated the aircraft with the transponder in the ADIZ until he was certain that his transponder was operating properly." Add to this the fact that the FAA had rebutted the airman's affirmative defense and the Board affirmed the ALJ's refusal to waive sanction under the ASRP.

This explanation of the deliberate/inadvertent distinction recited by the Board is troubling. It seems to me to be, to some extent, semantics and, in practice, will be dictated by a subjective determination of which "act" is the focus of the inquiry. I would expect the FAA's focus to be on an act that lends itself to a characterization of "deliberate", although the FAA should still need to establish a direct connection or causal link between the "act" and the "violation". Unfortunately, this opens the door to more litigation regarding this issue and reduces some of the incentive for participation in the ASRP, which certainly isn't in the interests of air safety. Not a good thing.

Posted by Greg

August 19, 2009

Commercial Pilot Receives 160-Day Suspension For Altitude Deviation

The NTSB has affirmed an administrative law judge's ("ALJ") decision to impose a 160-day suspension of a commercial pilot's airman certificate for a 500 foot altitude deviation. In Administrator v. Saghafi, the FAA alleged that the airman was flying at flight level (FL) 170 when air traffic control (ATC) instructed him to climb and maintain FL 180. According to the FAA, the airman apparently ascended to FL 180, but then descended to 17,500 feet, which resulted in a loss of separation between the airman’s aircraft and another aircraft. The FAA issued an order suspending the airman's commercial pilot certificate for 180 days for violations of FARs 91.123(b) (failure to comply with an ATC instruction) and 91.13(a) (careless and reckless).

The airman appealed the order to the NTSB. After an evidentiary hearing, the ALJ affirmed the FAA's order, but reduced the suspension down to 160 days based upon the airman's completion of additional training. Although the airman had filed a report under the Aviation Safety Reporting Program, the ALJ determined that the airman was ineligible for waiver of sanction since the airman had received another ATC violation within the preceding 5 years. The airman then appealed the ALJ's decision to the full NTSB.

On appeal, the airman argued that the ALJ erred in allowing an FAA inspector’s opinion that the airman had acted in a careless or reckless manner because whether he acted in a careless or reckless manner was a legal conclusion about which the inspector was not qualified to testify. He also argued that the inspector's testimony that he "deliberately" deviated from the ATC instruction was incorrect because the airman did not hear the instruction. With respect to sanction, the airman argued that a 160-day suspension was excessive, because it was based on a finding that he acted in a careless or reckless manner. He further argued that it should have been mitigated by the fact that he had a sick passenger on board, that he incorrectly heard the ATC instruction, that he had had no additional violations, and that he had taken affirmative steps to prevent such miscommunication in the future.

In rejecting the airman's appeal, the Board initially observed that the airman had not shown that the ALJ erred by allowing the inspector's opinion that the airman had acted in a careless or reckless manner. It then went on to note that the airman did not appear to dispute that he violated FAR 91.123(b) when he failed to maintain FL 180 and, as a result, that violation supported a violation of FAR 91.13(a) as a residual violation. Additionally, the Board found that the airman's "admitted act of turning around to assist his sick grandson while encountering turbulence amounts to a violation of § 91.13(a)." As a result, the inspector's testimony, even if in error, was not dispositive of the issue.

With respect to sanction, the Board began by observing that the ALJ had already considered the airman's mitigating factors when he reduced the sanction from 180 days down to 160 days. It then noted that the sanction was within the guidelines established in the FAA's Sanction Guidance Table (Appendix B to FAA Order 2150.3B)and that the Board must defer to the FAA's choice of sanction. Finally, the Board referred to its precedent that failure to adhere to ATC instructions is a serious violation and the airman's "conduct on the flight at issue could have led to a sobering outcome." Consequently, the Board affirmed the sanction, as well as the violations.

This looks like it was an unfortunate set of circumstances for the airman. In hindsight, it raises several questions, at least in my mind. When the airman reached FL 180, why didn't he engage the autopilot and then deal with his grandson? (Having had a similar situation with my son, I can sympathize with the airman having to deal with a sick, young passenger. However, the aircraft and the FAA can be very unforgiving. You have to fly the airplane first.) What were the circumstances of the airman's prior ATC related violation? Why wasn't the airman using proper radio phraseology and procedures? (I suspect, and mind you it is only a suspicion, that communication issues may have been involved in the previous violation.) Finally, would the sanction have been less if the deviation had not resulted in loss of separation? (Probably.)

What can we learn from this case? One, it is imperative that proper phraseology and radio procedures be used to ensure that communications are clear and understood. Second, when problems/distractions arise in the cockpit, flying the airplane should remain the pilot's first priority and only then should the pilot try and deal with the problem/distraction.

