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Using Garmin GPS Simulator Apps

December 22nd, 2019

Garmin has a new box—the GNX™ 375—that combines GPS and ADSB in/Out in one unit. They also have a similar product that combines a radio with GPS—GNC 355. And if you don’t need ADSB or a radio they have a box that just has the GPS—GPS 175. They all have the same GPS interface so Garmin has bundled them together in an app for iDevices. In case you haven’t downloaded the trainer yet, here’s the link.

They also have two boxes for pilots with a bit more money and space in their panel, the GTN™ 750 and GTN™ 650. Here’s the link for it.

A couple of things that took me a while to figure out on the demo and on the device.

I couldn’t figure out how to get it to start somewhere other than the middle of Kansas. But if you tap on the Demo button it lets you select your initial location, speed, and heading.

Select Waypoint

This is the same screen where you select waypoints when using the device in the air. There’s not enough room on the screen for all the letters, so you switch back and forth with the A-M and N-Z buttons.

For example, If you want to fly the GPS RWY 29 approach with a procedure turn at CADAB, you would select HALDA as the start with a heading of 110. Then it will fly the procedure turn.


Likewise with the ILS, pick something like JAMPO and it will do the course reversal at CREPE for the ILS and even tell you that it should be a teardrop entry.

Procedure Turn Crepe

At first I couldn’t figure out why it wouldn’t fly the procedure turn, but that was because the default transition is vectors to final.

Vectors to Final

One nice thing about the devices, as you can see in the image above, is that they give you some altitudes on the approach and also give an oral warning when changes in altitude are required. Also, when it does the missed approach it will show the hold as well as the entry.

On the GNS 430 you get prompted for the transition before you load/activate the approach so I missed that it was right there on the screen on these devices.

Select Approach

Select Transition

One feature that I really like is that it is impossible to not notice that you are at the missed approach point and either activate the missed approach procedure or suspend and continue the approach. On the GNS 430 there is a suspend notice on the screen and you hit the OBS button to activate the missed approach but it is easy to miss when you are busy flying the plane.

Missed Waypoint

The other thing on the demo that I couldn’t figure out at first was how to adjust altitude and speed. You don’t tap on the + or – but use the highlighted section as a slider. You can also set the speed, direction, and altitude when you use the demo button to set you initial location. You also want to tap the Track Mode Manual button so that it slides over and says Track Mode Flight Plan.

Tip One

Who can sign off on using an ATD for training?

December 12th, 2019

TL;DR Training: You need a CFII to sign off on Basic Aviation Training Device (BATD) hours that are used for the Instrument Rating or Commercial Certificate. You can use up to 10 hours in a BATD or 20 hours in a Advanced Aviation Training Device (AATD) CFI can sign off on up to 2.5 hours of training for private pilot single or multi-engine land.

TL;DR Endorsements: You cannot use a BATD or AATD to receive a complex, high performance, or tailwheel endorsement but you can use a full flight simulator or flight training device.

TL;DR Currency: You do not need to have an instructor present when using an Aviation Training Device to maintain IFR currency—§61.51 (f)(5). You cannot use a BATD or AATD for landing currency unless at a Part 142 center. You can’t use them for night currency.

BATDs and AATDs must be approved by the FAA. So your home flight sim, no matter how sophisticated, doesn’t work for training unless it is sold by one of the companies that jumped through the hoops got it approved.

A newly minted CFI that I know has a BATD and is going to rent it out for flight training. He also has an Advanced Ground Instrutor (AGI) certificate and thought that he was qualified to sign off on people using it while training for the Instrument Rating.

My first thought was that he can’t sign IFR students off since I would think you would need an IGI certificate to train for an instrument rating. Also, it is not ground training, so a Ground Instructor can’t sign off—even though the training happens on the ground. The FARs mention authorized instructor several times but don’t always specify who is authorized. The exception is providing training for the instrument rating which requires a CFII. That limitation on the privileges of a CFI seem to me to restrict who can sign off on ATD training.

If the Legal Interpretation in Beard is still the most recent, it confirms my reading of the FARs. A CFII is required for the instrument training required for the Instrument Rating and Commercial Certificate.

It has been the FAA’s consistent interpretation of §61.195(b) and (c) that, in order to conduct instrument flight training in an aircraft, a flight instructor must hold on his or her flight instructor certificate (1) aircraft category and class ratings for the aircraft in which the training is conducted, and (2) an instrument rating appropriate to the category of aircraft. Interpretation to Taylor Grayson, January 4, 2010. As § 61.195 was originally written before the rules permitted flight simulators and flight training devices to be used for training, it does not mention conducting instrument flight training in those devices. However, the FAA has interpreted the instructor requirements under this section to apply to instruction in flight simulators and flight training devices, as well, since these devices are designed to replicate flight by category and class of aircraft. The FAA will examine §61.195 to determine whether we need to clarify the regulation.

I have collected all of the FARs that apply to training. When it refers to authorized instructor, it means that the instructor has the ratings on their Flight Instructor certificate appropriate to the kind of training being given.

§61.1 Applicability and definitions.
Aviation training device means a training device, other than a full flight simulator or flight training device, that has been evaluated, qualified, and approved by the Administrator.

Pilot time means that time in which a person—
(i) Serves as a required pilot flight crewmember;
(ii) Receives training from an authorized instructor in an aircraft, full flight simulator, flight training device, or aviation training device;

Training time means training received—
(i) In flight from an authorized instructor;
(ii) On the ground from an authorized instructor; or
(iii) In a flight simulator or flight training device from an authorized instructor.

§61.31 Type rating requirements, additional training, and authorization requirements.
(e) Additional training required for operating complex airplanes. (1) Except as provided in paragraph (e)(2) of this section, no person may act as pilot in command of a complex airplane, unless the person has—
  (i) Received and logged ground and flight training from an authorized instructor in a complex airplane, or in a full flight simulator or flight training device that is representative of a complex airplane, and has been found proficient in the operation and systems of the airplane; and … [received a one-time endorsement]

(f) Additional training required for operating high-performance airplanes. (1) Except as provided in paragraph (f)(2) of this section, no person may act as pilot in command of a high-performance airplane (an airplane with an engine of more than 200 horsepower), unless the person has—
  (i) Received and logged ground and flight training from an authorized instructor in a high-performance airplane, or in a full flight simulator or flight training device that is representative of a high-performance airplane, and has been found proficient in the operation and systems of the airplane; and … [received a one-time endorsement]

§61.51 Pilot logbooks.
(4) A person may use time in a full flight simulator, flight training device, or aviation training device for acquiring instrument aeronautical experience for a pilot certificate or rating provided an authorized instructor is present to observe that time and signs the person’s logbook or training record to verify the time and the content of the training session.

(5) A person may use time in a full flight simulator, flight training device, or aviation training device for satisfying instrument recency experience requirements provided a logbook or training record is maintained to specify the training device, time, and the content.

(h) Logging training time.
  (1) A person may log training time when that person receives training from an authorized instructor in an aircraft, full flight simulator, flight training device, or aviation training device.
  (2) The training time must be logged in a logbook and must:
   (i) Be endorsed in a legible manner by the authorized instructor; and
   (ii) Include a description of the training given, the length of the training lesson, and the authorized instructor’s signature, certificate number, and certificate expiration date.

§61.65 Instrument rating requirements.
(i) Use of an aviation training device. A maximum of 10 hours of instrument time received in a basic aviation training device or a maximum of 20 hours of instrument time received in an advanced aviation training device may be credited for the instrument time requirements of this section if—
  (1) The device is approved and authorized by the FAA;
  (2) An authorized instructor provides the instrument time in the device; and
  (3) The FAA approved the instrument training and instrument tasks performed in the device.

§61.57 Recent flight experience: Pilot in command.
(2) Use of a full flight simulator, flight training device, or aviation training device for maintaining instrument experience. A pilot may accomplish the requirements in paragraph (c)(1) of this section in a full flight simulator, flight training device, or aviation training device provided the device represents the category of aircraft for the instrument rating privileges to be maintained and the pilot performs the tasks and iterations in simulated instrument conditions. A person may complete the instrument experience in any combination of an aircraft, full flight simulator, flight training device, or aviation training device.

§61.195 Flight instructor limitations and qualifications.
(c) Instrument rating. A flight instructor may conduct instrument training for the issuance of an instrument rating, a type rating not limited to VFR, or the instrument training required for commercial pilot and airline transport pilot certificates if the following requirements are met:

(1) Except as provided in paragraph (c)(2) of this section, the flight instructor must hold an instrument rating appropriate to the aircraft used for the instrument training on his or her flight instructor certificate, and—

§61.215 Ground instructor privileges.
(c) A person who holds an instrument ground instructor rating is authorized to provide:

(1) Ground training in the aeronautical knowledge areas required for the issuance of an instrument rating under this part;
(2) Ground training required for an instrument proficiency check; and
(3) A recommendation for a knowledge test required for the issuance of an instrument rating under this part.

§61.65 Instrument rating requirements.
(5) Receive and log training on the areas of operation of paragraph (c) of this section from an authorized instructor in an aircraft, full flight simulator, or flight training device that represents an airplane, helicopter, or powered-lift appropriate to the instrument rating sought;

(2) Forty hours of actual or simulated instrument time in the areas of operation listed in paragraph (c) of this section, of which 15 hours must have been received from an authorized instructor who holds an instrument-airplane rating, and the instrument time includes:

(i) Use of an aviation training device. A maximum of 10 hours of instrument time received in a basic aviation training device or a maximum of 20 hours of instrument time received in an advanced aviation training device may be credited for the instrument time requirements of this section if—
  (1) The device is approved and authorized by the FAA;
  (2) An authorized instructor provides the instrument time in the device; and
  (3) The FAA approved the instrument training and instrument tasks performed in the device.

§61.109 Aeronautical experience.
(a) For an airplane single-engine rating.
(b) For an airplane multiengine rating.
(k) Permitted credit for use of a full flight simulator or flight training device. (1) Except as provided in paragraphs (k)(2) [Part 142] of this section, a maximum of 2.5 hours of training in a full flight simulator or flight training device representing the category, class, and type, if applicable, of aircraft appropriate to the rating sought, may be credited toward the flight training time required by this section, if received from an authorized instructor.

Commercial Pilot Privileges

December 4th, 2019

There are lots of things you can do with your commercial pilot certificate and a second-class medical. The FAA asks you about them on the Knowledge Tests and the oral portion of the Practical Test. Many of the test prep and oral exam guides mislead students into thinking that 14 CFR Part 119 lists all of the things you can do. But careful reading of the FAR indicates that these are things you can do with your own airplane and not have to comply with part 121, 125, or 135. Note that it does not limit what you can do if you are not using your own airplane or if you are working for an operation that is complying with part 121, 125, or 135. There may be other regulations that you need to comply with e.g. Part 137—Agricultural Aircraft Operations has rules for aerial spraying and sightseeing flights may require a letter of authorization (LOA) from the local FSDO.

The key to understanding 14 CFR Part 119 is that it lists some commercial operations that do not require an operating certificate. A commercial pilot certificate is still required to fly them, but a commercial operating certificate is not.

§61.133 just says that you may now carry persons or property for compensation or hire but doesn’t go into detail about what that means.

§61.133 Commercial pilot privileges and limitations.
(a) Privileges—(1) General. A person who holds a commercial pilot certificate may act as pilot in command of an aircraft—
(i) Carrying persons or property for compensation or hire, provided the person is qualified in accordance with this part and with the applicable parts of this chapter that apply to the operation; and
(ii) For compensation or hire, provided the person is qualified in accordance with this part and with the applicable parts of this chapter that apply to the operation.
§119.1 Applicability.
(a) This part applies to each person operating or intending to operate civil aircraft—…
(b) This part prescribes—…
c) Persons subject to this part must comply with the other requirements of this chapter…
(d) This part does not govern operations conducted under part 91, subpart K…
(e) Except for operations when common carriage is not involved conducted with airplanes having a passenger-seat configuration of 20 seats or more, excluding any required crewmember seat, or a payload capacity of 6,000 pounds or more, this part does not apply to

(1) Student instruction;
(2) Nonstop Commercial Air Tours…
(3) Ferry or training flights;
(4) Aerial work operations, including—

(i) Crop dusting, seeding, spraying, and bird chasing;
(ii) Banner towing;
(iii) Aerial photography or survey;
(iv) Fire fighting;
(v) Helicopter operations in construction or repair work …
(vi) Powerline or pipeline patrol;
(5) Sightseeing flights conducted in hot air balloons;
(6) Nonstop flights conducted… conducting intentional parachute operations.
(7) Helicopter flights conducted within a 25 statute mile radius of the airport of takeoff…
(8) Operations conducted under part 133 of this chapter [rotorcraft external-load operations]
(9) Emergency mail service conducted under 49 U.S.C. 41906;
(10) Operations conducted under the provisions of §91.321
[Carriage of candidates in elections.] of this chapter;

(a) As an aircraft operator, you may receive payment for carrying a candidate, agent of a candidate, or person traveling on behalf of a candidate, running for Federal, State, or local election,

(11) Small UAS operations conducted under part 107 of this chapter.

In addition to all of these things you may also (for compensation) provide pilot services to someone who owns their own airplane and operates it under Part 91. You may be part of a corporate flight department. You may pilot aircraft for companies that provide air transportation as an incidental part of their business. e.g. wilderness adventure companies where you transport clients to remote sites, real estate companies where you transport clients to visit locations.

As another example, if someone without an instrument rating needs to depart you airport in IMC conditions, you can fly them to VMC conditions and take a taxi back for compensation.

The FAA does not want you to be acting as a charter operation without complying with Part 121 or 135. AC No: 120-12A goes into detail about this.

Carriage for hire which does not involve “holding out” is private carriage. Private carriers for hire are sometimes called “contract carriers,” but the term is borrowed from the Interstate Commerce Act and legally inaccurate when used in connection with the Federal Aviation Act. Private carriage for hire is carriage for one or several selected customers, generally on a long-term basis. The number of contracts must not be too great, otherwise it implies a willingness to make a contract with anybody.

There is no clear definition of “holding out” but there are some bright-line examples. Putting an ad on Craigslist is definitely “holding out”. Flying someone you know to their remote locations in their plane is fine. Flying their friends plane is fine too. Being generally known as someone who is willing to fly anyone at any time is crossing the line.

Letting the FBO know that you are available to fly people over the hill when the airport is fogged in is probably fine. Putting the words “Commercial Pilot” on your resume or website is fine.

Having a non-pilot rent a plane and then pay you to fly them somewhere is not fine.

FAA Safety Briefing: Hold the Line on Holding Out

“Holding out” can be as complex as publishing a flight schedule for a major airline or as simple as posting a notice on an FBO bulletin board (or the Internet) telling everyone you’re the one who will fly them to that prime vacation resort and make their dreams come true.

There have been several attempts to establish an Uber/Lyft type operation for aircraft. The FAA does not approve of any of them—even if you have a commercial certificate.

If you are going to fly for compensation and it is not explicitly permitted by the regulations, it would be wise to seek the advice of an aviation attorney.

Can I use instrument training for one rating to meet the requirements of another?

December 3rd, 2019

The relevant Legal Interpretation is Hartzell which reads in part:

The Theriault interpretation reinforces the existing requirement that instrument training used to satisfy the aeronautical experience requirements under §61.129 needs to be clearly documented by the applicant for the commercial pilot certificate. The interpretation dispels the notion that holding an instrument rating is, on it own, sufficient evidence that the applicant has fulfilled the aeronautical experience requirements for a commercial pilot certificate under §61.129. However, we anticipate that for commercial pilot applicants who already hold an instrument rating, the hours of instrument training used to obtain that rating will meet at least some, if not most, or quite often, meet all the requirements for instrument aeronautical experience as required under §61.129. The interpretation did not establish an additive requirement for the number of hours of instrument training required to meet the aeronautical experience requirements of §61.129.

It was reiterated in Oord

To allow for training time to count towards both§ 61.65(e) and§ 61.129(c)(3)(i) in cases where it meets the requirements ofboth, as stated in the letter to Ms. Kristine Hartzell dated December 17, 2010, that time must be logged consistent with§ 61.51 and documented in a manner that demonstrates the time counts towards the commercial pilot certificate and ratings. In its letter to Ms. Hartzell, the FAA explains it is “merely clarifying the requirement that the applicant for a commercial pilot certicate provide evidence that they have met the requirements of§ 61.129.”

To summarize, if training conducted pursuant to§ 61.65(e) meets the requirements of
§ 61.129(c)(3)(i), that time can count towards the five hours of instrument aeronautical experience under§ 61.129(c)(3)(i). However, pursuant to§ 61.51, that time also must be logged as prescribed allowing for verification by the FAA.

