Enroute Flight: Latitude and Longitude

Understanding the imaginary grid we’ve laid out around and across our planet is key in flight planning and ultimately your safety. Today, we’ll review some of the basics with help from the FAA textbook Pilot’s Handbook of Aeronautical Knowledge.

The equator is an imaginary circle equidistant from the poles of the Earth. Circles parallel to the equator (lines running east and west) are parallels of latitude. They are used to measure degrees of latitude north (N) or south (S) of the equator. The angular distance from the equator to the pole is one-fourth of a circle or 90°. The 48 conterminous states of the United States are located between 25° and 49° N latitude. The arrows in the figure below labeled “Latitude” point to lines of latitude.

Meridians and parallels--the basis of measuring time, distance, and direction.

Meridians and parallels–the basis of measuring time, distance, and direction.

Meridians of longitude are drawn from the North Pole to the South Pole and are at right angles to the Equator. The “Prime Meridian” which passes through Greenwich, England, is used as the zero line from which measurements are made in degrees east (E) and west (W) to 180°. The 48 conterminous states of the United States are between 67° and 125° W longitude. The arrows in Figure 15-4 labeled “Longitude” point to lines of longitude.

Any specific geographical point can be located by reference to its longitude and latitude. Washington, D.C., for example, is approximately 39° N latitude, 77° W longitude. Chicago is approximately 42° N latitude, 88° W longitude.

The meridians are also useful for designating time zones. A day is defined as the time required for the Earth to make one complete rotation of 360°. Since the day is divided into 24 hours, the Earth revolves at the rate of 15° an hour. Noon is the time when the sun is directly above a meridian; to the west of that meridian is morning, to the east is afternoon. The standard practice is to establish a time zone for each 15° of longitude. This makes a difference of exactly 1 hour between each zone.

By using the meridians, direction from one point to another can be measured in degrees, in a clockwise direction from true north. To indicate a course to be followed in flight, draw a line on the chart from the point of departure to the destination and measure the angle which this line forms with a meridian. Direction is expressed in degrees.

Because meridians converge toward the poles, course measurement should be taken at a meridian near the midpoint of the course rather than at the point of departure. The course measured on the chart is known as the true course (TC). This is the direction measured by reference to a meridian or true north. It is the direction of intended flight as measured in degrees clockwise from true north.

As shown in the figure below, the direction from A to B would be a true course of 065°, whereas the return trip (called the reciprocal) would be a true course of 245°.

Courses are determined by reference to meridians on aeronautical charts.

Courses are determined by reference to meridians on aeronautical charts.

The true heading (TH) is the direction in which the nose of the aircraft points during a flight when measured in degrees clockwise from true north. Usually, it is necessary to head the aircraft in a direction slightly different from the true course to offset the effect of wind. Consequently, numerical value of the true heading may not correspond with that of the true course. For the purpose of this discussion, assume a no-wind condition exists under which heading and course would coincide. Thus, for a true course of 065°, the true heading would be 065°. To use the compass accurately, however, corrections must be made for a magnetic variation and compass deviation.

[] [Digg] [Facebook] [Furl] [Google] [Reddit] [StumbleUpon] [Twitter] [Email]

Read more about ASA...

CFI Brief: W&B Terms

Part of your preflight duties as a pilot will be to determine the weight and balance of the aircraft. Trying to takeoff and fly with an aircraft over max gross weight or out of balance can cause drastic consequences on the airplane’s ability to fly. Below are some of the terms that will be important to understand when conducting weight and balance computations.

Empty Weight—The weight of the airframe, engines, and all items of operating equipment that have fixed locations and are permanently installed in the aircraft. Empty weight includes optional and special equipment, fixed ballast, full reservoirs of hydraulic fluid, engine lubricating oil, and the unusable fuel, but does not include occupants, baggage, or cargo.

Useful Load—The difference between the maximum allowable weight of the aircraft and its empty weight. The useful load of an aircraft includes the weight of the fuel and oil, the crew, passengers, all of their baggage, and any cargo carried.