Posted by Greg

August 18, 2009

Appeal To Full NTSB Must Identify Specific Issues

The NTSB recently rejected an airman's appeal that was based upon alleged "prosecutorial misconduct" by the FAA. In Administrator v. Hanrahan, the FAA issued an order of suspension alleging that the airman violated FARs 91.130 (requirement that two-way radio communication be established before entering, and maintained within, Class C airspace) and 91.13(a) (careless and reckless) during a flight within the Burbank California Class C airspance. After a hearing, an administrative law judge ("ALJ") affirmed the FAA's order of suspension based in large part upon the airman's admission that "he did not have 'proper communication with [the ATC facility controlling] the Class C airspace.'"

The airman appealed the ALJ's decision alleging that his "argument for appeal is prosecutorial misconduct." Although the airman's appeal did not provide specific objections to the ALJ's decision, the airman contended that the FAA attorney was evasive or delayed providing the names and addresses of FAA witnesses that the airman intended to call to testify, and, also that an exhibit did not properly reflect an agreement the airman had with the investigator that the airman's violation would only result in remedial training.

In response to the airman's appeal, the FAA attempted to frame the issues on appeal as: "whether the law judge’s determination that respondent violated the alleged provisions is supported by a preponderance of the reliable, probative and substantial evidence of record and whether the law judge’s conclusions were in accordance with law and precedent; and whether prejudicial error occurred." Although the Board disagreed with the FAA's framing of the issues, it agreed that the airman had not provided specific objections for its consideration.

The Board initially observed that "we believe that respondent’s appeal fails to identify any issue warranting our consideration." It went on to note that the airman had not identified any specific finding or conclusion of the ALJ that he believed was either contrary to the evidence in the record or not adequately supported by it, nor did the airman demonstrate that the ALJ erred in disposing of the matter on the merits or his imposition of sanction. However, the Board then went on to conclude that the FAA had proved, and the airman admitted, the violation of FAR 91.130. The Board also found that the FAR 91.13(a) violation was proved as a residual violation (proven when an operational violation is established).

I think it is important to note that the airman in this case appeared "pro se" (without an attorney). The Board may have had that in mind when it went beyond simply rejecting the airman's appeal for a "technical" failure to comply with Section 821.49 of the Board’s Rules of Practice to also rule on the merits of the ALJ's decision. (Although I am not so sure I agree that the airman did not comply with Section 821.49, at least with respect to the evidentiary issue regarding the exhibit, even if the airman's claim was not stated very articulately).

It is also interesting to note that the airman's decision to appeal and, perhaps, the less than specific bases for the appeal, may, as the Board seems to infer, simply have been to buy himself some time before the suspension went into effect: "We note that respondent’s appeal brief states that he spoke to the Administrator’s counsel following the hearing and indicated that he 'would go ahead and start the suspension if she could give me until February 13, 2009,' inferring that was the reason he appealed to this Board."

Posted by Greg

August 17, 2009

DOT Releases Second Half 2009 SIFL Rates

The U.S. Department of Transportation has released the Standard Industry Fare Level (SIFL) rates for the six-month period from July 1, 2009 to December 31, 2009. These rates are needed in order to apply the IRS's aircraft valuation formula to compute the value of non-business transportation aboard employer-provided aircraft and impute the income of the employee as required by the Internal Revenue Service Rules Section 1.61-21(g). The SIFL rates for the six-month period from July 1, 2009 to December 31, 2009, are: 0500 miles $0.2501 ; 501-1,500 miles $0.1907; over 1,500 miles $0.1833; and Terminal Charge of $45.71. If you are an employer and an employee or a non-employee guest or family member is flown on your aircraft, the flight is potentially taxable to the individual receiving the ride. The aircraft valuation formula applies on a per-flight, per-person basis and will be calculated using the distance in statute miles from where the individual boards the aircraft to where the individual deplanes.

Posted by Greg

August 12, 2009

New NTSB Member Sworn In

According to a Press Release, Christopher A. Hart was sworn in today as the newest member of the National Transportation Safety Board. Member Hart comes to the Board after several positions with the FAA including Deputy Director for Air Traffic Safety Oversight at the Federal Aviation Administration and, before that, as FAA Assistant Administrator for the Office of System Safety. Member Hart was also a Member of the Board from 1990 to 1993. Member Hart holds a law degree from Harvard University and is a member of the Lawyer-Pilots Bar Association. He is also pilot, holding a commercial certificate with multi-engine and instrument ratings. Member Hart's term expires December 31, 2012.

Nice to see someone with aviation experience appointed to the Board. Hopefully Member Hart's aviation and legal experience will add a more reasoned voice to the Board that is less willing to simply defer to the FAA. We will see.