One caveat is highlighted in Rohlfing

Flight instructors who provide flight training on the “control and maneuvering of an airplane solely by reference to the instruments” in§ 61.109 are not required to have an instrument rating on their flight instructor certificate. See Legal Interpretation to Taylor Grayson (Jan. 4, 201 0). Therefore, the 3 hours of flight training on “the control and maneuvering of an airplane solely by reference to instruments” in§ 61.109(a)(3) may be applied toward the 40 hours of actual or simulated instrument time under § 61.65(d)(2), but may not be applied toward the 15 hours of instrument training unless the flight instructor who provided the flight training under § 61.109(a)(3) held an instrument rating on his or her flight instructor cetiificate and otherwise meets the requirements of§ 61.65.

Commercial Pilot Rating Airplane Sample Exam 2019-06-28

November 1st, 2019

These are the questions on the Sample Test and the answers that I found. The procedure that I used to find the answers was to put all of the relevant FAA publications in a folder and then search for words in the question or the correct answer. Since the FARs are regulatory and the AIM while not regulatory, provides information which reflects examples of operating techniques and procedures which may be re- quirements in other federal publications or regulations., if the answer appeared in either of those, I used it as the source. Next in order of priority were the Airplane Flying Handbook, and Pilots Handbook of Aeronautical Knowledge. There is a lot of information in these two publications that is also found word-for-word in the AIM.

For the most part, the FAA publications give the same answer no matter which source you choose, so it doesn’t matter if you study a more accessible publication rather than trying to wade through the AIM.

The ACS codes are matched with each question at the end of the Knowledge Test Guide so you can look up the answer in the appropriate FAA publication if you don’t like source for the answer I gave.

Some of the questions reference charts, tables, and images that are found in the Test Supplement Booklets.

I answered most of the questions based on my knowledge without looking things up or verifying them. They could be wrong, especially if there are “trick” questions that I missed. I’ll provide sources as time allows.

Preflight Preparation/Pilot Qualifications/Operating as pilot-in-command (PIC) as a commercial pilot:

1 . PLT442 CA.I.A.K1
You have accomplished 25 takeoffs and landings in multi-engine land airplanes in the previous 45 days. For a
flight you plan to conduct today, this meets the PIC recency of experience requirements to carry passengers in which airplanes?
A) Multi or single-engine land.
B) Single-enginelandairplane.
C) Multi-engine land airplane.

2 . PLT451 CA.I.A.K1
To act as PIC of a high performance airplane, which training or experience would meet the additional requirements.
A) Logged at least five hours as SIC in a high performance or turbine-powered airplane in the last 12 calendar months.
B) Received and logged ground and flight training in an airplane with retractable landing gear, flaps, and a controllable-pitch propeller.
C) Received and logged ground and flight training in a high performance airplane and received a logbook endorsement.

3 . PLT389 CA.I.A.K2
You are acting as a commercial pilot, but are not operating under the regulations of 14 CFR part 119. Which of these operations are you authorized to conduct?
A) On-demand, passenger carrying flights of nine persons or less.
B) Aerial application and aerial photography.
C) On-demand cargo flights.

4 . PLT448 CA.I.A.K2
As a commercial pilot, you decide to start a small business flying non-stop tours to look at Christmas lights during the holiday season. What authorizations, if any, are required to conduct Christmas light tours?
A) No authorizations or approvals are required if you hold the appropriate category and class rating for the aircraft that will be flown.
B) You must apply for and receive a Letter of Authorization from a Flight Standards District Office.
C) You must apply to the FAA to receive an exemption to carry passengers at night within a 50 mile radius of your departure airport.

Preflight Preparation/Airworthiness Requirements/Airworthiness requirements, including aircraft certificates:
1 . PLT377 CA.I.B.K1b
You are conducting your preflight of an aircraft and notice that the last inspection of the emergency locator transmitter was 11 calendar months ago. You may
A) depart if you get a special flight permit.
B) depart because the ELT is within the inspection requirements.
C) not depart until a new inspection is conducted.

2 . PLT377 CA.I.B.K1c
You are PIC of a flight and determine that the aircraft you planned to fly has an overdue Airworthiness Directive (AD). Which of the following is an appropriate decision?
A) No maintenance is available so you wait until after the trip to comply with the AD.
B) You make the flight because you can overfly an AD by 10hours.
C) You cancel the flight and have the aircraft scheduled for maintenance.

Preflight Preparation/Weather Information/Weather information for a flight under VFR:
1 . PLT059 CA.I.C.K2
What is the thickness of the cloud layer given a field elevation of 1,500 feet MSL with tops of the overcast at 7,000 feet MSL?
METAR KHOB 151250Z 17006KT 4SM OVC010 13/11 A2998
A) 4,500 feet.
B) 6,500feet.
C) 5,500feet.

2 . PLT288 CA.I.C.K2
In the following METAR/TAF for HOU, what is the ceiling and visibility forecast on the 7th day of the month at 0600Z?
KHOU 061734Z 0618/0718 16014G22KT P6SM VCSH BKN018 BKN035 FM070100 17010KT P6SM BKN015 OVC025
FM070500 17008KT 4SM BR SCT008 OVC012
FM071000 18005KT 3SM BR OVC007
FM071500 23008KT 5SM BR VCSH SCT008 OVC015
A) Visibility 6 miles with a broken ceiling at 15,000 feet MSL.
B) 4 nautical miles of visibility and an overcast ceiling at 700 feet MSL.
C) 4 statute miles visibility and an overcast ceiling at 1,200 feet AGL.

3 . PLT061 CA.I.C.K2
What significant cloud coverage is reported by this pilot report?
KMOB UA/OV 15NW MOB 1340Z/SK 025 OVC 045/075 OVC 080/090 OVC
A) Three (3) separate overcast layers exist with bases at 2,500, 7,500 and 9,000 feet.
B) The top of the lower overcast is 2,500 feet; base and top of second overcast layer are 4,500 and 9,000 feet, respectively.
C) The base of the second overcast layer is 2,500 feet; top of second overcast layer is 7,500 feet; base of third layer is 9,000

4 . PLT445 CA.I.C.K3
You are pilot-in-command of a VFR flight that you think will be within the fuel range of your aircraft. As part of your preflight planning you must
A) be familiar with all instrument approaches at the destination airport.
B) list an alternate airport on the flight plan, and confirm adequate takeoff and landing performance at the destination airport.
C) obtain weather reports, forecasts, and fuel requirements for the flight.

5 . PLT206 CA.I.C.K3c
As air temperature increases, density altitude will
A) decrease.
B) increase.
C) remain the same.

6 . PLT511 CA.I.C.K3a
What are the characteristics of an unstable atmosphere?
A) A cool, dry air mass.
B) A warm, humid air mass.
C) Descending air in the northern hemisphere.

7 . PLT495 CA.I.C.K3h
You are avoiding a thunderstorm that is in your flightpath. You are over 20 miles from the cell however, you are under the anvil of the cell. Is this a hazard?
A) No, you are at a safe distance from the cell.
B) Yes,hail can be discharged from the anvil.
C) Yes, this is still in the area of dissipation.

8 . PLT105 CA.I.C.K4
Which is true regarding the use of airborne weather-avoidance radar for the recognition of certain weather conditions?
A) The radar scope provides no assurance of avoiding instrument weather conditions.
B) The avoidance of hail is assured when flying between and just clear of the most intense echoes.
C) The clear area between intense echoes indicates that visual sighting of storms can be maintained when flying between the echoes.

Preflight Preparation/Cross-Country Flight Planning/Cross-country flights and VFR flight planning:
1 . PLT517 CA.I.D.K2
There is a high pressure system that is located south of your planned route in the Northern Hemisphere on a west to east cross-country flight. To take advantage of favorable winds, you would plan your route
A) on the north side of the high pressure area.
B) on the south side of the high pressure area.
C) through the middle of the high pressure area.

2 . PLT012 CA.I.D.K3a
(Refer to FAA-CT-8080-1E, Figure 11.) What would be the approximate true airspeed and fuel consumption per hour at an altitude of 7,500 feet, using 52 percent power?
A) 103 MPH TAS, 6.3 GPH.
B) 105 MPH TAS, 6.2 GPH.
C) 105 MPH TAS, 6.6 GPH.

3 . PLT430 CA.I.D.K2
According to 14 CFR part 91, at what minimum altitude may an airplane be operated unless necessary for takeoff and landing?
A) In congested areas, you must maintain 500 feet over obstacles, and no closer than 500 feet to any person, vessel, vehicle, or structure.
B) In uncongested areas, 1,000 feet over any obstacle within a horizontal radius of 2,000 feet.
C) An altitude allowing for an emergency landing without undue hazard, if a power unit fails.

Preflight Preparation/National Airspace System/National Airspace System (NAS) operating under VFR as a commercial pilot:
1 . PLT161 CA.I.E.K1
You would like to enter Class B airspace and contact the approach controller. The controller responds to your initial radio call with “N125HF standby.” May you enter the Class B airspace?
A) You must remain outside Class B airspace until controller gives you a specific clearance.
B) You may continue into the Class B airspace and wait for further instructions.
C) You may continue into the Class B airspace without a specific clearance, if the aircraft is ADS-B equipped.

2 . PLT163 CA.I.E.K1
(Refer to FAA-CT-8080-1E, Figure 52, Area 8). The traffic pattern altitude at the Auburn (AUN) airport is 1,000 feet AGL. May you practice landings under VFR when the AWOS is reporting a ground visibility of 2 miles?
A) Yes, you will be operating in a combination of Class E and G airspace.
B) No,the reported ground visibility must be at least 3 miles.
C) No,the Class E airspace extends to the airport surface.

3 . PLT161 CA.I.E.K1
(Refer to FAA-CT-8080-1E, Figure 53, Area 4.) You plan to depart on a day VFR flight from the Firebaugh (F34) airport. What is the floor of controlled airspace above this airport?
A) 1,200 feet above the airport.
B) 700 feet above the airport.
C) 1,500 feet above the airport.

4 . PLT370 CA.I.E.K1
(Refer to FAA-CT-8080-1E, Figure 52, Area 2.) When departing the RIO LINDA (L36) airport to the northwest at an altitude of 1,000 feet, AGL, you
A) must make contact with MC CLELLAN (MCC) control tower as soon as practical after takeoff.
B) are not required to contact any ATC facilities if you do not enter the Class C Airspace.
C) must make contact with the SACRAMENTO INTL (SMF) control tower immediately after takeoff.

5 . PLT163 CA.I.E.K1
Your VFR flight will be conducted above 10,000 MSL in Class E airspace. What is the minimum flight visibility?
A) 3NM.
B) 5SM.
C) 1SM.

6 . PLT162 CA.I.E.K2
(Refer to FAA-CT-8080-1E, Figure 53, Area 2.) What is indicated by the star next to the “L” in the airport information box for the MADERA (MAE) airport north of area 2?
A) Special VFR is prohibited.
B) There is a rotating beacon at the field.
C) Lighting limitations exist.

7 . PLT376 CA.I.E.K3
What must a pilot do or be aware of when transitioning an Alert Area?
A) All pilots must contact the controlling agency to ensure aircraft separation.
B) Non-participating aircraft may transit the area as long as they operate in accordance with their waiver.
C) Beaware that the area may contain unusual aeronautical activity or high volume of pilot training.

8 . PLT376 CA.I.E.K3
(Refer to FAA-CT-8080-1E, Figure 53.) You are planning a VFR west bound flight departing the FRESNO CHANDLER
EXECUTIVE (FCH) airport and you will be passing through the active Lemoore C and A MOAs. What action should you take?
A) Exercise extreme caution while in the boundaries of the MOA.
B) Avoid the MOA, VFR, and IFR flights are prohibited during daylight hours.
C) Contact the aircraft operating in the MOA on the Guard frequency of 121.5.

9 . PLT376 CA.I.E.K3
(Refer to FAA-CT-8080-1E, Figure 54, Area 3.) What is the significance of R-2531? This is a restricted area
A) for IFR aircraft.
B) where aircraft may never operate.
C) where often invisible hazards exist.

Preflight Preparation/Performance and Limitations/Operating an aircraft safely within the parameters of its performance capabilities and limitations:
1 . PLT011 CA.I.F.K1
(Refer to FAA-CT-8080-1E, Figure 32.) What is the total takeoff distance required to clear a 50-foot obstacle with the following
Temperature: 50 °F Pressure altitude: 4,000 ft. Weight: 3,200 lb. Headwind: 15 kts.
A) 1,200 feet.
B) 880 feet.
C) 700 feet.

2 . PLT021 CA.I.F.K2f
(Refer to FAA-CT-8080-1E, Figure 38.) Given the following information, does the weight of the aircraft and center of gravity fall within allowable limits?
Empty weight (oil is included) = 1,275 lb.
Empty weight moment (in-lb./1,000) = 102.05
Pilot and copilot = 390 lb.
Rear seat passenger = 145 lb.
Cargo = 95 lb
Fuel = 35 gal
A) Yes, the weight and center of gravity is within allowable limits.
B) No,the weight exceeds the maximum allowable.
C) No,the weight is acceptable, but the center of gravity is aft of the allowable limits.

3 . PLT310 CA.I.F.K3
While executing a 60° level turn, your aircraft is at a load factor of 2.0. What does this mean?
A) The total load on the aircraft`s structure is two times its weight.
B) The load factor is over the load limit.
C) The gust factor is two times the total load limit.

4 . PLT123 CA.I.F.K3
What could be one result of exceeding critical Mach number?
A) Propeller stall.
B) Reduction in drag.
C) Aircraft control difficulties.

5 . PLT168 CA.I.F.K3
When transitioning from straight-and-level flight to a constant airspeed climb, the angle of attack and lift
A) are increased and remain at a higher lift-to-weight ratio to maintain the climb.
B) remain the same and maintain a steady state lift-to-weight ratio during the climb.
C) are momentarily increased and lift returns to a steady state during the climb.

6 . PLT113 CA.I.F.R2
Structural damage or failure is more likely to occur in smooth air at speeds above
B) VA.

Preflight Preparation/Operation of Systems/Safe operation of systems on the airplane provided for the flight test:
1 . PLT126 CA.I.G.K1d
When departing from a runway that is covered with snow or slush, what could a pilot do to prevent damage to the landing gear due to the conditions?
A) Do not retract the landing gear immediately to allow the gear to air-dry.
B) Immediately retract the landing gear so it can be heated in the gear wells.
C) Fly at a speed above the green arc of the airspeed indicator to remove the snow and slush.

2 . PLT343 CA.I.G.R1
Your aircraft has an exhaust manifold type heating system. The exhaust manifold is periodically inspected to avoid
A) carbon monoxide poisoning.
B) overheating in the cockpit.
C) extremely cold temperatures in the cabin.

Preflight Preparation/Human Factors/Personal health, flight physiology, aeromedical and human factors as it relates to safety of flight:
1 . PLT334 CA.I.H.K1d
You are most likely to experience somatogravic illusion during
A) a rapid descent.
B) deceleration upon landing.
C) rapid acceleration on takeoff.

2 . PLT463 CA.I.H.K2
You attended a party last night and you consumed several glasses of wine. You are planning to fly your aircraft
home and have been careful to make sure 8 hours have passed since your last alcoholic drink. You can make the flight now only if you are not under the influence of alcohol and your blood alcohol level is
A) below .04%.
B) below.08%.
C) 0.0%.

Preflight Procedures/Preflight Assessment/Preparing for safe flight:
1 . PLT281 CA.II.D.K1
You are preflight planning in the morning before an afternoon flight. Where would you find information regarding an “Airport surface hot spot?”
A) Call the Automated Flight Service Station.
B) In the Chart Supplements U.S.
C) In the NOTAM`s during your preflight briefing.

2 . PLT141 CA.II.D.K3
(Refer to FAA-CT-8080-1E, Figure 61.) Ground control has instructed you to taxi Alpha to Foxtrot to the active runway. According to the sign in the figure, which direction would you turn at this intersection to comply with ATC?
A) No turn is required.
B) The turn will be made to the right.
C) The turn will be made to the left.

Airport and Seaplane Base Operations /Communications and Light Signals/Normal and emergency radio communications and ATC light signals to conduct radio communications safely while operating the aircraft:
1 . PLT366 CA.III.A.K8
On a post flight inspection of your aircraft after an aborted takeoff due to an elevator malfunction, you find that the elevator control cable has broken. According to NTSB 830, you
A) must immediately notify the nearest NTSB office.
B) should notify the NTSB within 10 days.
C) must file a NASA report immediately.

Airport and Seaplane Base Operations/Traffic Patterns/Traffic patterns:
1 . PLT414 CA.III.B.K3
An airplane is converging with a helicopter. Which aircraft has the right-of-way?
A) The aircraft on the left.
B) The aircraft on the right.
C) The faster of the two aircraft.