Takeoff Weight—The weight of an aircraft just before brake release. It is the ramp weight less the weight of the fuel burned during start and taxi.

Landing Weight—The maximum weight an aircraft is allowed to have for landing. Landings put far more stress into an aircraft structure than takeoffs, and therefore large aircraft that fly for long distances are allowed to have a greater weight for takeoff than for landing.

Datum—An imaginary vertical reference plane or line chosen by the aircraft manufacturer from which all arms used for weight and balance computation are measured.

Arm—The horizontal distance in inches between a reference datum line and the center of gravity of an object. If the object is behind the datum, the arm is positive, and if it is ahead of the datum, the arm is negative.

Moment—The product of the weight of an object multiplied by its arm expressed in pound-inches (lbs-in). A formula that is used to find moment is usually: Weight x Arm = Moment.

Datum Reference

Moment Index—A moment divided by a constant, such as 10, 100, 1,000, or an even larger number. The use of a moment index allows weight and balance computations to be made using smaller numbers, decreasing the chance for errors.

Center of Gravity—The point at which an aircraft will balance, expressed in inches from datum. The center of gravity is found by dividing the total moment by the total weight: Total Moment / Total Weight = CG (inches aft of datum).

Standard Weight—Values used when specific weights are not available.

  • General Aviation Crew and Passenger. 170lbs each.
  • AvGas–6 lbs/U.S. gallon
  • Turbine Engine Fuel–6.7 lbs/U.S. gallon
  • Lubricating Oil–7.5 lbs/U.S. gallon
  • Water–8.35 lbs/U.S. gallon

A question for you: if an aircraft is loaded 90 pounds over maximum certificated gross weight and fuel (AvGas) is drained to bring the aircraft weight within limits, how much fuel should be drained?

[] [Digg] [Facebook] [Furl] [Google] [Reddit] [StumbleUpon] [Twitter] [Email]

Read more about CFI...

Aircraft Performance: Introduction to Weight and Balance

This week we’ll introduce weight and balance. This post is excerpted from Bob Gardner‘s textbook The Complete Private Pilot.

It would be nice to have an airplane in which we could fill all of the seats and all of the baggage area, fuel up to capacity, and take off safely without worrying about loading, but that is seldom (if ever) possible. The manufacturer dictates a maximum gross weight figure based on several factors including structural strength of the landing gear, power loading (weight per horsepower), wing loading (weight per square foot of wing area), strength of the wing structure, etc. Overloading an airplane can have serious consequences! See Figure 1—this pilot almost ran out of runway!

Figure 1. Landing distances over an obstacle

Figure 1. Landing distances over an obstacle

Airplanes are assigned to categories depending on the amount of weight the wing structure can sustain, and those categories dictate how the airplane can be used. The requirements are based on “Gs”—one G is 1 x the force of gravity (or the weight of the airplane). A normal category airplane can have a load of 3.8 Gs imposed on its wing, a utility category airplane is stressed for 4.4 Gs, and an airplane in the aerobatic category is designed to withstand a load of 6.0 Gs. Aerobatic airplanes usually have G meters installed to record how many Gs the airplane experienced during an aerobatic maneuver, (some sadder but wiser pilots have said that a G meter gives you information you really don’t want to know!). Many airplanes are certificated in both the normal and utility categories, but in the utility category are more limited in gross weight, in weight distribution, or in authorized maneuvers.

If you overload an airplane, the wing will have to be flown at a greater than normal angle of attack to develop enough lift to support the extra weight—this increases the stall speed, decreases the cruise speed, and limits the angle you can bank before reaching the critical angle of attack. Carrying more than the design maximum weight also means longer takeoff runs. If you combine overweight with a soft runway surface or a high density altitude, you are asking for trouble — it takes a lot of power to overcome the rolling resistance of overloaded tires.

Loads applied to the wing during maneuvering can overstress the airplane’s structure. Figure 2 shows the relationship between bank angle and load factor while maintaining attitude. You can see that for a normal category airplane 3.8 G will be reached at about a 75° bank angle, and for an airplane certificated in the utility category, a bank of about 77° will bring the load factor to 4.4 Gs. If the wing is designed for a wings-level load of 2,000 pounds and you load the airplane to 2,500 pounds, in a 60° bank you will be adding an additional 1,000 pounds to the load on the wing.