Posted by Greg

August 10, 2009

NTSB Issues Pilot Fatigue/Sleep Apnea Safety Recommendations

On August 7, 2009, the National Transportation Safety Board issued Safety Recommendations A-09-61 through -66 addressing pilot fatigue and sleep apnea. The Recommendations were prompted, in part, by the February 13, 2008 go! flight 1002 incident in which the flight crew fell asleep and flew past their destination. The NTSB determined that that the probable cause of the incident was the captain and first officer inadvertently falling asleep during the cruise phase of flight with the captain's undiagnosed obstructive sleep apnea and the flight crew’s early-morning start times as contributing factors. The NTSB recommends that the FAA take the following action to address/deal with the issues of pilot fatigue in short-haul operations and sleep apnea:

Modify the Application for Airman Medical Certificate to elicit specific information about any previous diagnosis of obstructive sleep apnea and about the presence of specific risk factors for that disorder. (A-09-61)

Implement a program to identify pilots at high risk for obstructive sleep apnea and require that those pilots provide evidence through the medical certification process of having been appropriately evaluated and, if treatment is needed, effectively treated for that disorder before being granted unrestricted medical certification. (A-09-62)

Develop and disseminate guidance for pilots, employers, and physicians regarding the identification and treatment of individuals at high risk of obstructive sleep apnea, emphasizing that pilots who have obstructive sleep apnea that is effectively treated are routinely approved for continued medical certification. (A-09-63)

Conduct research examining how pilot fatigue is affected by the unique characteristics of short-haul operations and identify methods for reducing those effects; include research into the interactive effects of shift timing, consecutive days of work, number of legs flown, and the availability of rest breaks. (A-09-64)

Issue interim guidance, such as an advisory circular, that provides operators of multisegment, short-haul flights with the relevant safety information as it becomes available during the research requested in Safety Recommendation A-09-64. (A-09-65)

When the research requested in Safety Recommendation A-09-64 is completed, require operators of short-haul, multisegment flights to incorporate the guidance requested in Safety Recommendation A-09-65 into their operating specifications to reflect the unique crew fatigue characteristics of these operators. (A-09-66)

Keep in mind that the FAA is not obligated to comply with or implement the NTSB's recommendations. Indeed, as the NTSB frequently points out, the FAA is very slow to implement the NTSB's recommendations, if it does so at all.

However, given the current public spotlight on the issue of pilot fatigue, I won't be surprised if the FAA takes some action. Those pilots who snore, or are overweight, or have high blood pressure, or have any of the other "risk factors" associated with sleep apnea, beware! This sleeping disorder is on the radar screen and will likely be the cause of additional frustration for airmen seeking medical certificates.

Posted by Greg

August 07, 2009

Pennsylvania Superior Court Holds That Service Bulletin Is Not A Replacement Part Under General Aviation Revitalization Act

The Pennsylvania Superior Court recently issued an opinion that rejected a plaintiff's argument that a service bulletin was a replacement part under the General Aviation Revitalization Act ("GARA"). The case, Moyer v. Teledyne Continental Motors et al., arose from a crash of a 1982 Beech V35B Bonanza aircraft. The pilot's estate sued Teledyne Continental Motors ("TCM"), the engine manufacturer, and a number of other parties. Although GARA's statute of repose protected TCM since the engine and aircraft were over 18 years old, the Plaintiff attempted to avoid GARA's limitation by alleging that TCM's Service Bulletin M90-17 (containing crankcase welding maintenance criteria), issued 12 ½ years before the accident, was a "replacement part" that was defective and for which a claim could still be asserted.

The trial court disagreed. It observed that a manufacturer continually issues service bulletins pertaining to a variety of topics and "if the statute of repose [were] triggered every time a service bulletin was issued, the intent of GARA would be eviscerated." The trial court granted TCM's motion for summary judgment.

On appeal, the Plaintiff framed the issue as follows: "Are an aircraft engine manufacturer’s Instructions for Continuing Airworthiness 'Parts' of an aircraft such that their date of publication or amendment triggers the “rolling” 18-year statute of repose under the General Aviation Revitalization Act when they are required to be issued by the Federal Aviation Regulations and the engine could not exist without them?"

The Plaintiff argued that the service bulletin was necessary for the operation of the aircraft and was therefore tantamount to an instruction manual. The argument relied upon a Ninth Circuit decision holding that flight manuals, which are required by the FARs, could be considered a "new part" or a "defective system" because they contain the instructions necessary for the aircraft's operation and are therefore deemed to be inseparable from the aircraft.