Takeoffs, Landing and Go-arounds/Normal Takeoff and Climb/Normal takeoff, climb operations, and rejected takeoff procedures:
1 . PLT509 CA.IV.A.R2d
Your flight takes you in the path of a large aircraft. In order to avoid the vortices you should fly
A) at the same altitude as the large aircraft.
B) below the altitude of the large aircraft.
C) above the flight path of the large aircraft.

2 . PLT208 CA.IV.A.R3b
If you experience an engine failure in a single-engine aircraft after takeoff, you should
A) establish the proper glide attitude.
B) turn into the wind.
C) adjust the pitch to maintain VY.

Takeoffs, Landing and Go-arounds/Normal Approach and Landing/Normal approach and landing with emphasis on proper use and coordination of flight controls:
1 . PLT170 CA.IV.B.K2
What should be expected when making a downwind landing? The likelihood of
A) undershooting the intended landing spot and a faster airspeed at touchdown.
B) overshooting the intended landing spot and a faster groundspeed at touchdown.
C) undershooting the intended landing spot and a faster groundspeed at touchdown.

2 . PLT221 CA.IV.B.R3a
When conducting a go-around, the pilot must be aware that
A) radio communications are key to alerting other aircraft in the pattern that a go-around maneuver is being conducted.
B) the airplane is trimmed for a power-off condition, and application of takeoff power will cause the nose to rise rapidly.
C) flaps should be raised as quickly as possible to reduce drag and increase airspeed for a successful go-around.

3 . PLT140 CA.IV.B.R3b
What should you expect when you are told that LAHSO operations are in effect at your destination airport?
A) All aircraft must operate on an IFR clearance due to high traffic volume.
B) That ATC will give you a clearance to land and hold short of a specified point on the runway.
C) Delays due to low IFR conditions and high traffic volume.

Performance and Ground Reference Maneuvers/Steep Turns/Steep turns:
1 . PLT118 CA.V.A.K2e
To maintain a standard-rate turn as the airspeed decreases, the bank angle of the airplane will need to
A) decrease.
B) increase.
C) remain constant.

Navigation/Pilotage and Dead Reckoning/Pilotage and dead reckoning:
1 . PLT200 CA.VI.A.K1
What procedure could a pilot use to navigate under VFR from one point to another when ground references are not visible?
A) Dead reckoning.
B) Pilotage.
C) VFR is not allowed in these circumstances.

2 . PLT194 CA.VI.A.R1
When in the vicinity of a VOR which is being used for navigation on VFR flights, it is important to
A) make 90° left and right turns to scan for other traffic.
B) exercise sustained vigilance to avoid aircraft that may be converging on the VOR from other directions.
C) pass the VOR on the right side of the radial to allow room for aircraft flying in the opposite direction on the
same radial.

Navigation/Navigation Systems and Radar Services/Navigation systems and radar services:
1 . PLT354 CA.VI.B.K2
What is a consideration when using a hand-held GPS for VFR navigation?
A) Position accuracy may degrade without notification.
B) RAIM capability will be maintained for entire flight.
C) Waypoints will still be accurate even if database is not current.

Emergency Operations/Systems and Equipment Malfunctions/System and equipment malfunctions appropriate to the airplane provided for the practical test, and that the applicant is able to analyze malfunctions and take appropriate action for simulated emergencies:
1 . PLT337 CA.IX.C.K2d
You are flying an aircraft equipped with an electronic flight display and the air data computer fails. What instrument is affected?
A) ADS-B in capability.
B) Airspeed indicator.
C) Attitude indicator.

Notes from Airplane Flying Handbook

November 1st, 2019

I have been referring to FAA-H-8083-3B Airplane Flying Handbook while learning the commercial maneuvers and decided to start reading it from the beginning. As a long-time pilot there is a lot that I already know, but there are some things that deserve a post so that I can remember them. Or they are things I already know, but are deserving of emphasis. For example:

The checklist is a memory aid and helps to ensure that critical items necessary for the safe operation of aircraft are not overlooked or forgotten. Checklists need not be “do lists.” In other words, the proper actions can be accomplished, and then the checklist used to quickly ensure all necessary tasks or actions have been completed.

I use a flow for my pre-flight and then verify the important items with a checklist before engine start. I do the same with engine start. I use a flow starting with the oil pressure and then looking at all of the gauges. After the flow is complete, I use the checklist to make sure I covered everything. Post-flight on my Cherokee is relatively simple, just make sure it is tied down. The Cessna 172 at the flight school is much more complicated—make sure the co-pilot door is locked, install the control and throttle locks, put up the sunscreen, insert the engine cowl plugs, install the pitot cover, and tie it down. If you have a flow you probably won’t forget anything, but a checklist makes sure you didn’t. The same thing applies for removing things before your pre-flight.

When taxiing with a quartering headwind, the wing on the upwind side (the side that the wind is coming from) tends to be lifted by the wind unless the aileron control is held in that direction (upwind aileron UP). Moving the aileron into the UP position reduces the effect of the wind striking that wing, thus reducing the lifting action. This control movement also causes the downwind aileron to be placed in the DOWN position, thus a small amount of lift and drag on the downwind wing, further reducing the tendency of the upwind wing to rise. Turn into a headwind.

When taxiing with a quartering tailwind, the elevator should be held in the DOWN position, and the upwind aileron, DOWN. Since the wind is striking the airplane from behind, these control positions reduce the tendency of the wind to get under the tail and the wing and to nose the airplane over. Dive away from a tailwind.

Airplane attitude control
Pitch control—controlling of the airplane’ s pitch attitude about the lateral axis by using the elevator to raise and lower the nose in relation to the natural horizon or to the airplane’s flight instrumentation.
Bank control—controlling of the airplane about the airplane’s longitudinal axis by use of the ailerons to attain a desired bank angle in relation to the natural horizon or to the airplane’s instrumentation.
Power control—in most general aviation (GA) airplanes is controlled by the throttle and is used when the flight situation requires a specific thrust setting or for a change in thrust to meet a specific objective.
Trim control—used to relieve the control pressures held by the pilot on the flight controls after a desired attitude has been attained.
Note: Yaw control is used to cancel out the effects of yaw induced changes, such as adverse yaw and effects of the propeller.

Flight by reference to the horizon.
With beginner pilots, a flight instructor will likely use a dry erase marker or removable tape to make reference lines on the windshield or cowling to help the beginner pilot establish visual reference points.

When watching videos on private and commercial maneuvers they often say that you should line up part the cowl with the horizon and keep it in that position. I guess that works for short people, but it doesn’t work well for me since the cowl is well below the horizon from my perspective. Since my windshield is usually clean I can’t use a spot on it to mark the horizon. I started using this trick and so far I’m happy with it.

A properly trimmed airplane is an indication of good piloting skills. Any control forces that the pilot feels should be a result of deliberate flight control pressure inputs during a planned change in airplane attitude, not a result of forces being applied by the airplane. I noticed that when doing the commercial maneuvers proper trim makes it much easier to control the airplane. Small changes in force necessary to move the control are much easier to manage than trying to change a lot of force by a little bit. Fingertip control is the key to precise flying.

In a turn, the outside wing travels at a faster airspeed than the inside wing and, as a result, it develops more lift. This creates an overbanking tendency that must be controlled by the use of opposite aileron when the desired bank angle is reached. Because the outboard wing is developing more lift, it also produces more drag. The drag causes a slight slip during steep turns that must be corrected by use of the rudder. So in an uncorrected turn, the nose points to the outside of the turn. Stepping on the ball moves the nose into the direction of the turn. Too much rudder and the nose points into the turn—a skid.

Skidding turn
An uncoordinated turn in which the rate of turn is too great for the angle of bank, pulling the aircraft to the outside of the turn.
[Source: Handbook of Aeronautical Knowledge]

If the desired bank angle is shallow, the pilot needs to maintain a small amount of aileron pressure into the direction of bank including rudder to compensate for yaw effects. For medium bank angles, the ailerons and rudder should be neutralized. Steep bank angles require opposite aileron and rudder to prevent the bank from steepening. Back pressure on the elevator should not be relaxed as the vertical component of lift must be maintained if altitude is to be maintained.

Variations in weight do not affect the glide angle provided the pilot uses the proper airspeed. Since it is the L/D ratio that determines the distance the airplane can glide, weight does not affect the distance flown; however, a heavier airplane must fly at a higher airspeed to obtain the same glide ratio. For example, if two airplanes having the same L/D ratio but different weights start a glide from the same altitude, the heavier airplane gliding at a higher airspeed arrives at the same touchdown point in a shorter time. Both airplanes cover the same distance, only the lighter airplane takes a longer time.

In an emergency, such as an engine failure, attempting to apply elevator back pressure to stretch a glide back to the runway is likely to lead the airplane landing short and may even lead to loss of control if the airplane stalls.

Angle of Attack
The angle of attack (AOA) is the angle at which the chord of the wing meets the relative wind. The chord is a straight line from the leading edge to the trailing edge. At low angles of attack, the airflow over the top of the wing flows smoothly and produces lift with a relatively small amount of drag. As the AOA increases, lift as well as drag increases; however, above a wing’s critical AOA, the flow of air separates from the upper surface and backfills, burbles and eddies, which reduces lift and increases drag. This condition is a stall, which can lead to loss of control if the AOA is not reduced.

Stall Characteristics
Most training airplanes are designed so that the wings stall progressively outward from the wing roots (where the wing attaches to the fuselage) to the wingtips.

Although airflow may still be attached at the wingtips, a pilot should exercise caution using the ailerons prior to the reduction of the AOA because it can exacerbate the stalled condition. For example, if the airplane rolls left at the stall (“rolls-off”), and the pilot applies right aileron to try to level the wing, the downward-deflected aileron on the left wing produces a greater AOA (and more induced drag), and a more complete stall at the tip as the critical AOA is exceeded. This can cause the wing to roll even more to the left, which is why it is important to first reduce the AOA before attempting to roll the airplane.

The most important action to an impending stall or a full stall is to reduce the AOA.

Stall Training

Power-on stalls are practiced to develop the pilot’s awareness of what could happen if the airplane is pitched to an excessively nose-high attitude immediately after takeoff, during a climbing turn, or when trying to clear an obstacle. Power-off turning stalls develop the pilot’s awareness of what could happen if the controls are improperly used during a turn from the base leg to the final approach. The power-off straight-ahead stall simulates the stall that could occur when trying to stretch a glide after the engine has failed, or if low on the approach to landing.

Impending Stall
An impending stall occurs when the airplane is approaching, but does not exceed the critical AOA. The purpose of practicing impending stalls is to learn to retain or regain full control of the airplane immediately upon recognizing that it is nearing a stall, or that a stall is likely to occur if the pilot does not take appropriate action.

Spin Awareness
A spin is an aggravated stall that typically occurs from a full stall occurring with the airplane in a yawed state and results in the airplane following a downward corkscrew path.…The rotation results from an unequal AOA on the airplane’s wings. The less-stalled rising wing has a decreasing AOA, where the relative lift increases and the drag decreases. Meanwhile, the descending wing has an increasing AOA, which results in decreasing relative lift and increasing drag. …There are four phases of a spin: entry, incipient, developed, and recovery.

Entry Phase
As the airplane approaches a stall, smoothly apply full rudder in the direction of the desired spin rotation while applying full back (up) elevator to the limit of travel.

Incipient Phase
The incipient phase occurs from the time the airplane stalls and starts rotating until the spin has fully developed. This phase may take two to four turns for most airplanes. In this phase, the aerodynamic and inertial forces have not achieved a balance. As the incipient phase develops, the indicated airspeed will generally stabilize at a low and constant airspeed and the symbolic airplane of the turn indicator should indicate the direction of the spin. The slip/skid ball is unreliable when spinning.

Developed Phase
The developed phase occurs when the airplane’s angular rotation rate, airspeed, and vertical speed are stabilized in a flightpath that is nearly vertical. In the developed phase, aerodynamic forces and inertial forces are in balance, and the airplane’s attitude, angles, and self-sustaining motions about the vertical axis are constant or repetitive, or nearly so.

Recovery Phase
The recovery phase occurs when rotation ceases and the AOA of the wings is decreased below the critical AOA. This phase may last for as little as a quarter turn or up to several turns depending upon the airplane and the type of spin.

1. Reduce the Power (Throttle) to Idle
2. Position the Ailerons to Neutral
3. Apply Full Opposite Rudder against the Rotation
4. Apply Positive, Brisk, and Straight Forward Elevator (Forward of Neutral)
5. Neutralize the Rudder After Spin Rotation Stops
6. Apply Back Elevator Pressure to Return to Level Flight

Aircraft Electrical Systems

November 1st, 2019

Historical reason for 12 and 24 volt Batteries

Because the aircraft industry standardized on the nominal CHARGING voltage of 28
volts rather than the DISCHARGED voltage of 24 volts. 24-28?? Same animal with
a different nametag.

Now, why 24/28 volts? Because the aircraft needed to be lighter for military
performance reasons. Two 12 volt batteries in series comes nowhere near the
weight you can save in a fairly complex airplane (say, for example, a P-51) by
using a lighter weight copper wire for the same wattage load (double the voltage
= half the amperage for a given wattage). Remember, wire is sized by amperage,
not by voltage. INSULATION is sized by voltage.

So why was there 12 volts to begin with? Because Detroit started making cars
with a much higher compression ratio and to turn the starters over, the old 6
volt batteries weren’t cutting it. Bingo. Two 6 volters in series gives 12
volts and that was close enough for Detroit gummint work.

The REAL question is who decided on 6 volts (3 each 2 volt lead-acid cells in
series) to begin with.

And the inquisitive student might ask, if 24/28 was so good, why not go 3 in
series and get 36 volt systems…or like the phone company with 4 in series for
48 volts? Because, grasshopper, the calculation WAS made to find out the most
efficient combination of voltage/current/wire size and at the time (WWII) it
came out just shy of 30 volts. Rather than dick around with special 30 volt (15
cell) batteries, the decision was made to use off-the-shelf dual 12 or single 24
volt “industrial” batteries.

Source: Jim Weir AviationBanter

Choice of 14 or28 Volts in Experimental Aircraft

Having twice the amount of volts means literally that the current is half with equal power drawn, see volts, amps and ohms law. As a result wiring can be thinner thus you will save some weight.

Another advantage is that 28 volt systems have more reserve in cold weather where the 12 volt battery looses its power more quickly. Not too mention the fact that a 24 volt battery has a lot more cranking power for starting. Which is really helpful when starting small turbine engines.

The choice of engine usually dictates which kind of electrical system you will need. Rotax engines are sold with a 12/14 volt system (starter and alternator). Other engine manufacturers might have an option for either system. If you already have an engine: check its battery, alternator and starter motor to see which system it is.

Source: Experimental Aircraft Info

AOPA Jeppesen Chart Clinic

September 3rd, 2019

Craig Morton has collected all of the AOPA Jeppesen Chart Clinic articles so you can easily find them. Since ForeFlight now has Jepp charts, even though they are old they might come in handy.

Basic Med Can Be Used To Take Practical Tests

August 10th, 2019

I was chatting with a person who went for the commercial checkride and the examiner wouldn’t start the checkride because the name on the 3rd Class Medical Certificate used a middle initial while the FAA records in IACRA had the full middle name. Most pilots that I know get their Basic Med and 3rd Class done at the same time and it hasn’t been long enough for the Basic Med to expire so I asked why they didn’t use the Basic Med. The examiner thought that it wouldn’t apply but they were mistaken. The names would still have to match but if they do it will save a trip to the AME or holding forever with the FAA.

The Commercial ACS has this Practical Test Checklist. Note that it says Current Medical or Basic Med.

Just as an exercise, I decided to read the FAR and see if I could reach the conclusion that you can use Basic Med for practical tests. Then I read the AOPA article to see why they reached that same conclusion. And we matched.

It doesn’t say outright in the FARs that you can use Basic Med in lieu of 3rd Class for taking a practical test, but if you follow the conditionals in the text you end up with ’Yes’. FYI an examiner must have a 3rd class or better certificate since they are not acting as pilot in command. Oddly enough the same is true of a safety pilot unless the pilot and safety pilot agree that the safety pilot is PIC.