Figure 2. Load factor chart.

Figure 2. Load factor chart.

A one-time overload may not cause problems, but repeatedly overstressing components may cause them to fail many flight hours later, while performing normal maneuvers.

Check back on Thursday for a new CFI Brief!

[] [Digg] [Facebook] [Furl] [Google] [Reddit] [StumbleUpon] [Twitter] [Email]

Read more about ASA...

CFI Brief: 1-800-WX-BRIEF

With increasing technologies and access to the internet it may seem to some that a telephone weather briefing is a little outdated. For some it may be, but for others it’s a great opportunity to speak to a weather briefing specialist to learn about the conditions along your route of intended flight. 1-800-WX-BRIEF (992-7433) is a weather briefing service offered by Lockheed Martin and fully authorized by the FAA. It’s a legal and recorded briefing available throughout the U.S.

When telephoning a weather briefing facility for preflight weather information, pilots should:

  • Identify themselves as pilots;
  • State whether they intend to fly VFR or IFR;
  • State the intended route, destination, and type of aircraft;
  • Specify the kind of briefing;
  • Request a standard briefing to get a “complete” weather briefing;
  • Request an abbreviated briefing to supplement mass disseminated data or when only one or two items are needed; and
  • Request an outlook briefing whenever the proposed departure time is 6 or more hours from the time of briefing.

More information on Weather Briefings can be found in the latest edition of Aviation Weather Services (AC 00-45G). The FAA will ask questions in relation to this topic on the Private Pilot Knowledge Exam, they may look something like the ones below. After reading Monday’s post (found here) and today’s, see if you can answer some of the questions. I will post the answers in the comments section on Tuesday.

1. To get a complete weather briefing for the planned flight, the pilot should request
A—a general briefing.
B—an abbreviated briefing.
C—a standard briefing.

2. A weather briefing that is provided when the information requested is 6 or more hours in advance of the proposed departure time is
A—an outlook briefing.
B—a forecast briefing.
C—a prognostic briefing.

3. When telephoning a weather briefing facility for preflight weather information, pilots should state
A—the aircraft identification or the pilot’s name.
B—true airspeed.
C—fuel on board.

4. What should pilots state initially when telephoning a weather briefing facility for preflight weather information?
A—The intended route of flight radio frequencies.
B—The address of the pilot in command.
C—The intended route of flight and destination.

[] [Digg] [Facebook] [Furl] [Google] [Reddit] [StumbleUpon] [Twitter] [Email]

Read more about CFI...

Weather Services: Weather Briefings

This week, we’re thinking about weather briefings. This post comes from the FAA’s Aviation Weather Services, available from ASA in print, PDF, and in a combo-pak with Aviation Weather.

Prior to every flight, pilots should gather all information vital to the nature of the flight. This includes a weather briefing obtained by the pilot from an approved weather source via the Internet (see paragraph 1.3.2) and/or from a FSS specialist.

To provide an appropriate weather briefing, specialists need to know which of the three types of briefings is needed—standard, abbreviated or outlook. Other necessary information is whether the flight will be conducted VFR or IFR, aircraft identification and type, departure point, estimated time of departure (ETD), flight altitude, route of flight, destination, and estimated time en route (ETE). If the briefing updates previously received information, the time of the last briefing is also important. This allows the briefer to provide only pertinent data.

The briefer enters this information into the FAA’s flight plan system. The briefer also notes the type of weather briefing provided. If necessary, the information can be referenced later to file or amend a flight plan. It is also used when an aircraft is overdue or is reported missing. Internet data is time-stamped and archived for 15 days. Voice recordings are retained for 45 days.