The Superior Court initially noted the absence of any "authority from either the Pennsylvania state courts or the Third Circuit for the proposition that a service bulletin is the equivalent of a flight manual." The Superior Court distinguished the Ninth Circuit case relied upon by the Plaintiff by observing that the flight manual was defective because it failed to supply critical information, whereas in this case the service bulletin did not fail, but rather the crankcase failed. It then summarily agreed with the Trial Court's determination that a service bulletin is not the equivalent of a flight manual or replacement part for GARA purposes.

This is the right decision by the Superior Court. The Plaintiff's arguments regarding the nature of service bulletins and their "necessity" for aircraft operation are incorrect. Unlike an aircraft flight manual, which the FARs require and which must be used by a pilot operating the aircraft, compliance with a service bulletin, in the absence of a corresponding airworthiness directive and assuming operations under FAR Part 91, is not mandatory. Nice to see the Pennsylvania Superior Court actually maintain some of the protection Congress intended GARA to provide.

Posted by Greg

August 05, 2009

Distribution Of ADs Goes Electronic

The FAA today published a Notice of Policy Change; Final Disposition that announces the FAA's schedule for transitioning to full electronic distribution of airworthiness directives ("ADs"). According to the Notice, the transition is intended to "provide a timelier and more cost effective method for the FAA to provide safety information." The FAA will stop mailing ADs and Special Airworthiness Information Bulletins ("SAIBs") after the following dates: Transport rotorcraft and rotorcraft engines: October 1, 2009; All other rotorcraft and rotorcraft engines: January 1, 2010; All aircraft, engines, and propellers: March 1, 2010.

Owners and operators will need to use one of the following to obtain AD and SAIB information electronically:

(1) Regulatory and Guidance Library (RGL) Web site;

(2) Federal Register Web site; or

(3) GovDelivery e-mail service available through the RGL homepage

Although the FAA will still continue to provide ADs in "AD Biweekly", a paid subscription of all ADs issued in the Federal Register over the previous 2-week period, SAIBs are not included in the subscription. The FAA will, however, continue to fax and or mail paper copies of Emergency ADs.

If you would like further information, you may contact Josh Peebles, Federal Aviation Administration, Aircraft Certification Service, Aircraft Engineering Division, Delegation and Airworthiness Programs Branch, AIR-140, 6500 S. MacArthur Blvd., Oklahoma City, Oklahoma 73125. Telephone: (405) 954-1345; fax: (405) 954-2209, or e-mail: josh.peebles@faa.gov.

Posted by Greg

August 03, 2009

Sharing The Cost Of Flight

These days, flying isn't cheap. Many private pilots are looking for ways to minimize the cost of their flying. One of the ways a private pilot may reduce the cost of a particular flight is to share the expense of the flight with his or her passenger(s). However, in order to legally do that, private pilots must be clear on both the privileges and limitations of their airman certificate. For more information on how a private pilot can share the expenses of a flight, please read my latest article on the topic here.

Posted by Greg

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11/01/2009 - 11/30/2009
12/01/2009 - 12/31/2009
01/01/2010 - 01/31/2010
02/01/2010 - 02/28/2010
03/01/2010 - 03/31/2010
04/01/2010 - 04/30/2010
05/01/2010 - 05/31/2010
06/01/2010 - 06/30/2010
07/01/2010 - 07/31/2010
08/01/2010 - 08/31/2010
09/01/2010 - 09/30/2010
10/01/2010 - 10/31/2010
11/01/2010 - 11/30/2010
12/01/2010 - 12/31/2010
01/01/2011 - 01/31/2011
02/01/2011 - 02/28/2011
03/01/2011 - 03/31/2011
05/01/2011 - 05/31/2011
06/01/2011 - 06/30/2011
07/01/2011 - 07/31/2011
08/01/2011 - 08/31/2011
09/01/2011 - 09/30/2011
10/01/2011 - 10/31/2011
11/01/2011 - 11/30/2011
12/01/2011 - 12/31/2011
01/01/2012 - 01/31/2012
02/01/2012 - 02/29/2012
03/01/2012 - 03/31/2012
04/01/2012 - 04/30/2012
05/01/2012 - 05/31/2012
06/01/2012 - 06/30/2012
07/01/2012 - 07/31/2012
08/01/2012 - 08/31/2012
10/01/2012 - 10/31/2012
11/01/2012 - 11/30/2012
12/01/2012 - 12/31/2012
02/01/2013 - 02/28/2013
04/01/2013 - 04/30/2013
05/01/2013 - 05/31/2013
06/01/2013 - 06/30/2013
07/01/2013 - 07/31/2013
08/01/2013 - 08/31/2013
11/01/2013 - 11/30/2013
12/01/2013 - 12/31/2013
01/01/2014 - 01/31/2014
02/01/2014 - 02/28/2014
05/01/2014 - 05/31/2014
07/01/2014 - 07/31/2014

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