§61.23 Medical certificates: Requirement and duration.
(3) Must hold at least a third-class medical certificate—

(iii) When taking a practical test in an aircraft for a recreational pilot, private pilot, commercial pilot, or airline transport pilot certificate, or for a flight instructor certificate, except when operating under the conditions and limitations set forth in §61.113(i); or

§61.113 Private pilot privileges and limitations: Pilot in command.
(i) A private pilot may act as pilot in command of an aircraft without holding a medical certificate issued under part 67 of this chapter provided the pilot holds a valid U.S. driver’s license, meets the requirements of §61.23(c)(3), and complies with this section and all of the following conditions and limitations:

§61.23 (c) Operations requiring either a medical certificate or U.S. driver’s license. (1) A person must hold and possess either a medical certificate issued under part 67 of this chapter or a U.S. driver’s license when—
(3) A person using a U.S. driver’s license to meet the requirements of paragraph (c) while operating under the conditions and limitations of §61.113(i) must meet the following requirements—

(i) The person must—

(A) Comply with all medical requirements or restrictions associated with his or her U.S. driver’s license;

(B) At any point after July 14, 2006, have held a medical certificate issued under part 67 of this chapter;

(C) Complete the medical education course set forth in §68.3 [BASIC MED] of this chapter during the 24-calendar months before acting as pilot in command in an operation conducted under §61.113(i) and retain a certification of course completion in accordance with §68.3(b)(1) of this chapter;

(D) Receive a comprehensive medical examination from a State-licensed physician during the 48 months before acting as pilot in command of an operation conducted under §61.113(i) and that medical examination is conducted in accordance with the requirements in part 68 of this chapter; and

(E) If the individual has been diagnosed with any medical condition that may impact the ability of the individual to fly, be under the care and treatment of a State-licensed physician when acting as pilot in command of an operation conducted under §61.113(i).

Survey instead of Checklist fro Takeoff and Landing

August 5th, 2019

An instructor I know prefers to use what he calls “Surveys” instead of checklists for takeoff and landing GA aircraft.

Pre-Takeoff Survey
Fuel Selector On ................... Left or Right?
Mixture Position ................... Full Rich or Leaned?
Propeller .......................... Max RPM, Yes or No?
Heading Index on Takeoff Runway .... Yes or No?
Trim Setting ....................... Cruise Climb or Best Rate?

After Takeoff Survey
Positive Rate ..................... Landing Gear Up, Yes or No?
1000'AGL .......................... Propeller RPM 2500 Yes or No?
Selected Climb Speed .............. Yes or No?
Mixture Position .................. Full Rich or Leaned?

Pre-Landing Survey
Fuel Selector on .................. Fullest Tank, Yes or No?
Mixture Position .................. Full Rich or Leaned?
Propeller ......................... 2500 RPM, Yes or No?
Landing Gear Down ................. Flag and Green, Yes or No?
Full Flaps on Final 500' .......... Gear Green and Yes or No?

Commercial ACS: KOEL

July 16th, 2019

I did not remember ever seeing this term before I ran across it in the Commercial ACS.

B. Airworthiness Requirements
c. Kinds of Operation Equipment List (KOEL)

But it turns out that is described in AC 91-67 Minimum Equipment Requirements

Kinds of Operations List (KOL).
The KOL specifies the kinds of operations (e.g., visual flight rules (VFR), instrument flight rules (IFR), day, or night) in which the aircraft can be operated. The KOL also indicates the installed equipment that may affect any operating limitation. Although the certification rules require this information, there is no standard format; consequently, the manufacturer may furnish it in various ways.

It turns out that this is part of the AFM in newer aircraft. I don’t fly airplanes with a serialized AFM, so I had never seen it before. The KOEL for a Cessna 172SP is pretty simple.


This is a portion of the KOEL from a Cessna 182T and is much more detailed. It has five pages of equipment with notes as to whether it is required for Day/Night and IFR/VFR.

The Cessna 182T Nav Ill airplane is approved for day and night VFR and IFR operations. Flight into known icing conditions is prohibited.

The minimum equipment for approved operations required under the Operating Rules are defined by 14 CFR Part 91 and 14 CFR Part 135, as applicable.
The following Kinds of Operations Equipment List (KOEL) identifies the equipment required to be operational for airplane airworthiness in the listed kind of operations.


Commercial Pilot Privileges

July 9th, 2019

When you get your commercial certificate you may be paid for your piloting services. However, Part 61 is somewhat vague on the details, especially the part referring to restrictions in other parts of the FARs.

§61.133 Commercial pilot privileges and limitations.
(a) Privileges—(1) General. A person who holds a commercial pilot certificate may act as pilot in command of an aircraft—

(i) Carrying persons or property for compensation or hire, provided the person is qualified in accordance with this part and with the applicable parts of this chapter that apply to the operation; and

(ii) For compensation or hire, provided the person is qualified in accordance with this part and with the applicable parts of this chapter that apply to the operation.

There may be other restrictions dependent on the type of operation that is being conducted but in general you may fly for:

A company engaged in common carriage—you will carry persons or property for hire for the general public. Airlines and package delivery companies like FedEx and UPS fall into this category and they offer Scheduled Air Service or Chartered Large Aircraft. Part 121 governs passenger carrying operations and Part 119 governs package delivery companies. On-Demand Air Service where the customers generally charter the whole airplane at a time and destination that they choose fall under Part 135—commonly referred to as Charter Operators.

A company not involved in common carriage that operate large aircraft to carry their own goods or people or goods for a small number of customers (typically less than 4) Part 125 governs their activities.

Corporate Flight Departments operating smaller aircraft fall under Part 91. Part 91 operations also include flights that are incidental to the business of the company, e.g. aerial views of real estate or transporting customers to remote destinations in the course of business.

A commercial certificate is required to be paid in any of these operations. However, an ATP may be required depending on the aircraft and operation.

Part 119 list somethings that do not fall under the rules for Part 121, 125, and 135. These include things like:

• Nonstop Commercial Air Tours conducted within a 25-statute mile radius of that airport, in compliance with the Letter of Authorization issued under §91.147
• Ferry or training flights
• Crop dusting, seeding, spraying, and bird chasing
• Banner towing
• Aerial photography or survey
• Nonstop flights conducted within a 25-statute-mile radius of the airport of takeoff carrying persons or objects for the purpose of conducting intentional parachute operations
• Small UAS operations conducted under part 107 of this chapter

Holding Out
You can use your commercial certificate to transport persons or property for hire but the FAA doesn’t want you to be acting like a Part 121 or Part 135 carrier. The way they determine if you have been acting that way is whether you have been “holding out” your services. AC 120-12A Private Carriage Versus Common Carriage of Persons or Property defines it as:

A carrier is holding out when they represent themselves as willing to furnish transportation within the limits of its facilities to any person who wants it.

There are four elements in defining a common carrier: (1) a holding out of a willingness to (2) transport persons or property (3) from place to place (4) for compensation. This holding out which makes a person a common carrier can be done in many ways and it does not matter how it is done.

c. Physically holding out without advertising where a reputation to server all is gained is sufficient to constitute and offer to carry all customers.

If you are a newly minted commercial pilot with your instrument rating and you want to build hours toward your ATP or just make some money, you can’t put an ad on Craigslist advertising that you are willing to fly anyone anywhere. You can mention to your fight school that you would be willing to fly people in their airplanes. If you get a customer who travels to one of their remote locations in their airplane every week and they want you to fly them, then that’s OK. If they mention to their friends how much more relaxed they feel when they arrive and you start flying them in their airplanes too, that’s OK too.

You can even use your airplane to fly them, but you have to comply with the 100-hour inspections, upgrade your insurance policy for commercial operations, and comply with Part 135 or Part 119 non-common carrier operations rules. You need a operating certificate for that.

Runway Approach Area Holding Position Sign

July 7th, 2019

On a recent flight from Fresno (KFAT) I noticed this marking on the taxiway.

Runway Approach Area Holding Position Sign

So I looked it up in the AIM 2-3-8.

2. Runway Approach Area Holding Position Sign.

At some airports, it is necessary to hold an aircraft on a taxiway located in the approach or departure area for a runway so that the aircraft does not interfere with operations on that runway. In these situations, a sign with the designation of the approach end of the runway followed by a “dash” (−) and letters “APCH” will be located at the holding position on the taxiway. Holding position markings in accordance with Paragraph 2−3−5, Holding Position Markings, will be located on the taxiway pavement. An example of this sign is shown in FIG 2−3−27. In this example, the sign may protect the approach to Runway 15 and/or the departure for Runway 33.

Runway Approach Area Holding Position Sign

So basically it is like an ILS critical area and you only have to hold short when ATC (or the ATIS) tells you to.

Commercial vs Private Pilot Checkride

June 11th, 2019

The commercial checkride is in many respects just a private checkride with higher standards. The Oral portion of the ACS is essentially identical for both except that the commercial ACS asks about risk management, and skills associated with operating as pilot-in-command (PIC) as a commercial pilot.—rather than as a private pilot—in the Pilot Qualifications section. And the answers to the Privileges and Limitations section will be different. The maneuvers in IV. Takeoffs, Landings, and Go-Arounds are even the same but with different tolerances. For example, on takeoff a commercial applicant is expected to maintain VY ±5 knots to a safe maneuvering altitude whereas a private pilot can be within +10 and -5 knots of VY.

There are a few differences in the maneuvers. Both are required to perform VII. Slow Flight and Stalls The private pilot requires a forward slip to a landing and the commercial does not. Steep turns have the same tolerances except that the commercial pilot does the maneuver at 50° and private is at 45°. Where the two diverge is in the ground reference maneuvers.

The private pilot needs to fly rectangular course, S-turns, and turns around a point. The commercial pilot is expected to demonstrate power-off 180° approach and landing. The commercial pilot flies a steep spiral, chandelles, lazy eights, and eights on pylons.

The navigation sections are identical except that the commercial pilot is expected to fly within 100′ of the assigned altitude and the private pilot gets 200′.

The private pilot is only required to have three hours of instrument training and is tested on basic instrument maneuvers so that they can safely get out of inadvertent flight into IMC. Most commercial applicants will have an instrument rating and have an additional 10 hours of instrument training so aren’t tested on this. The private pilot is also tested on night operations and because the commercial requirements specify five hours of solo night flight, they are not tested on night operations.

They will however, most likely be flying at higher altitudes, so they are tested on High Altitude Operations.

The emergency and post flight operations are also identical.

From each applicable Task the applicant will be tested on:
• at least one knowledge element;
• at least one risk management element;
• all skill elements; and
• any Task elements in which the applicant was shown to be deficient on the knowledge test.

Unless otherwise noted in the Task, the evaluator must test each item in the skills section by asking the applicant to perform each one.

Weather Legends

May 17th, 2019

Leidos Flight Service has a website that allows you to view current and forecast weather and file flight plans. One of the things that I recently noticed is that it has detailed legends for the three most useful charts. The legends are useful for understand the charts and also for taking Knowledge Tests.


Current WX

Surface Analysis

Radar Summary Chart – Detail

Radar Summary and Legend

TVS = Tornado Vortex Signature. The radar/algorithms think there is a tornado, or a forming tornado, there. “VFR flight not recommended.”

Meso = Mesocyclone. From Wikipedia – A mesocyclone is a vortex of air within a convective storm. It is air that rises and rotates around a vertical axis, usually in the same direction as low pressure systems in a given hemisphere. They are most often cyclonic, that is, associated with a localized low-pressure region within a severe thunderstorm.

FAA Email: How do I obtain initial approval for my ADS-B Out system?

May 10th, 2019

I got this from the FAA and thought it would be good to post it where others can find it.

FAA Safety Team | Safer Skies Through Education
Your ADS-B Questions Answered: How do I obtain initial approval for my ADS-B Out system?
Notice Number: NOTC8340

Your ADS-B Questions Answered: Get the Facts Here

How do I obtain initial approval for my ADS-B Out system?

Initial ADS-B Out system pairings (transmitter/GPS) must be approved for installation using the Type Certificate (TC), Amended TC (ATC), or Supplemental Type Certificate (STC) process. Aircraft and equipment manufacturers, and others seeking initial pairing approval should consult their Aircraft Certification Office to determine the appropriate approval process for these initial installations. Once the performance of the initial pairing has been established, the FAA considers follow-on installations of the same pairing to be approved. Organization Designation Authorization (ODA) holders can issue an ATC and an STC when authorized by their FAA Organization Management Team (OMT).

Equipment manufacturers are the best source for previously approved pairing information. The FAA also maintains a list of approved pairings at the following a href=’https://www.faa.gov/nextgen/equipadsb/installation/equipment/adsb_ready/’>link

After initial approval, can applicable ADS-B Out systems be installed on aircraft not covered by that approval?

Yes, ADS-B Out systems that have previously received FAA approval and meet all of the conditions listed in the FAA’s policy memo on Installation Approval for ADS-B OUT Systems, may be installed and returned to service on other aircraft without further data approval.

Please note that if an Approved Model List (AML) STC is available that provides for the installation of specific ADS-B transmitter and GPS pairings on listed aircraft, consider using the data from that AML STC for the ADS-B Out system installation.

What is the single most common ADS-B Out installation problem?

The single most common ADS-B Out installation problem is incorrect configuration of the flight identification code. Currently, more than 600 ADS-B Out equipped aircraft are operating with a misconfigured flight identification code with no other equipment issues. For general aviation, the flight identification code is configured in ADS-B equipment to transmit the aircraft’s assigned N-number (e.g., N1234). However, many misconfigured aircraft are transmitting flight identification codes with missing alphanumeric characters (1234 vs N1234, N123 vs N1234), no flight identification code (no data entered during installation), improper characters (???????), all zeros (000000), and others simply have a single character transposed (N1235 vs N1234).

You can verify that your aircraft is transmitting the correct flight identification code by requesting a Public ADS-B Performance Report at the following web address. Ensure the Tail Number and Last Flight ID on the cover page of the report match.

For more information on what to consider before and after installation of your ADS-B Out system, go to: this link.

The Installation Approval for ADS-B Out Systems memo explains the FAA’s policy regarding installation of ADS-B Out systems into civil aircraft.

You can also read several ADS-B related articles in the January/February 2019 issue of FAA Safety Briefing, including Is My ADS-B Broadcasting Me: A Look at Non-Performing Emitters (link) and Clearing the Crypto-Fog: Tips for Decoding and Deciding Among ADS-B Equipment options (link).

Don’t Get Left in the Hangar. Equip Now!

There’s less than 10 months remaining before the January 1, 2020 ADS-B Out equipage deadline.

For more information, please visit the Equip ADS-B website.

Technically Advanced Aircraft

May 10th, 2019

I just re-read

§61.129 Aeronautical experience.
(j) Technically advanced airplane. Unless otherwise authorized by the Administrator, a technically advanced airplane must be equipped with an electronically advanced avionics system that includes the following installed components:

(1) An electronic Primary Flight Display (PFD) that includes, at a minimum, an airspeed indicator, turn coordinator, attitude indicator, heading indicator, altimeter, and vertical speed indicator;

(2) An electronic Multifunction Display (MFD) that includes, at a minimum, a moving map using Global Positioning System (GPS) navigation with the aircraft position displayed;

(3) A two axis autopilot integrated with the navigation and heading guidance system; and

(4) The display elements described in paragraphs (j)(1) and (2) of this section must be continuously visible.

For the Cessna 172 with a KAP 140 Autopilot, KLN 94 GPS, and a KMD 550 Multi-Function Display I think that one G5 with a magnetometer for heading would satisfy the requirement for logging time in a technically advanced airplane. You might need two G5s if the FSDO doesn’t think that one will provide the required heading info. So your cost would be in the $7-10,000 neighborhood. I think one should be fine since you have the heading info at the top of the screen. I don’t know if the GPS will send info to the G5 but I think it should.

Garmin G5

A Rule by the Federal Aviation Administration on 06/27/2018

FAA is retaining the terms “Primary Flight Display,” “Multifunction Display,” and “advanced” in the TAA requirements. The FAA disagrees that the terms PFD and MFD will cause confusion. These terms are currently used and described in several FAA publications that are recognized by the aviation industry…

PFD is defined as “a display that provides increased situational awareness to the pilot by replacing the traditional six instruments used for instrument flight with an easy-to-scan display that provides the horizon, airspeed, altitude, vertical speed, trend, trim, and rate of turn among other key relevant indications.” MFD is defined as a “small screen (CRT or LCD) in an aircraft that can be used to display information to the pilot in numerous configurable ways. Often an MFD will be used in concert with a primary flight display.”