Standard Briefing
A standard briefing provides a complete weather picture and is the most detailed of all briefings. This type of briefing should be obtained prior to the departure of any flight and should be used during flight planning. A standard briefing provides the following information in sequential order if it is applicable to the route of flight:

  • Adverse Conditions.
  • Synopsis.
  • Current Conditions.
  • En Route Forecast.
  • Destination Forecast.
  • Winds and Temperatures Aloft.
  • NOTAMs.
  • Prohibited and Special Flight Rules Areas.
  • ATC Delays.
  • Other Information.

Abbreviated Briefing
An abbreviated briefing is a shortened version of the standard briefing. It should be requested when a departure has been delayed or when specific weather information is needed to update a previous standard briefing. When this is the case, the weather specialist needs to know the time and source of the previous briefing so the necessary weather information will not be omitted inadvertently.

Outlook Briefing
An outlook briefing should be requested when a planned departure is 6 or more hours away. It provides initial forecast information that is limited in scope due to the timeframe of the planned flight. This type of briefing is a good source of flight planning information that can influence decisions regarding route of flight, altitude, and ultimately the “go, no-go” decision. A follow-up standard briefing prior to departure is advisable since an outlook briefing generally only contains information based on weather trends and existing weather in geographical areas at or near the departure airport.

The FSS’ purpose is to serve the aviation community. Pilots should not hesitate to ask questions and discuss factors they do not fully understand. The briefing should be considered complete only when the pilot has a clear picture of what weather to expect. Pilots should also make a final weather check immediately before departure if at all possible.

Check back here Thursday for a new CFI Brief!

[] [Digg] [Facebook] [Furl] [Google] [Reddit] [StumbleUpon] [Twitter] [Email]

Read more about ASA...

CFI Brief: Knowledge Exam Updates

New FAA Knowledge Exams were released February 9. The Private Pilot test saw the most significant changes this test cycle. Questions being deleted covered outdated topics including automatic direction finder/nondirectional beacon (ADF/NDB); Radar Summary Charts; the En Route Flight Advisory Service (EFAS); medevac; and transcribed weather broadcasts (TWEB). The FAA will also delete from the knowledge test “questions involving scalability (i.e., those questions requiring the use of nonstandard scales for measurement or calculation),” and aircraft performance and weather questions “that involve multiple interpolations across multiple charts.”

What’s happening to EFAS? In keeping with the trend toward greater GA use of automation, including tablet devices and datalink, for both preflight and enroute weather briefings, the FAA is working with stakeholders to “right-size” the National Airspace System. “Because these initiatives are likely to include streamlining services such as the En-Route Flight Advisory Service (Flight Watch), the agency has removed EFAS questions from the private pilot airplane knowledge test as of February 9. The decision is also part of the FAA’s ongoing effort to utilize the limited test space for more meaningful questions, rather than those which require rote memorization. Although the questions are being dropped for now, EFAS and the services it provides are still available for pilots, at least until October 2015.

Sign up to receive ASA En-Route newsletter to view this article in its entirety due out next Wednesday.

Do you have an idea for a Knowledge Test question? The FAA accepts recommendations for test questions; to read all about it and submit a question click here.

[] [Digg] [Facebook] [Furl] [Google] [Reddit] [StumbleUpon] [Twitter] [Email]

Read more about CFI...

Weather: Temperature Variations

This week, we’re taking another look at weather and focusing on its cause: the heating and cooling of the Earth’s surface and atmosphere. More on what every pilot needs to know about weather can be found in the FAA handbook Aviation Weather (AC 00-6A).

The amount of solar energy received by any region varies with the time of day, with the seasons, and with latitude. These differences in solar energy create temperature variations. Temperatures also vary with differences in topographical surface and with altitude. These temperature variations create forces that drive the atmosphere to its endless motions.

Diurnal Variation
Diurnal variation is the change in temperature from day to night brought about by the daily rotation of the Earth. The Earth receives heat during the day by solar radiation but continually loses heat by terrestrial radiation. Warming and cooling depend on an imbalance of solar radiation. During the day, solar radiation exceeds terrestrial radiation and the surface becomes warmer. At night, solar radiation ceases, but terrestrial radiation continues and cools the surface. Cooling continues after sunrise until solar radiation again exceeds terrestrial radiation. Minimum temperature usually occurs after sunrise, sometimes as much as one hour after. The continued cooling after sunrise is one reason that fog sometimes forms shortly after the sun is above the horizon.

Seasonal Variation
In addition to its daily rotation, the Earth revolves in a complete orbit around the sun once each year. Since the axis of the Earth tilts to the plane of orbit, the angle of incident solar radiation varies seasonally between hemispheres. The Northern Hemisphere is warmer in June, July, and August because it receives more solar energy than does the Southern Hemisphere. During December, January, and February, the opposite is true; the Southern Hemisphere receives more solar energy and is warmer. Figures 1 and 2 show these seasonal surface temperature variations.

Figure 1. World-wide average temperatures in July.

Figure 1. World-wide average temperatures in July.

Figure 2. World-wide average surface temperatures in January.

Figure 2. World-wide average surface temperatures in January.

Variation With Latitude
The shape of the Earth causes a geographical variation in the angle of incident solar radiation. Since the Earth is essentially spherical, the sun is more nearly overhead in the equatorial regions than at higher latitudes. Equatorial regions, therefore, receive the most radiant energy and are warmest. Slanting rays of the sun at higher latitudes deliver less energy over a given area with the least being received at the poles. Thus, temperature varies with latitude from the warm Equator to the cold poles. You can see this average temperature gradient in figures 1 and 2.

Variations With Topography
Not related to the movement or shape of the Earth are temperature variations induced by water and terrain. Water absorbs and radiates energy with less temperature change than does land. Large, deep-water bodies tend to minimize temperature changes, while continents favor large changes. Wet soil such as in swamps and marshes is almost as effective as water in suppressing temperature changes. Thick vegetation tends to control temperature changes since it contains some water and also insulates against heat transfer between the ground and atmosphere. Arid, barren surfaces permit the greatest temperature changes. Abrupt temperature differences develop along lake and ocean shores. These variations generate pressure differences and local winds (as illustrated in figure 3).

Figure 3. Temperature differences create air movement  and, at times, cloudiness.

Figure 3. Temperature differences create air movement and, at times, cloudiness.

Prevailing wind is also a factor in temperature controls. In an area where prevailing winds are from large water bodies, temperature changes are rather small. Most islands enjoy fairly constant temperatures. On the other hand, temperature changes are more pronounced where prevailing wind is from dry, barren regions. Air transfers heat slowly from the surface upward. Thus, temperature changes aloft are more gradual than at the surface.

Variation With Altitude
Temperature normally decreases with increasing altitude throughout the troposphere. This decrease of temperature with altitude is defined as lapse rate. The average lapse rate in the troposphere is 2ºC per 1,000 feet. However, this exact value seldom exists. An increase in temperature with altitude is defined as an inversion, i.e., lapse rate is inverted. An inversion may occur at any altitude when conditions are favorable.

The ASA CFI will be back this Thursday with more on weather, including related FAA Knowledge Exam questions. For more from ASA, like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter. Any feedback for the Learn To Fly Blog can be sent to

[] [Digg] [Facebook] [Furl] [Google] [Reddit] [StumbleUpon] [Twitter] [Email]

Read more about ASA...

So, Where in the Pattern is the Upwind?

Takeoff and climb out is not the upwind. Yup, I know lots of people call the “upwind” in the traffic pattern as they climb after takeoff, but they are actually calling “upwind” in the wrong spot. And being accurate when you tell people where you are in the traffic pattern can be important. I’ll admit, this is something of a pet peeve of mine, but let’s all learn from it.

So what exactly is an upwind you might ask if it isn’t when you are climbing out after takeoff?

Well, according to the AIM (4-3-1), an upwind is “a flight path parallel to the landing runway in the direction of landing.” It is not the takeoff or climb out (which is actually not labeled in the AIM). What is the importance of the distinction you may ask? Well, it’s about whether you can be expected to be parallel to the runway flying in the direction of a takeoff, but at a pattern altitude, or whether you have just taken off and will be climbing in line with the runway to traffic pattern altitude.