The FAA believes the terms PFD and MFD add clarity to the TAA requirements by describing and prioritizing the display features and elements for TAA avionics and their respective functions. For example, the term PFD is specific to the use of the primary flight controls to maintain aircraft attitude and positive control. The PFD is used by the pilot to execute appropriate use of the control stick or yoke for pitch and bank, rudder pedals for yaw, and throttle for engine power. The PFD is designed specific to controlling the aircraft attitude and altitude relative to the horizon and the surface of the earth, especially when outside visibility is poor or unavailable. The MFD has a different priority; its function is secondary to the PFD. The MFD is designed for navigational use and position awareness information, even though it may include some PFD features for redundancy. Furthermore, the FAA is requiring certain minimum display elements for both a PFD and MFD, respectively, thereby clarifying what will be considered a PFD or MFD…

Section 61.129(j)(2) requires only the minimum elements of a MFD; it does not preclude the use of a split-screen display or two independent screens contained within a single physical unit. Therefore, a manufacturer may use a split-screen display or two independent screens for the PFD and MFD provided the displays contain the minimum elements required for each…

FAA is clarifying the MFD requirements by first describing what the display shows (i.e., a moving map) and then describing how the display is facilitated (i.e., using GPS navigation). Accordingly, § 61.129(j)(2) now requires the MFD to include, at a minimum, a moving map using GPS navigation. The FAA believes this revision to the proposed language clarifies that a system with a moving map display common to GPS/WAAS navigators would satisfy the MFD requirement. Additionally, the FAA is requiring the aircraft position to be displayed on the moving map…

FAA removing the phrase “independent additional” from the proposed language to allow a single piece of equipment or single display to satisfy the requirement for both a PFD and MFD. However, to ensure that both displays are visible at the same time, the FAA is requiring the display elements for both the PFD and MFD (paragraphs (j)(1) and (2)) to be continuously visible…

FAA did not intend to exclude systems that provide autopilot functions separate from the MFD. The FAA is therefore separating the “two-axis autopilot” requirement from the MFD requirement. Accordingly, under new § 61.129(j)(3), the two axis autopilot is no longer required to be included as part of the MFD. This change from what was proposed allows the use of independent/aftermarket autopilot systems…

The TAA requirements in no way restrict the use of peripheral or supporting equipment that enables the display functionality described for the PFD and MFD in the TAA requirements…

While there may be different TSOs for the various functions of GPS, moving map, and navigation resulting in separate pieces of underlying equipment, this equipment can support the MFD requirements so long as the MFD includes a moving map that uses GPS navigation with the aircraft position displayed…

The TAA requirements of § 61.129(j) do not require the autopilot to have GPSS. However, § 61.129(j) specifies only the minimum requirements for a TAA. Therefore, an autopilot may have additional features, including GPSS. The “two axis” requirement refers to the lateral and longitudinal axes. The autopilot at a minimum must be able to track a predetermined GPS course or heading selection, and also be able to hold a selected altitude. The autopilot is not, however, required to control vertical navigation other than holding a selected altitude…

Atmospheric River – Part 3

May 7th, 2019

NASA Earth Observatory

Flying a DME arc

May 7th, 2019

Utility Category

May 7th, 2019

All aircraft have restrictions on the types of maneuvers that they are certificated for. My Cherokee has a Normal Category of operations with corresponding Weight and Balance limitations, and a Utility Category where limited aerobatics are allowed.

With the rewrite of Part 23, the FAA proposes to eliminate commuter, utility, and acrobatic airplane categories from Part 23. All newly certificated airplanes under Part 23 would be certified in the normal category. Airplanes already certified in the commuter, utility, acrobatic, or normal categories will continue to fall in those categories. AOPA

In the rewrite, spins are not included in the normal category and since there is no utility category, in order to spin an aircraft, it would have to fall under the aerobatics rules.

§23.2005 Certification of normal category airplanes.
(d) Airplanes not certified for aerobatics may be used to perform any maneuver incident to normal flying, including—
(1) Stalls (except whip stalls); and
(2) Lazy eights, chandelles, and steep turns, in which the angle of bank is not more than 60 degrees.

Weight and Balance Chart

The restrictions only apply if you intend to perform aerobatics. It is perfectly fine to fly with passengers in the back seat and with baggage if you fall in the Utility range. Your Pilot Handbook or AFM should have some wording similar to my Cherokee.

In the Pilot Handbook it says:
The airplane is approved for certain aerobatic maneuvers up to a gross weight of 1950 lbs., provided it is loaded within the approved weight and center of gravity limits. The maneuvers are spins, steep turns, lazy eights, and chandelles.

In the Airplane Flight Manual (not a real AFM since mine is a 1968 model) it says:

The T210 on the other hand does not have a Utility Category. The POH states that: This aircraft is certified in the normal category. The normal category is applicable to aircraft intended for non-aerobatic operations. These include any maneuvers incidental to to normal flying, stalls (except whip stalls) and turns in which the angle of bank is not more than 60°.

Weight and Balance Chart Cessna 210

Things to Remember IFR Checkride—Takeoff and Landing

May 7th, 2019

§91.103 Preflight action.
Each pilot in command shall, before beginning a flight, become familiar with all available information concerning that flight. This information must include—

(b) For any flight, runway lengths at airports of intended use, and the following takeoff and landing distance information:

(1) For civil aircraft for which an approved Airplane or Rotorcraft Flight Manual containing takeoff and landing distance data is required, the takeoff and landing distance data contained therein; and

Density Altitude
In order to calculate takeoff and landing distances you need to know the density altitude of the airport. At high-altitude airports, and many airports on hot days, the ATIS will tell you the density altitude. You can also use your E6B to calculate it. Or you can just do the math as explained in an article in Flying.

density altitude = pressure altitude + [120 x (OAT – ISA Temp)]

pressure altitude = (standard pressure – your current pressure setting) x 1,000 + field elevation

Right now the altimeter setting at KSBP is 29.95 so the pressure altitude is:

(29.92 – 29.95) * 1000) + 212 = -300 + 212 = -88′

Temperature decreases by 2°C per thousand feet so to find ISA standard temperature for a given altitude, double the altitude and subtract that number from the starting standard temperature of 15°C.

Standard temperature at 212′ is 15 – .212 * 2 = 14.6
Temperature is currently 25.6°C so our formula is:

density altitude = -88 + [120 * (25.6 – 14.6)] = -88 + 1320 = 1,232

Let’s do Paso Robles where the temperature is 34.4, altimeter is 29.94, and the elevation is 838′

pressure altitude = (29.92 – 29.94) * 1000 + 838 = .02 * 1000 + 838 = 858′
ISA Temp = 15 – .838 * 2 = -13.3°C
density altitude = 858 + [120 * (34.4 – 13.3)] = 3,370′

That’s starting to get to the point where the takeoff roll is noticeably longer.

According to the LyCon STC for the Cherokee, the 160 HP engine will have approx. 2.2 speed and range increase over the standard model. Take off, stall speeds, landing distances and maximum glide data can be used directly from the Piper Cherokee Manual.

Climb rate will be better than the stock engine.

Cherokee Climb Performance

A Commercial Knowledge Test Question

May 7th, 2019

There was a question on the knowledge test that I had never seen before about what is required to act as second-in-command of a turbojet and one for SIC of a piston plane. The piston just requires a current flight review and certificate for the category and class of airplane. The turbojet also requires a pilot proficiency check.

§61.58 Pilot-in-command proficiency check: Operation of an aircraft that requires more than one pilot flight crewmember or is turbojet-powered.
(a) Except as otherwise provided in this section, to serve as pilot in command of an aircraft that is type certificated for more than one required pilot flight crewmember or is turbojet-powered, a person must—

(1) Within the preceding 12 calendar months, complete a pilot-in-command proficiency check in an aircraft that is type certificated for more than one required pilot flight crewmember or is turbojet-powered; and

(2) Within the preceding 24 calendar months, complete a pilot-in-command proficiency check in the particular type of aircraft in which that person will serve as pilot in command, that is type certificated for more than one required pilot flight crewmember or is turbojet-powered.

Opening and Closing Flight Plans

May 7th, 2019

Flight plans can be filed through Leidos at 800-WX-BRIEF or with most EFBs like ForeFlight. They can be filed in the air as well as Jason Miller describes.

AIM 5−1−7. Composite Flight Plan (VFR/IFR Flights)
a. Flight plans which specify VFR operation for one portion of a flight, and IFR for another portion, will be accepted by the FSS at the point of departure. If VFR flight is conducted for the first portion of the flight, pilots should report their departure time to the FSS with whom the VFR/IFR flight plan was filed; and, subsequently, close the VFR portion and request ATC clearance from the FSS nearest the point at which change from VFR to IFR is proposed. Regardless of the type facility you are communicating with (FSS, center, or tower), it is the pilot’s responsibility to request that facility to “CLOSE VFR FLIGHT PLAN.” The pilot must remain in VFR weather conditions until operating in accordance with the IFR clearance.

You can also file a flight plan that starts with IFR and then becomes VFR, but I don’t see the point. You can cancel anytime or just ask for VFR-On-Top if you are in VFR conditions and not in Class A (or possibly Class B or C depending on circumstances).

AIM 4−4−9. VFR/IFR Flights
A pilot departing VFR, either intending to or needing to obtain an IFR clearance en route, must be aware of the position of the aircraft and the relative terrain/obstructions. When accepting a clearance below the MEA/MIA/MVA/OROCA, pilots are responsible for their own terrain/obstruction clearance until reaching the MEA/MIA/MVA/OROCA. If pilots are unable to maintain terrain/obstruction clearance, the controller should be advised and pilots should state their intentions.

NOTE−OROCA is an off−route altitude which provides obstruction clearance with a 1,000 foot buffer in nonmountainous terrain areas and a 2,000 foot buffer in designated mountainous areas within the U.S. This altitude may not provide signal coverage from ground−based navigational aids, air traffic control radar, or communications coverage.

You can pick up your flight plan 30 minutes before the ETD and up to 2 hours after. They will come with a void time so be ready to depart at your ETD if you call before. You can file up to 24 hours in advance,

You pick up your clearance either on ground control or dedicated clearance delivery frequencies. Both ForeFlight and FltPlan.com offer GA pilots convenient access to the pre-departure clearance system that the airlines have been using for years. After enrolling in this service, and when departing from one of more than 70 approved airports in the United States, your IFR clearance will be sent via email and text message 30 minutes before departure. Flying Magazine

If you are departing from a non-towered field you can call the Clearance Delivery number at 888-766-8267 to get your clearance. They will give you a void time when you must be off or the clearance is cancelled. You can also call the number you were given by Leidos when you filed, the phone number published on the airport’s page in the Chart Supplement, the nearest RCO frequency, or ARTCC frequency.

Closing Your Flight Plan
If you are on an IFR flight plan to an open towered airport the tower will close the flight plan. If the tower is closed or you land at an non-towered airport, you can cancel with the last ARTCC frequency you were on if you can still get it on the ground, ask for a number to call before starting the approach, or call 800-WX-BRIEF.n

5−1−14. Closing VFR/DVFR Flight Plans
A pilot is responsible for ensuring that his/her VFR or DVFR flight plan is canceled. You should close your flight plan with the nearest FSS, or if one is not available, you may request any ATC facility to relay your cancellation to the FSS. Control towers do not automatically close VFR or DVFR flight plans since they do not know if a particular VFR aircraft is on a flight plan.

Is a TAF required at the alternate?

April 25th, 2019

A recent post on Aviation StackExchange got me thinking about this. All of the Knowledge Test questions assume that a TAF will be available at the destination, but if you read the actual FAR that is not necessarily the case. You don’t need to have a TAF at the alternate and can use other sources of weather.

Keep in mind that there are two reasons that an alternate is required. First is to assure that the pilot has evaluated the weather at the destination and considered what to do if the destination is unavailable. Second is to let ATC know what the pilot intends to do if they lose communication. In the modern ATC system, with near universal radar coverage, that isn’t as much an issue as when the regulations were written.

In the US, the destination and alternates must comply with 91.169. It specifically says that there must be weather reports or weather forecasts for the airport. It doesn’t say anything about where the forecasts must come from. Normally when you flight plan you would rely on the Terminal Area Forecast to determine whether the weather one hour before and one hour after the estimated time of arrival at your destination is above the minimums. If that is not the case then an alternate is required. And again you would rely on the TAF for the forecast.

However, TAFs are not the only way to get a forecast. NOAA publishes Graphical Forecasts for Aviation and if the weather for the area is above minimums, you could use that as a means of satisfying the requirement.

Here is an example where the coastal forecast is below minimums but the airports inland will be VFR.

Alternate Forecast Graphical

Or you could look at airports around the alternate and if they are above minimums, then your alternate would be as well. In the TAFs below, there are lots of airports that inland that do not have TAFs but that you can surmise that they will be VFR.

Alternate Forecast TAFs

In practice, picking an airport with a TAF as an alternate is much easier. There is no requirement that you actually go to the alternate if you can’t make the destination. And with ADSB-In, you can monitor the weather while you fly, so you have a much better idea of what the weather is doing at your destination. You can divert to an alternate at any time it doesn’t look like the weather at your destination is below your personal minimums.

§91.169 IFR flight plan: Information required.

2) Appropriate weather reports or weather forecasts, or a combination of them, indicate the following:

(i) For aircraft other than helicopters. For at least 1 hour before and for 1 hour after the estimated time of arrival, the ceiling will be at least 2,000 feet above the airport elevation and the visibility will be at least 3 statute miles.

(c) IFR alternate airport weather minima. Unless otherwise authorized by the Administrator, no person may include an alternate airport in an IFR flight plan unless appropriate weather reports or weather forecasts, or a combination of them, indicate that, at the estimated time of arrival at the alternate airport, the ceiling and visibility at that airport will be at or above the following weather minima:

(1) If an instrument approach procedure has been published in part 97 of this chapter, or a special instrument approach procedure has been issued by the Administrator to the operator, for that airport, the following minima:

(i) For aircraft other than helicopters: The alternate airport minima specified in that procedure, or if none are specified the following standard approach minima:

(A) For a precision approach procedure. Ceiling 600 feet and visibility 2 statute miles.

(B) For a nonprecision approach procedure. Ceiling 800 feet and visibility 2 statute miles.

Prep for the IRA Knowledge Test

April 23rd, 2019

The Knowledge Test is pretty easy but there are lots of things that you need to memorize. Since I am horrible at memorizing things, I put together these posts. I also reviewed these pages before my checkride and didn’t encounter anything that wasn’t on here.

Things to Remember IRA Knowledge Test

Things to Remember IFR Checkride

Things to Remember IFR Checkride—Weather

Things to Remember IFR Checkride—Abbreviations

VOR Navigation

What altitude to fly on a STAR when it reads “expect”?

What are the minimum requirements to file and fly IFR?

Understanding IFR Charts

Checkride Videos

Feeder Routes: Hidden In Plain Sight

April 11th, 2019

In a previous post, I described feeder routes and how they are used to transition from the enroute portion of the flight to the approach. The ones in that post are obvious—though you may not have known the name for them.

There are some that tripped me up, so I thought I’d share them with you. I have looked the approach chart for the KSMX ILS or LOC RWY 30R hundreds of times when practicing for my checkride. I never noticed that there is a feeder route from GVO to WINCH. There is an arrow with altitude, direction, and distance. It is offset from the actual direction because the feeder route coincides with the localizer course.

Feeder Route KSMX ILS 12

Likewise, there is a feeder route from the Shafter VOR (EHF) to JUPEX on the KBFL ILS or LOC RWY 30R approach chart. It is just a short line from EHF and the altitude, direction, and distance placed above the arrow. Unlike the other feeder routes on the chart, the arrow is bold but not as bold as normally.

Feeder Route KBFL ILS 30R

The feeder route from MQO is fairly obvious on the KSBP ILS 11 approach chart. Unlike the feeder route from PRB, it does not have a break in the arrow because it fits on the chart.

Feeder Route KSBP ILS 11

KSFO Class B Redesign

April 9th, 2019

The NORCAL TRACON had a webinar where they discussed the KSFO Class B redesign. This post is some of the info that I find useful for transitioning the airspace. There are a lot of ways to get from one point under the Class B shelf to another and to arrive or depart airports under the Class B, but I don’t usually need to do that since lately, I only land in Oakland or Livermore and we fly under the Class B to get there.

A VFR pilot has four ways to navigate Class B airspace. VFR Corridors, VFR flyways, and VFR Transition Routes. And of course you can go over or under the Class B airspace.

KSFO Airspace

VFR corridors are ways to get through the Class B without a clearance. KSFO does not have any VFR Corridors.

VFR flyways are suggested routes and altitudes for VFR traffic. They can be found on the back of the TAC or downloaded in the Documents section of ForeFlight. ATC communication is not required because you do not enter Class B. Keep in mind that there is lots of other VFR traffic on the flyway, so you need to be vigilant. One exception with the KSFO Class B is the Bay Flyway because it cuts through Oakland’s Class C airspace.

Transition routes require communication with ATC and ATC will assign an altitude. The charts don’t tell you the altitude but the presentation did say that the Coastline Transition altitude will be 3,500′ or above.

Bay Area Coastline Transition

It is always a good idea to be on flight following when flying in the Bay Area for two reasons. First, there is an awful lot of GA traffic and you want to have help spotting it. Second, the airliners are descending and climbing to get into KSFO, KOAK, and KSJO and you really shouldn’t get in their flight paths. If you are talking to ATC, they will vector you out of the way of the big guys.

Bay Area Arrivals

You can see from this graphic why, when we are flying to KOAK from the souty, we are vectored to the east to avoid arrivals into KSJC.

You can fly over the top of the airspace without talking to anyone, but as you can see from the departure paths, they really need you to talk to them.

Bay Area Departures

Safety Pilot may log time as SIC or PIC

April 7th, 2019

There are two legal interpretations that allow you to log SIC or PIC time when acting as a safety pilot. The first, Beaty (2013), addressed logging cross-country time for the safety pilot, but explicitly says that the safety pilot can log the time as PIC if they are acting as PIC.

In your first scenario, Pilot A and Pilot B, who hold private pilot certificates and ratings appropriate to the aircraft, take a flight. Pilot A acts as the pilot-in-command (PIC). During a portion of the flight, Pilot B acts as the safety pilot and second-in-command (SIC) while Pilot A operates in simulated instrument flight. You ask whether Pilot B may log SIC and/or cross-country time for the portion of the flight during which Pilot B acts as safety pilot.

Section 61.51 (f) governs the logging of SIC time and states, in relevant part, that a person may log SIC time only for that flight time during which that person holds the appropriate ratings for aircraft being flown and “more than one pilot is required under the type certification of the aircraft or the regulations under which the flight is being conducted.” When a pilot is operating an aircraft in simulated instrument flight, 14 C.F.R. § 91.109(b), in relevant part, requires that a safety pilot, who possesses at least a private pilot certificate with category and class ratings appropriate to the aircraft, occupy the other control seat. Accordingly, Pilot B may log SIC time for the portion of the flight during which Pilot B acts as safety pilot because Pilot B was a required flight crewmember for that portion of the flight under § 91.1 09(b). The FAA previously has interpreted that a person acting as safety pilot for a portion of a flight may not log cross-country time because that person is not a required flight crewmember for the entire flight. See Legal Interpretation to Jeff Gebhart (June 22,2009) (copy enclosed). Accordingly, Pilot B may not log cross-country time for any portion of the flight.

Gebhart (2009) also says you may log the time as safety pilot as PIC.

Section 61.51(e) governs the logging of PIC time and states, in relevant part, that a sport, recreational, private, or commercial pilot may log PIC time for the time during which that pilot is “the sole manipulator of the controls of an aircraft for which the pilot is rated or has privileges” or “acting as pilot in command of an aircraft on which more than one pilot is required under … the regulations under which the flight is conducted.”

Hicks (1993) is even more explicit about logging time as SIC, so this is not a new interpretation.

Section 61.51(e) governs the logging of PIC time and states, in relevant part, that a sport, recreational, private, or commercial pilot may log PIC time for the time during which that pilot is “the sole manipulator of the controls of an aircraft for which the pilot is rated or has privileges” or “acting as pilot in command of an aircraft on which more than one pilot is required under … the regulations under which the flight is conducted.”

Responding specifically to your inquiry, the pilot that is under the hood may log PIC time for that time in which he is the sole manipulator of the controls of the aircraft, provided that he or she is rated for that aircraft. The appropriately rated safety pilot may concurrently log as second-in-command (SIC) that time during which he or she is acting as safety pilot.

However, the two pilots may, prior to initiating the flight, agree that the safety pilot will be the PIC responsible for the operation and safety of the aircraft during the flight. If this is done, then the safety pilot may log all the flight time as PIC time in accordance with FAR 1.1 and the pilot under the hood may log, concurrently, all of the flight time during which he is the sole manipulator of the controls as PIC time in accordance with FAR 61.51(c)(2)(i). In order to assist you further in this regard, enclosed please find a prior FAA interpretation concerning the logging of flight time under simulated instrument flight conditions.

CFR §61.127 (b) (x) Flight proficiency. High-altitude operations;

April 5th, 2019

There are several areas that you need to consider when operating at high altitudes. Most of my flying is done at altitudes around 5,000′ so I don’t really worry about the high altitude stuff, but if you are flying commercially you will probably be flying more capable airplanes and trying to minimize flight time. That means flying where oxygen is required and potentially above 18,000′ where flight rules are different. There are five major things to consider for high altitude operations: physiology, training, regulations, aircraft systems, and aircraft performance.


The Pilots Handbook of Aeronautical Knowledge does a good job of covering this area.

Symptoms of Hypoxia
High-altitude flying can place a pilot in danger of becoming hypoxic. Oxygen starvation causes the brain and other vital organs to become impaired. The first symptoms of hypoxia can include euphoria and a carefree feeling. With increased oxygen starvation, the extremities become less responsive and flying becomes less coordinated. The symptoms of hypoxia vary with the individual, but common symptoms include:

• Cyanosis (blue fingernails and lips)
• Headache
• Decreased response to stimuli and increased reaction time
• Impaired judgment
• Euphoria
• Visual impairment
• Drowsiness
• Lightheaded or dizzy sensation
• Tingling in fingers and toes
• Numbness

As hypoxia worsens, the field of vision begins to narrow and instrument interpretation can become difficult. Even with all these symptoms, the effects of hypoxia can cause a pilot to have a false sense of security and be deceived into believing everything is normal.

Treatment of Hypoxia
Treatment for hypoxia includes flying at lower altitudes and/or using supplemental oxygen. All pilots are susceptible to the effects of oxygen starvation, regardless of physical endurance or acclimatization. When flying at high altitudes, it is paramount that oxygen be used to avoid the effects of hypoxia. The term “time of useful consciousness” describes the maximum time the pilot has to make rational, life-saving decisions and carry them out at a given altitude without supplemental oxygen. As altitude increases above 10,000 feet, the symptoms of hypoxia increase in severity, and the time of useful consciousness rapidly decreases. Since symptoms of hypoxia can be different for each individual, the ability to recognize hypoxia can be greatly improved by experiencing and witnessing the effects of it during an altitude chamber “flight.”

Altitude-Induced Decompression Sickness (DCS)
Decompression sickness (DCS) describes a condition characterized by a variety of symptoms resulting from exposure to low barometric pressures that cause inert gases (mainly nitrogen), normally dissolved in body fluids and tissues, to come out of physical solution and form bubbles. Nitrogen is an inert gas normally stored throughout the human body (tissues and fluids) in physical solution. When the body is exposed to decreased barometric pressures (as in flying an unpressurized aircraft to altitude or during a rapid decompression), the nitrogen dissolved in the body comes out of solution. If the nitrogen is forced to leave the solution too rapidly, bubbles form in different areas of the body causing a variety of signs and symptoms. The most common symptom is joint pain, which is known as “the bends.”

What to do when altitude-induced DCS occurs:
• Put on oxygen mask immediately and switch the regulator to 100 percent oxygen.
• Begin an emergency descent and land as soon as possible. Even if the symptoms disappear during descent, land and seek medical evaluation while continuing to breathe oxygen.
• If one of the symptoms is joint pain, keep the affected area still; do not try to work pain out by moving the joint around.
• Upon landing, seek medical assistance from an FAA medical officer, AME, military flight surgeon, or a hyperbaric medicine specialist. Be aware that a physician not specialized in aviation or hypobaric medicine may not be familiar with this type of medical problem.
• Definitive medical treatment may involve the use of a hyperbaric chamber operated by specially-trained personnel.
• Delayed signs and symptoms of altitude-induced DCS can occur after return to ground level regardless of presence during flight.


Pressurized Aircraft
§61.31 Type rating requirements, additional training, and authorization requirements.
(g) Additional training required for operating pressurized aircraft capable of operating at high altitudes. (1) Except as provided in paragraph (g)(3) of this section, no person may act as pilot in command of a pressurized aircraft (an aircraft that has a service ceiling or maximum operating altitude, whichever is lower, above 25,000 feet MSL), unless that person has received and logged ground training from an authorized instructor and obtained an endorsement in the person’s logbook or training record from an authorized instructor who certifies the person has satisfactorily accomplished the ground training. The ground training must include at least the following subjects:

(i) High-altitude aerodynamics and meteorology;
(ii) Respiration;
(iii) Effects, symptoms, and causes of hypoxia and any other high-altitude sickness;
(iv) Duration of consciousness without supplemental oxygen;
(v) Effects of prolonged usage of supplemental oxygen;
(vi) Causes and effects of gas expansion and gas bubble formation;
(vii) Preventive measures for eliminating gas expansion, gas bubble formation, and high-altitude sickness;
(viii) Physical phenomena and incidents of decompression; and
(ix) Any other physiological aspects of high-altitude flight.

(2) Except as provided in paragraph (g)(3) of this section, no person may act as pilot in command of a pressurized aircraft unless that person has received and logged training from an authorized instructor in a pressurized aircraft, or in a full flight simulator or flight training device that is representative of a pressurized aircraft, and obtained an endorsement in the person’s logbook or training record from an authorized instructor who found the person proficient in the operation of a pressurized aircraft. The flight training must include at least the following subjects:

(i) Normal cruise flight operations while operating above 25,000 feet MSL;
(ii) Proper emergency procedures for simulated rapid decompression without actually depressurizing the aircraft; and
(iii) Emergency descent procedures.

You can read the details in the FARs and AIM but basically in order to operate in airspace above FL290 the airplane and the pilot need to be certified for RVSM operations.

Part 91 Appendix G to Part 91—Operations in Reduced Vertical Separation Minimum (RVSM) Airspace
Section 1. Definitions
Reduced Vertical Separation Minimum (RVSM) Airspace. Within RVSM airspace, air traffic control (ATC) separates aircraft by a minimum of 1,000 feet vertically between FL 290 and FL 410 inclusive. Air-traffic control notifies operators of RVSM airspace by providing route planning information.

AIM Section 6. Operational Policy/Procedures for Reduced Vertical Separation Minimum (RVSM) in the Domestic U.S., Alaska, Offshore Airspace and the San Juan FIR


There are several FARs dealing with high-altitude operations and some of them overlap with items mentioned previously. You are probably familiar with the oxygen requirements above 12,500′ but may not know that there are additional requirements at higher altitudes for pressurized aircraft. From your private pilot training (and every Flight Review since then) you also know that a flight plan and IFR rating are required for flight in Class A airspace (airspace from 18,000′ MSL up to and including FL 600) and a transponder is required above 10,000′ MSL. After January 1, 2020 ADS-B is required in all the airspace where transponders are currently required. In Class A airspace only 1090 ES is allowed.

§91.135 Operations in Class A airspace.
Except as provided in paragraph (d) of this section, each person operating an aircraft in Class A airspace must conduct that operation under instrument flight rules (IFR) and in compliance with the following:

(a) Clearance. Operations may be conducted only under an ATC clearance received prior to entering the airspace.

(b) Communications. Unless otherwise authorized by ATC, each aircraft operating in Class A airspace must be equipped with a two-way radio capable of communicating with ATC on a frequency assigned by ATC. Each pilot must maintain two-way radio communications with ATC while operating in Class A airspace.

(c) Equipment requirements. Unless otherwise authorized by ATC, no person may operate an aircraft within Class A airspace unless that aircraft is equipped with the applicable equipment specified in §91.215, and after January 1, 2020, §91.225.

(d) ATC authorizations. An operator may deviate from any provision of this section under the provisions of an ATC authorization issued by the ATC facility having jurisdiction of the airspace concerned. In the case of an inoperative transponder, ATC may immediately approve an operation within a Class A airspace area allowing flight to continue, if desired, to the airport of ultimate destination, including any intermediate stops, or to proceed to a place where suitable repairs can be made, or both. Requests for deviation from any provision of this section must be submitted in writing, at least 4 days before the proposed operation. ATC may authorize a deviation on a continuing basis or for an individual flight.

§91.211 Supplemental oxygen.
(a) General. No person may operate a civil aircraft of U.S. registry—
(1) At cabin pressure altitudes above 12,500 feet (MSL) up to and including 14,000 feet (MSL) unless the required minimum flight crew is provided with and uses supplemental oxygen for that part of the flight at those altitudes that is of more than 30 minutes duration;

(2) At cabin pressure altitudes above 14,000 feet (MSL) unless the required minimum flight crew is provided with and uses supplemental oxygen during the entire flight time at those altitudes; and

(3) At cabin pressure altitudes above 15,000 feet (MSL) unless each occupant of the aircraft is provided with supplemental oxygen.

(b) Pressurized cabin aircraft. (1) No person may operate a civil aircraft of U.S. registry with a pressurized cabin—
(i) At flight altitudes above flight level 250 unless at least a 10-minute supply of supplemental oxygen, in addition to any oxygen required to satisfy paragraph (a) of this section, is available for each occupant of the aircraft for use in the event that a descent is necessitated by loss of cabin pressurization; and

(ii) At flight altitudes above flight level 350 unless one pilot at the controls of the airplane is wearing and using an oxygen mask that is secured and sealed and that either supplies oxygen at all times or automatically supplies oxygen whenever the cabin pressure altitude of the airplane exceeds 14,000 feet (MSL), except that the one pilot need not wear and use an oxygen mask while at or below flight level 410 if there are two pilots at the controls and each pilot has a quick-donning type of oxygen mask that can be placed on the face with one hand from the ready position within 5 seconds, supplying oxygen and properly secured and sealed.

(2) Notwithstanding paragraph (b)(1)(ii) of this section, if for any reason at any time it is necessary for one pilot to leave the controls of the aircraft when operating at flight altitudes above flight level 350, the remaining pilot at the controls shall put on and use an oxygen mask until the other pilot has returned to that crewmember’s station.

§91.215 ATC transponder and altitude reporting equipment and use.
(i) In all airspace of the 48 contiguous states and the District of Columbia at and above 10,000 feet MSL, excluding the airspace at and below 2,500 feet above the surface;

§91.225 Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast (ADS-B) Out equipment and use.
(a) After January 1, 2020, and unless otherwise authorized by ATC, no person may operate an aircraft in Class A airspace unless the aircraft has equipment installed that—

(1) Meets the performance requirements in TSO-C166b, Extended Squitter Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast (ADS-B) and Traffic Information Service-Broadcast (TIS-B) Equipment Operating on the Radio Frequency of 1090 Megahertz (MHz); and

RVSM was discussed in the training section.

DME is required above FL240 although that requirement is probably not applicable on most Part 91 aircraft since GPS can be used instead.

§91.205 Powered civil aircraft with standard category U.S. airworthiness certificates: Instrument and equipment requirements.
(e) Flight at and above 24,000 feet MSL (FL 240). If VOR navigation equipment is required under paragraph (d)(2) of this section, no person may operate a U.S.-registered civil aircraft within the 50 states and the District of Columbia at or above FL 240 unless that aircraft is equipped with approved DME or a suitable RNAV system. When the DME or RNAV system required by this paragraph fails at and above FL 240, the pilot in command of the aircraft must notify ATC immediately, and then may continue operations at and above FL 240 to the next airport of intended landing where repairs or replacement of the equipment can be made.

Aircraft Systems

Normally aspirated engines lose power as you climb because the air is thinner. To solve this problem engineers have come up with several ways to pressurize the air so that the engine gets the same amount of oxygen as it would at sea level. The most common ways for GA aircraft are tubocharging and turbo-normalization where exhaust gases drive a turbine that compresses the air. Military planes in WWI used supercharging where the engine drives a pump to compress the air.

Chapter 11 of the Airplane Flying Handbook explains the details fairly well.

The turbocharged engine allows the pilot to maintain sufficient cruise power at high altitudes where there is less drag, which means faster true airspeeds and increased range with fuel economy. At the same time, the powerplant has flexibility and can be flown at a low altitude without the increased fuel consumption of a turbine engine. When attached to the standard powerplant, the turbocharger does not take any horsepower from the engine to operate; it is relatively simple mechanically, and some models can pressurize the cabin as well.

The turbocharger is an exhaust-driven device that raises the pressure and density of the induction air delivered to the engine. It consists of two separate components: a compressor and a turbine connected by a common shaft. The compressor supplies pressurized air to the engine for high-altitude operation. The compressor and its housing are between the ambient air intake and the induction air manifold. The turbine and its housing are part of the exhaust system and utilize the flow of exhaust gases to drive the compressor. [Figure 11-9]
The turbine has the capability of producing manifold pressure in excess of the maximum allowable for the particular engine. In order not to exceed the maximum allowable manifold pressure, a bypass or waste gate is used so that some of the exhaust is diverted overboard before it passes through the turbine.

The position of the waste gate regulates the output of the turbine and therefore, the compressed air available to the engine. When the waste gate is closed, all of the exhaust gases pass through and drive the turbine. As the waste gate opens, some of the exhaust gases are routed around the turbine through the exhaust bypass and overboard through the exhaust pipe.

The waste gate actuator is a spring-loaded piston operated by engine oil pressure. The actuator, which adjusts the waste gate position, is connected to the waste gate by a mechanical linkage.