Both a takeoff or climb out and an upwind may be followed by entry to the crosswind if a pattern is to be flown.

So why would someone fly an upwind?

Typically an upwind is used to enter the traffic pattern when approaching the airport from the opposite side from the normal traffic pattern side or for faster aircraft using the additional time in a traffic pattern to slow down and/or setup for landing. For example, and take a moment to visualize this, imagine a 9-27 runway with an active left hand traffic pattern for runway 9. This would put the active side of the pattern on the north side of the runway. An aircraft approaching from the south could choose to enter the traffic pattern on the upwind, fly parallel to runway 9, turn crosswind at the end, then turn left again to enter the downwind. This could offer the pilot more time to slow down, set up configurations, or just get ready for landing than it might if the pilot instead entered a “mid-field left-downwind.”

While this may not be as critical in slower aircraft, in higher performance aircraft, aircraft with retractable gear, or aircraft that need to descend from turbine pattern altitudes (remember these are typically 1500′ AGL instead of 1000′ AGL) this can be valuable extra time that keeps a pilot from being rushed.

For pilots sharing the pattern, it means that they should actually be looking for aircraft who have reported the “upwind” to be flying a parallel line to the runway, not on the takeoff/climb out portion of a traffic pattern.

So if you didn’t before, now you know. Next time you are taking off and climbing out and need to make a traffic pattern call, report takeoff or climb out if that’s what you are doing instead of calling the “upwind.” And if you hear someone else reporting the “upwind,” you now know where you should be looking for them (assuming they know what you know about what an upwind really is).

Jason Blair is an active single and multi-engine instructor and FAA Designated Pilot Examiner with 4,800 hours total time and 2,700 hours instruction given. He has served on several FAA/Industry aviation committees and has and continues to work with aviation associations on flight training issues. He also consults on aviation training and regulatory efforts for the general aviation industry.

[] [Digg] [Facebook] [Furl] [Google] [Reddit] [StumbleUpon] [Twitter] [Email]

Read more about Jason Blair...

Procedures and Airport Operations: Nontowered Airports

Your flights normally begin and end at an airport. An airport may be a small sod field or a large complex utilized by air carriers. This week we’ll be thinking about the two types of airports: towered and nontowered. These introductions to the two airport types come from the FAA textbook Pilot’s Handbook of Aeronautical Knowledge.

Towered Airports
A towered airport has an operating control tower. Air traffic control (ATC) is responsible for providing the safe, orderly, and expeditious fl ow of air traffic at airports where the type of operations and/or volume of traffic requires such a service. Pilots operating from a towered airport are required to maintain two-way radio communication with air traffic controllers, and to acknowledge and comply with their instructions. Pilots must advise ATC if they cannot comply with the instructions issued and request amended instructions. A pilot may deviate from an air traffic instruction in an emergency, but must advise ATC of the deviation as soon as possible.

Nontowered Airports
An nontowered airport does not have an operating control tower. Two-way radio communications are not required, although it is a good operating practice for pilots to transmit their intentions on the specified frequency for the benefit of other traffic in the area. The key to communicating at an airport without an operating control tower is selection of the correct common frequency. The acronym CTAF, which stands for Common Traffic Advisory Frequency, is synonymous with this program. A CTAF is a frequency designated for the purpose of carrying out airport advisory practices while operating to or from an airport without an operating control tower. The CTAF may be a Universal Integrated Community (UNICOM), MULTICOM, Flight Service Station (FSS), or tower frequency and is identified in appropriate aeronautical publications. UNICOM is a nongovernment air/ground radio communication station which may provide airport information at public use airports where there is no tower or FSS. On pilot request, UNICOM stations may provide pilots with weather information, wind direction, the recommended runway, or other necessary information. If the UNICOM frequency is designated as the CTAF, it will be identified in appropriate aeronautical publications.

Recommended communication procedures. Click to enlarge!

Recommended communication procedures. Click to enlarge!

We’ll have more on airport operations on Thursday, with a special guest post from NAFI Master Flight Instructor and FAA DPE Jason Blair!