The control center of the turbocharger system is the pressure controller. This device simplifies turbocharging to one control: the throttle. Once the desired manifold pressure is set, virtually no throttle adjustment is required with changes in altitude. The controller senses compressor discharge requirements for various altitudes and controls the oil pressure to the waste gate actuator, which adjusts the waste gate accordingly. Thus the turbocharger maintains only the manifold pressure called for by the throttle setting.

Ground Boosting Versus Altitude Turbocharging
Altitude turbocharging (sometimes called “normalizing”) is accomplished by using a turbocharger that maintains maximum allowable sea level manifold pressure (normally 29–30 “Hg) up to a certain altitude. This altitude is specified by the airplane manufacturer and is referred to as the airplane’s critical altitude. Above the critical altitude, the manifold pressure decreases as additional altitude is gained. Ground boosting, on the other hand, is an application of turbocharging where more than the standard 29 inches of manifold pressure is used in flight. In various airplanes using ground boosting, takeoff manifold pressures may go as high as 45 “Hg.

Aircraft designed for high-altitude flying have additional systems that the pilot needs to become familiar with as well.

Environmental systems.
In an aircraft, the systems, including the supplemental oxygen systems, air conditioning systems, heaters, and pressurization systems, which make it possible for an occupant to function at high altitude.

High-performance airplanes are usually certified for flight into known icing conditions. These aircraft are equipped to handle limited amounts of ice.

Anti-icing/deicing equipment is frequently installed on multiengine airplanes [and turbo-props] and consists of a combination of different systems. These may be classified as either anti- icing or deicing, depending upon function. The presence of anti-icing and deicing equipment, even though it may appear elaborate and complete, does not necessarily mean that the airplane is approved for flight in icing conditions. The AFM/POH, placards, and even the manufacturer should be consulted for specific determination of approvals and limitations. Anti-icing equipment is provided to prevent ice from forming on certain protected surfaces. Anti-icing equipment includes heated pitot tubes, heated or non- icing static ports and fuel vents, propeller blades with electrothermal boots or alcohol slingers, windshields with alcohol spray or electrical resistance heating, windshield defoggers, and heated stall warning lift detectors. On many turboprop engines, the “lip” surrounding the air intake is heated either electrically or with bleed air. In the absence of AFM/POH guidance to the contrary, anti-icing equipment should be actuated prior to flight into known or suspected icing conditions.

Deicing equipment is generally limited to pneumatic boots on wing and tail leading edges. Deicing equipment is installed to remove ice that has already formed on protected surfaces. Upon pilot actuation, the boots inflate with air from the pneumatic pumps to break off accumulated ice. After a few seconds of inflation, they are deflated back to their normal position with the assistance of a vacuum. The pilot monitors the buildup of ice and cycles the boots as directed in the AFM/ POH. An ice light on the left engine nacelle allows the pilot to monitor wing ice accumulation at night.

Aircraft Performance

I already covered reduced engine performance in the previous section, but there are some other ways in which flying in thinner air affects aircraft performance.

As explained in The Pilots Handbook of Aeronautical Knowledge does a good job of covering this area V speeds vary with altitude. Refer to the AFM for your aircraft for specific values.

VY—the speed at which the aircraft obtains the maximum increase in altitude per unit of time. This best ROC speed normally decreases slightly with altitude.

VX—the speed at which the aircraft obtains the highest altitude in a given horizontal distance. This best AOC speed normally increases slightly with altitude.

Mach Speed
High-speed airplanes designed for subsonic flight are limited to some Mach number below the speed of sound to avoid the formation of shock waves that begin to develop as the airplane nears Mach 1.0. These shock waves (and the adverse effects associated with them) can occur when the airplane speed is substantially below Mach 1.0. The Mach speed at which some portion of the airflow over the wing first equals Mach 1.0 is termed the critical Mach number (Mcr). This is also the speed at which a shock wave first appears on the airplane.

There is no particular problem associated with the acceleration of the airflow up to Mach Crit, the point where Mach 1.0 is encountered; however, a shock wave is formed at the point where the airflow suddenly returns to subsonic flow. This shock wave becomes more severe and moves aft on the wing as speed of the wing is increased and eventually flow separation occurs behind the well-developed shock wave.

If allowed to progress well beyond the MMO for the airplane, this separation of air behind the shock wave can result in severe buffeting and possible loss of control or “upset.”

Commercial Pilot ACS VIII. High Altitude Operations

Most of the items in this section are covered above, however there are a couple of things not covered that ar explained in The Pilots Handbook of Aeronautical Knowledge.

Task A. Supplemental Oxygen
c. Time of useful consciousness (TUC)

All pilots are susceptible to the effects of oxygen starvation, regardless of physical endurance or acclimatization. When flying at high altitudes, it is paramount that oxygen be used to avoid the effects of hypoxia. The term “time of useful consciousness” describes the maximum time the pilot has to make rational, life-saving decisions and carry them out at a given altitude without supplemental oxygen. As altitude increases above 10,000 feet, the symptoms of hypoxia increase in severity, and the time of useful consciousness rapidly decreases.

Time of Useful Consciousness

Demonstrating how to use the oxygen system or pressurization in the practical test only apply if you provide an airplane with oxygen or pressurization. However, you are still responsible for the knowing how they work.

a. Characteristics, limitations, and applicability of continuous flow, demand, and pressure-demand oxygen systems
Diluter-Demand Oxygen Systems
Diluter-demand oxygen systems supply oxygen only when the user inhales through the mask. An automix lever allows the regulators to automatically mix cabin air and oxygen or supply 100 percent oxygen, depending on the altitude. The demand mask provides a tight seal over the face to prevent dilution with outside air and can be used safely up to 40,000 feet. A pilot who has a beard or mustache should be sure it is trimmed in a manner that will not interfere with the sealing of the oxygen mask. The fit of the mask around the beard or mustache should be checked on the ground for proper sealing.

Pressure-Demand Oxygen Systems
Pressure-demand oxygen systems are similar to diluter demand oxygen equipment, except that oxygen is supplied to the mask under pressure at cabin altitudes above 34,000 feet. Pressure-demand regulators create airtight and oxygen-tight seals, but they also provide a positive pressure application of oxygen to the mask face piece that allows the user’s lungs to be pressurized with oxygen. This feature makes pressure demand regulators safe at altitudes above 40,000 feet. Some systems may have a pressure demand mask with the regulator attached directly to the mask, rather than mounted on the instrument panel or other area within the flight deck. The mask-mounted regulator eliminates the problem of a long hose that must be purged of air before 100 percent oxygen begins flowing into the mask.

Continuous-Flow Oxygen System
Continuous-flow oxygen systems are usually provided for passengers. The passenger mask typically has a reservoir bag that collects oxygen from the continuous-flow oxygen system during the time when the mask user is exhaling. The oxygen collected in the reservoir bag allows a higher aspiratory flow rate during the inhalation cycle, which reduces the amount of air dilution. Ambient air is added to the supplied oxygen during inhalation after the reservoir bag oxygen supply is depleted. The exhaled air is released to the cabin.

Electrical Pulse-Demand Oxygen System
Portable electrical pulse-demand oxygen systems deliver oxygen by detecting an individual’s inhalation effort and provide oxygen flow during the initial portion of inhalation. Pulse demand systems do not waste oxygen during the breathing cycle because oxygen is only delivered during inhalation. Compared to continuous-flow systems, the pulse- demand method of oxygen delivery can reduce the amount of oxygen needed by 50–85 percent. Most pulse-demand oxygen systems also incorporate an internal barometer that automatically compensates for changes in altitude by increasing the amount of oxygen delivered for each pulse as altitude is increased.

b. Differences between and identification of “aviator’s breathing oxygen” and other types of oxygen
High pressure oxygen containers should be marked with the psi tolerance (i.e., 1,800 psi) before filling the container to that pressure. The containers should be supplied with oxygen that meets or exceeds SAE AS8010 (as revised), Aviator’s Breathing Oxygen Purity Standard. To assure safety, periodic inspection and servicing of the oxygen system should be performed.

c. Necessary precautions when using supplemental oxygen systems
Certain precautions should be observed whenever aircraft oxygen systems are to be serviced. Oxygen system servicing should be accomplished only when the aircraft is located outside of the hangars. Personal cleanliness and good housekeeping are imperative when working with oxygen. Oxygen under pressure creates spontaneous results when brought in contact with petroleum products. Service people should be certain to wash dirt, oil, and grease (including lip salves and hair oil) from their hands before working around oxygen equipment. It is also essential that clothing and tools are free of oil, grease, and dirt. Aircraft with permanently installed oxygen tanks usually require two persons to accomplish servicing of the system. One should be stationed at the service equipment control valves, and the other stationed where he or she can observe the aircraft system pressure gauges. Oxygen system servicing is not recommended during aircraft fueling operations or while other work is performed that could provide a source of ignition. Oxygen system servicing while passengers are on board the aircraft is not recommended.

O2 gear: Care and feeding from AOPA.

  • Store portable oxygen tanks securely so they can’t fall over or become a projectile. This could damage the regulator and set the stage for cracks.
  • Don’t keep portable oxygen tanks in hot, enclosed areas, such as the inside of an airplane on a hot day, or in the trunk of a car. Compressed gases can expand, causing dangerous pressure rises and the chance of a tank explosion.
  • Keep oxygen equipment clean. Dirt particles can contaminate regulators and valves and create sparks at altitude, where the ambient air is dry.
  • Store masks and cannulas in their containers, and out of the sun.
  • Have your tank inspected every five years, as per FAA or manufacturer rules. This includes a hydrostatic test to check the tank’s strength and integrity, just like the tests administered to scuba tanks.
  • Allow no smoking around oxygen equipment Oxygen burns robustly!.
  • Use no petroleum-based lip balms, lipstick, sun block, or makeup when using oxygen. In the presence of oxygen, these products can burn.
  • Make sure your mask and regulator connectors are of a compatible design. In order to have leak-free connections, all components must be compatible, and a mask connector that works with one regulator may not properly fit another.
  • When having your tank filled, make sure it’s filled slowly.

Task B. Pressurization
Fundamental concepts of airplane pressurization system, to include failure modes.

Chapter 7 of The Pilots Handbook of Aeronautical Knowledge covers this in detail. Several points of note are:

In a typical pressurization system, the cabin, flight compartment, and baggage compartments are incorporated into a sealed unit capable of containing air under a pressure higher than outside atmospheric pressure. On aircraft powered by turbine engines, bleed air from the engine compressor section is used to pressurize the cabin. Superchargers may be used on older model turbine-powered aircraft to pump air into the sealed fuselage. Piston-powered aircraft may use air supplied from each engine turbocharger through a sonic venturi (flow limiter). Air is released from the fuselage by a device called an outflow valve. By regulating the air exit, the outflow valve allows for a constant inflow of air to the pressurized area.

A cabin pressurization system typically maintains a cabin pressure altitude of approximately 8,000 feet at the maximum designed cruising altitude of an aircraft. This prevents rapid changes of cabin altitude that may be uncomfortable or cause injury to passengers and crew.

The cabin air pressure safety valve is a combination pressure relief, vacuum relief, and dump valve. The pressure relief valve prevents cabin pressure from exceeding a predetermined differential pressure above ambient pressure. The vacuum relief prevents ambient pressure from exceeding cabin pressure by allowing external air to enter the cabin when ambient pressure exceeds cabin pressure.

During an explosive decompression, there may be noise, and one may feel dazed for a moment. The cabin air fills with fog, dust, or flying debris. Fog occurs due to the rapid drop in temperature and the change of relative humidity. Normally, the ears clear automatically. Air rushes from the mouth and nose due to the escape of air from the lungs and may be noticed by some individuals.

Rapid decompression decreases the period of useful consciousness because oxygen in the lungs is exhaled rapidly, reducing pressure on the body. This decreases the partial pressure of oxygen in the blood and reduces the pilot’s effective performance time by one-third to one-fourth its normal time. For this reason, an oxygen mask should be worn when flying at very high altitudes (35,000 feet or higher). It is recommended that the crewmembers select the 100 percent oxygen setting on the oxygen regulator at high altitude if the aircraft is equipped with a demand or pressure demand oxygen system.

CFR §61.127 (b) (xi) Flight proficiency. Postflight

April 5th, 2019

Commercial applicants are required to log ground or flight training in 11 areas. One of them involves post-flight.

(b) Areas of operation.
(1) For an airplane category rating with a single-engine class rating:
(xi) Postflight procedures.

This is another area that you have been doing since your first flight and Chapter 2 of the Airplane Flying Handbook tells you exactly what is required by this part. So all you have to do is go over it with your CFI and log the ground time.

If you have been doing touch-and-goes you may have gotten into bad habits with flaps, trim, and cowl. The preferred procedure is to wait until you are clear of the runway before you mess with anything. This is especially important with tailwheel planes.

Clear of Runway and Stopped
Because of different configurations and equipment in various airplanes, the after-landing checklist within the AFM/POH must be used. Some of the items may include:

• Power—set to the AFM/POH values such as throttle 1,000 rpm, propeller full forward, mixture leaned.
• Fuel—may require switching tanks and fuel pumps switched off.
• Flaps—set to the retracted position.
• Cowl flaps—may be opened or closed depending on temperature conditions.
• Trim—reset to neutral or takeoff position.
• Lights—may be switched off if not needed, such as strobe lights.
• Avionics—may be switched off or to standby, such as the transponder and frequencies changed to contact ground control or Common Traffic Advisory Frequency (CTAF), as required.

I use BC-FLAGS: Boost Pump Off, Cowl Flaps Open, Flaps Up, Lean Aggressively, Contact Ground, and get some Air into the cockpit.

From the Airplane Flying Handbook:

A flight is not complete until the engine is shut down and the airplane is secured. A pilot should consider this an essential part of any flight.

Securing and Servicing
After engine shutdown and deplaning passengers, the pilot should accomplish a post-flight inspection. This includes a walk around to inspect the general condition of the aircraft. Inspect near and around the cowling for signs of oil or fuel streaks and around the oil breather for excessive oil discharge. Inspect under wings and other fuel tank locations for fuel stains. Inspect landing gear and tires for damage and brakes for any leaking hydraulic fluid. Inspect cowling inlets for obstructions.

Oil levels should be checked and quantities brought to AFM/ POH levels. Fuel should be added based on the immediate use of the airplane. If the airplane is going to be inactive, it is a good operating practice to fill the fuel tanks to prevent water condensation from forming inside the tank. If another flight is planned, the fuel tanks should be filled based on the flight planning requirements for that flight.

The aircraft should be hangared or tied down, flight controls secured, and security locks in place. The type of tie downs may vary significantly from chains to well-worn ropes. Chains are not flexible and as such should not be made taught as to allow the airplane some movement and prevent airframe structural damage. Tie down ropes are flexible and may be reasonably cinched to the airplane’s tie down rings. Consider utilizing pitot tube covers, cowling inlet covers, rudder gust locks, window sunscreens, and propeller security locks to further enhance the safety and security of the airplane.

Hangaring is not without hazards to the airplane. The pilot should ensure that enough space is allocated to the airplane so it is free from any impact to the hangar, another aircraft, or vehicle. The airplane should be inspected after hangaring to ensure that no damage was imparted on the airplane.

Pilots Handbook of Aeronautical Knowledge Chapter 2:
Another important tool—overlooked by many pilots— is a good post­flight analysis. When you have safely secured the airplane, take the time to review and analyze the flight as objectively as you can. Mistakes and judgment errors are inevitable; the most important thing is for you to recognize, analyze, and learn from them before your next flight.

I add a few items to my post-flight procedures. In planes with low-compression engines, I always do a runup before shutting down. That way if I didn’t lean enough on the flight I can clean the plugs before the next flight—rather than finding out in the runup area. I also refuel so I am ready to go for the next flight. I have a can of dollar store furniture polish that I use to get the bugs off of the wings and cowl.

CFR §61.127 (b) (i) and (ii) Flight proficiency. Preflight

April 5th, 2019

Commercial applicants are required to log ground or flight training in 11 areas. Two of them involve procedures prior to beginning the flight.

(b) Areas of operation.
(1) For an airplane category rating with a single-engine class rating:
(i) Preflight preparation;
(ii) Preflight procedures;

From the Pilots Handbook of Aeronautical Knowledge Chapter 2:
Preflight your passengers by preparing them for the possibility of delay and diversion, and involve them in your evaluation process.

From your private pilot training you are probably familiar with two pneumonics.

IMSAFE Checklist
1. Illness—Am I sick? Illness is an obvious pilot risk.
2. Medication—Am I taking any medicines that might affect my judgment or make me drowsy?
3. Stress—Stress causes concentration and performance problems. While the regulations list medical conditions that require grounding, stress is not among them.
4. Alcohol—Have I been drinking within 8 hours? Within 24 hours?
5. Fatigue—Am I tired and not adequately rested? Fatigue continues to be one of the most insidious hazards to flight safety, as it may not be apparent to a pilot until serious errors are made.
6. Emotions-A pilot who experiences an emotionally upsetting event should refrain from flying until the pilot has satisfactorily recovered.