[] [Digg] [Facebook] [Furl] [Google] [Reddit] [StumbleUpon] [Twitter] [Email]

Read more about ASA...


Moving? Change of address? Did you know that that there is a regulation, 14 CFR §61.60 to be exact, that states the holder of a pilot, flight instructor, or ground instructor certificate who has made a change in permanent mailing address may not, after 30 days from that date, exercise the privileges of the certificate unless the holder has notified in writing the FAA, Airman Certification Branch?

That’s right, if you have a change of address you are required to notify the FAA within 30 days! There is even an FAA knowledge test question on this topic that may look something like this:

Q: If a certificated pilot changes permanent mailing address and fails to notify the FAA Airmen Certification Branch of the new address, the pilot is entitled to exercise the privileges of the pilot certificate for a period of only
A—30 days after the date of the move.
B—60 days after the date of the move.
C—90 days after the date of the move.

Ever wonder what the definition of night is? It’s important to know to avoid getting caught unprepared in the dark, but also because you could see questions relating to night on your FAA knowledge test. In 14 CFR §1.1, the definition of night is stated as the time between the end of evening civil twilight and the beginning of morning civil twilight, as published in the Air Almanac, converted to local time.

The above information and more can be found in the FAR/AIM. What exactly is the FAR/AIM you ask? Think of it as two separate publications in one, starting with the Federal Aviation Regulations (that’s the FAR part) and ending with the Aeronautical Information Manual (the AIM part).

ASA's 2015 FAR/AIM

ASA’s 2015 FAR/AIM

Think of the FAR as a book of rules and regulations. In it you will find everything from minimum hours required to become a private pilot to maximum speed allowed in class Bravo airspace. Aviation regulations are included in title 14 of the Code of Federal Regulations (14 CFR). Within 14 CFR, the FAR’s are divided into parts and further broken down into sections; take for example our change of address regulation above. This can be found in Part 61 Section 60 and will look like this: 14 CFR §61.60. Some parts that are of particular interest to all pilots include:

14 CFR Part 1 contains definitions and abbreviations of many terms commonly used in aviation. This is where I found the term “night” as discussed above.

14 CFR Part 61, entitled “Certification: Pilots, Flight Instructors and Ground Instructors,” prescribes the requirements for issuing pilot and flight instructor certificates and ratings, the conditions of issue, and the privileges and limitations of those certificates and ratings.

14 CFR Part 91, entitled “General Operating and Flight Rules,” describes rules governing the operation of aircraft (with certain exceptions) within the United States.

The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) has established rules and requirements for notification and reporting of aircraft accidents and incidents. These are contained in NTSB Part 830.

The second half as we said is the Aeronautical Information Manual (AIM) which is designed to provide basic flight information and air traffic control procedures within the United States National Airspace System (NAS). It will list the fundamentals required to fly in the NAS and contain items of interest to pilots concerning health and medical facts, airport lighting, signs and other visual aids, radio communications phraseology and techniques, factors affecting flight safety (like weather and wake turbulence), and information on safety, accident, and hazard reporting. The AIM is divided into 10 chapters with each chapter containing multiple sections and parts. Say for example I wanted to find information on Traffic Patterns, I see in the glossary Traffic Pattern is listed under 4-3-3. Breaking that down it would be Chapter 4 Air Traffic Control, Section 3 Airport Operations, and Part 3 Traffic Patterns. The AIM concludes with the Pilot/Controller Glossary.

ASA publishes a copy of the FAR/AIM yearly and provides periodic updates throughout the year. The regulations change via the Federal Register, which is a document published every weekday. The AIM changes twice a year. ASA tracks FAA changes daily and provides an update when regulations and AIM changes affect pilot operations. Be sure to sign up for this free update service at A current copy of the FAR/AIM is a MUST in every pilot’s flight bag.

[] [Digg] [Facebook] [Furl] [Google] [Reddit] [StumbleUpon] [Twitter] [Email]

Read more about CFI...

You may want to put some text here



Get this Wordpress newsletter widget
for newsletter software