The PAVE Checklist
Pilot in command (PIC), Aircraft, enVironment, and External pressures

Fortunately Chapter 2 of the Airplane Flying Handbook tells you exactly what is required by the aircraft part of PAVE. So all you have to do is go over it with your CFI and log the ground time.

Preflight Assessment of the Aircraft
The owner/operator is primarily responsible for maintenance, but the pilot is (solely) responsible for determining the airworthiness (and/or safety) of the airplane for flight.

• Annual inspection within the preceding 12-calendar months (Title 14 of the Code of Federal Regulations (14 CFR) part 91, section 91.409(a))
• 100-hour inspection, if the aircraft is operated for hire (14 CFR part 91, section 91.409(b))
• Transponder certification within the preceding 24-calendar months (14 CFR part 91, section 91.413)
• Static system and encoder certification, within the preceding 24-calendar months, required for instrument flight rules (IFR) flight in controlled airspace (14 CFR part 91, section 91.411)
• 30-day VHF omnidirectional range (VOR) equipment check required for IFR flight (14 CFR part 91, section 91.171)
• Emergency locator transmitter (ELT) inspection within the last 12 months (14 CFR part 91, section 91.207(d))
• ELT battery due (14 CFR part 91, section 91.207(c))
• Current status of life limited parts per Type Certificate Data Sheets (TCDS) (14 CFR part 91, section 91.417)
• Status, compliance, logbook entries for airworthiness directives (ADs) (14 CFR part 91, section 91.417(a) (2)(v))
• Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Form 337, Major Repair or Alteration (14 CFR part 91, section 91.417)
• Inoperative equipment (14 CFR part 91, section 91.213)

A couple of things to note. Your ELT inspection is done at each annual, but the battery replacement time can get out of sync with the annual. There aren’t many life-limited parts on GA aircraft—that’s something you get into with turbines and jets. There are some hoses that are limited to 7 years but they should be caught at annual. Some ADs require replacement of parts, e.g. air filters, but again they are caught at annual and are not what is normally referred to as life-limited parts. Part 43 has the definition.

If your aircraft is not used for hire, then you don’t need a 100-hour inspection, but there are lots of 100-hour ADs out there, so be sure to check them.

CFR §43.10 Disposition of life-limited aircraft parts.
(a) Definitions used in this section. For the purposes of this section the following definitions apply.

Life-limited part means any part for which a mandatory replacement limit is specified in the type design, the Instructions for Continued Airworthiness, or the maintenance manual.

Life status means the accumulated cycles, hours, or any other mandatory replacement limit of a life-limited part.

Once you have gone over the books, it is time to look at the required documents. These are the familiar ARROW documents and two more that should be there.

It must be determined by the pilot that the following documents are, as appropriate, on board, attached, or affixed to the airplane:

• Original Airworthiness Certificate (14 CFR part 91, section 91.203)
• Original Registration Certificate (14 CFR part 91, section 91.203)
• Radio station license for flights outside the United States or airplanes greater than 12,500 pounds (Federal Communications Commission (FCC) rule)
• Operating limitations, which may be in the form of an FAA-approved AFM/POH, placards, instrument markings, or any combination thereof (14 CFR part 91, section 91.9)
• Official weight and balance
• Compass deviation card (14 CFR part 23, section 23.1547)
• External data plate (14 CFR part 45, section 45.11)

The Pre-Flight Procedures is just your standard pre-flight that you have been doing since your first flight. Most POHs or AFMs have a detailed checklist and many pilots make their own. I have a flow that I use every time and then check the major items before I get into the plane.

P – Prop Did I check for nicks and leaks?
C – Clean Windows?

C – Cowl Is it closed, Oil & Oil Filler cap?
F – Fuel: Water and levels?
A – Pitot-static ports clear? Pitot Heat?
R – Remove tiedowns and towbar?
T – Tires and brakes look OK?
S – Safety
Stall warning
Beacon and lights all work?

Visual Preflight Assessment
The inspection should start with the cabin door. If the door is hard to open or close, does not fit snugly, or the door latches do not engage or disengage smoothly, the surrounding structure, such as the door post, should be inspected for misalignment which could indicate structural damage. The visual preflight inspection should continue to the interior of the cabin or cockpit where carpeting should be inspected to ensure that it is serviceable, dry, and properly affixed; seats belts and shoulder harnesses should be inspected to ensure that they are free from fraying, latch properly, and are securely attached to their mounting fittings; seats should be inspected to ensure that the seats properly latch into the seat rails through the seat lock pins and that seat rail holes are not abnormally worn to an oval shape; [Figure 2-5] the windshield and windows should be inspected to ensure that they are clean and free from cracks, and crazing. A dirty, scratched, and/or a severely crazed window can result in near zero visibility due to light refraction at certain angles from the sun.
AFM/POH must be the reference for conducting the visual preflight inspection, and each manufacturer has a specified sequence for conducting the actions. In general, the following items are likely to be included in the AFM/POH preflight inspection:

• Master, alternator, and magneto switches are OFF
• Control column locks are REMOVED
• Landing gear control is DOWN
• Fuel selectors should be checked for proper operation in all positions, including the OFF position. Stiff fuel selectors or where the tank position is not legible or lacking detents are unacceptable.
• Trim wheels, which include elevator and may include rudder and aileron, are set for takeoff position.
• Avionics master OFF
• Circuit breakers checked IN

• Flight instruments must read correctly. Airspeed zero; altimeter when properly set to the current barometric setting should indicate the field elevation within 75 feet for IFR flight; the magnetic compass should indicate the airplane’ s direction accurately; and the compass correction card should be legible and complete. For conventional wet magnetic compasses, the instrument face must be clear and the instrument case full of fluid. A cloudy instrument face, bubbles in the fluid, or a partially filled case renders the compass unusable. The vertical speed indictor (VSI) should read zero. If the VSI does not show a zero reading, a small screwdriver can be used to zero the instrument. The VSI is the only flight instrument that a pilot has the prerogative to adjust. All others must be adjusted by an FAA-certificated repairman or mechanic.

• Mechanical air-driven gyro instruments must be inspected for signs of hazing on the instrument face, which may indicate leaks.
• If the airplane has retractable gear, landing gear down and locked lights are checked green.
• Check the landing gear switch is DOWN, then turn the master switch to the ON position and fuel qualities must be noted on the fuel quantity gauges and compared to a visual inspection of the tank level. If so equipped, fuel pumps may be placed in the ON position to verify fuel pressure in the proper operating range.
• Other items may include checking that lights for both the interior and exterior airplane positions are operating and any annunciator panel checks.

The rest of the section goes into detail about what to look for regarding cracks, wear, and leaks and is worth a read.

I’m not sure if the runup and radio/nav setup counts as pre-flight, but presumably it does, since the next section of the FAR is takeoffs.

Before-Takeoff Check
Most airplanes have at least the following systems checked and set:

• Fuel System—set per the AFM/POH and verified ON and the proper and correct fuel tanks selected.
• Trim—set for takeoff position which includes the elevator and may also include rudder and aileron trim.
• Flight Controls—checked throughout their entire operating range. This includes full aileron, elevator, and rudder deflection in all directions. Often, pilots do not exercise a full range of movement of the flight controls, which is not acceptable.
• Engine Operation—checked to ensure that temperatures and pressures are in their normal ranges; magneto or Full Authority Digital Engine Control (FADEC) operation on single or dual ignition are acceptable and within limits; and, if equipped, carburetor heat is functioning. If the airplane is equipped with a constant speed or feathering propeller, that its operation is acceptable; and at minimum idle, the engine rpm continues to run smoothly.
• Electrical System—verified to ensure voltages are within operating range and that the system shows the battery system charging.
• Vacuum System—must show an acceptable level of vacuum, which is typically between 4.8 and 5.2 inches of mercury (“Hg) at 2,000 rpm. Refer to the AFM/POH for the manufacturer’s values. It is important to ensure that mechanical gyroscopic instruments have adequate time to spool up to acceptable rpm in order for them to indicate properly. A hasty and quick taxi and run-up does not allow mechanical gyroscopic instruments to indicate properly and a departure into instrument meteorological conditions (IMC) is unadvisable.
• Flight Instruments—rechecked and set for the departure. Verify that the directional gyro and the magnetic compass are in agreement. If the directional gyro has a heading bug, it may be set to the runway heading that is in use or as assigned by air traffic control (ATC).
• A vionics—set with the appropriate frequencies, initial navigation sources and courses, autopilot preselects, transponder codes, and other settings and configurations based on the airplane’s equipment and flight requirements.
• Takeoff Briefing—made out loud by the pilot even when no other person is there to listen. A sample takeoff briefing may be the following:
“This will be normal takeoff (use normal, short, or soft as appropriate) from runway (use runway assigned), wind is from the (direction and speed), rotation speed is (use the specified or calculated manufacturer’s takeoff or rotation speed (VR)), an initial turn to (use planned heading) and climb to (use initial altitude in feet). The takeoff will be rejected for engine failure below VR, applying appropriate braking, stopping ahead. Engine failure after VR and with runway remaining, I will lower pitch to best glide speed, land, and apply appropriate braking, stopping straight ahead. Engine failure after VR and with no runway remaining, I will lower pitch to best glide speed, no turns will be made prior to (insert appropriate altitude), land in the most suitable area, and apply appropriate braking, avoiding hazards on the ground as much possible. If time permits, fuel, ignition, and electrical systems will be switched off.”

IFR Checkride Oral

March 10th, 2019

The day before the checkride we took advantage of a break in the weather to move the the checkride airplane from KSBP to KSMX. I found a hole in the clouds and did some scud running to get out of KSBP but KSMX was clear. On the way back we tried to practice some holds but the clouds came in fast and we ended up climbing to 7,000′ to get above them. One lesson I learned is that you can pick up ice even in light mist, so be careful when flying in air that is below freezing. The holes in the clouds filled in so I got to do GPS approach in actual back to the field.

The next day we drove down and the skies were clear. Unfortunately, by the time the oral was over lots of puffy clouds arrived at 2,600′ right over both ends of the runway. Since approaches start higher than that, there was no way to do a checkride without either lots of vectoring or going IFR, so we cancelled the practical portion. So I have 60 days to finish and the ride is scheduled for the next time he will be in town, either March 30 or 31.

The paperwork portion of the exam took a while, but the oral portion only took an hour and forty-five minutes. Make sure you bring your IACRA userID and password because you will need it to e-sign the paperwork.

I messed up two things, but otherwise did OK. He gave me a clearance from KLBG to KVNY with fly runway heading, radar vectors, V264, climb and maintain 4,000′, expect 5,000 five minutes after departure, V264, V394, SLI, 120.4, 3412.

Checkride KVNY to KLGB

Current weather was SKC ceiling 12,000′. You depart the airport and lose comms. What do you do? Easy question, you return to the airport. You are at 500′ and in the clouds what do you do? Remember MEA AVEnue F. The assigned is runway heading, so fly that. You don’t want to fly that forever, since you were going to be vectored to V264. You are expecting vectors to DARTS so that’s where you fly to. Altitude is the highest of Minimum IFR, Expect, or Assigned. So for the first 5 minutes, you fly 4,000′, then climb to 5,000′. It’s 11 miles to DARTS so you’ll probably be at 5,000′ for a little while before reaching DARTS. At DARTS, you join V186 where the MEA is 5,500′ so you climb. The MEA drops to 4,000′ on V394 and then 3,000′ after the turn but you stay at 5,500, which is the highest of Minimum IFR, expected, or assigned. At SLI there is a feeder route to the ILS approach. The feeder joins the approach at an angle of more than 90° so you will need to do the procedure turn. If you are early the rules say that you hold there until your ETA, but he agreed that ATC expects you to begin the approach. If you are high you can cut the power and get down in one circuit of the holding pattern.

I didn’t remember that you can enter Victor airways in Foreflight (you can’t do that on the GNS430), so I wasted some time looking up the fixes for the route. Then he reminded me that the route was one that he had given us beforehand, so I pulled it up. I also had printed the route so we used that version for the discussion.

The one thing I was unprepared was the departure from South Lake Tahoe. As I wrote last year in this post the SHOLE2 departure is the one to use. The issue, like the issue with the missed approach is can you depart with a minimum climb rate of 300′ per NM to 9000′. I got tangled up in calculating whether the C172 could make—which I know how to do, just didn’t pull up that info when we were talking.

MY CFII uses this examiner all the time, so he knows how he operates. He doesn’t ask clear questions so you have to guess what he wants and then expand on the answers. That tripped me up a couple of times when I gave him the rote answer and he asked, what else. We’ll there was nothing else, so I just started talking about things that I knew the ACS wants covered and that seemed to satisfy him. I have access to three airplanes, a Cherokee, a Cessna 210, and a Piper Arrow, so my strategy going in was to use them as examples for different scenarios. The CFI exams stress that the objective of the practical tests is to go past the rote memorization to understanding so I tried to give examples of the things I was regurgitating.

He started off asking me about the PAVE acronym. I hate memorizing stupid FAA acronyms and this one is no exception. I remembered that it is Pilot, Aircraft, and Environment, but forgot about Emotion. It makes me mad when I do that. He said we were going to use the acronym during the oral, but if we did, I don’t see how.

The first question was what does it take for you as a pilot to be legal for IFR. There is an acronym for that, but I don’t know what it is. I just remember that you need to have a Flight Review, medical, and IFR rating and 6 approaches, holding patterns, and intercepting courses in the previous six months. This is the first time he asked “What else?”. I guessed that he was asking about carrying passengers so I gave him that info. He asked again, so I started talking about proficiency versus currency and talked about the ways you could be current but not proficient. This came up a couple of times in the exam. I also digressed into Basic Med and how pilots on any medical need to self-certify before each flight. Talked a little about how Basic Med works, e.g. I can fly any of the planes I have access to up to 18,000′ but not to Mexico or Canada. He needs a third-class or better to be a DPE but a CFI only needs Basic Med. I also digressed a bit to talk about how there are even STCs for converting a 7-seat Saratoga to a 6-seater so you can fly it with Basic Med.

Then we went on to what equipment you need to fly IFR. I talked about the GRABCARD items and as far as I know that’s it. He wanted to know what else, and I was stumped, but as I was writing this, I think he might have been referring to all of the dar VFR items that are required as well, TOMATOFLAAMES. That didn’t occur to me so I started talking about how you aren’t required to have a heated pitot-tube and my Cherokee doesn’t but it would be a good idea if flying for any time in the clouds. I touched a bit on anti-icing systems and de-ice systems and how our planes are not certified for known-ice. Since I ran out of things that are required I started talking about how to placard inoperative items and how an old LORAN in the Arrow was placarded since it isn’t worth $150 to have it taken out. Also how I left an old radio in the Cherokee and placarded the nav side.

I think he got bored listening to me so he switched to systems. The first was the pitot-static system and how it works. I like the explanation Andy Munnis gives to I talked about that. This was a good place to bring up the Air France crash when they mis-identified clogged pitot for loss of airspeed and kept pulling up. As you know, if the pitot tube is clogged, the airspeed acts like an altimeter. So as you pull up, the altitude increases and the airspeed increases, so you pull up some more. It’s not clear why the crew didn’t cross check other instruments, especially the pitch and power, but they didn’t and stalled the aircraft.

Then he moved to the vacuum system. I brought up the fact that non-catastrophic failure is especially hard to catch because it happens gradually. I blanked for a moment on how to detect a failure, confusing the alternator warning light for the vacuum gauge, but then I remembered.

We moved on to the fuel system. The system on the C172 is dead simple. You only have a choice of L/R/Both and normally fly with both. I told him a story about a pilot who told his passenger to pull the red know to get air if they got hot. A little while later, the engine died. Turns out that the passenger pulled the fuel shut-off knob. I also talked about how the fuel selector on the Cherokee doesn’t have detents and you have to be careful to watch fuel flow after changing tanks. And finally talked about a pilot taking off from Catalina who rushed to get ahead of a fog bank that was rolling in. For some reason, he turned his fuel selectors off when shutting down and when he started up, didn’t remember to turn one engine back on. He had enough fuel in the lines to start and taxi, but when he took off her ran out a few hundred feet off the ground, rolled the airplane, and ended up at the bottom of a cliff—on fire.

He then moved on to talking about the flight plans. I covered this in a previous post and he is using the same basic flight plans now, except that he skipped Paso Robles and Whiteman.

We didn’t talk about much more than what is covered in that post. We had some interesting weather the week before and I printed out some of the icing and turbulence charts for the route. Icing up to 7,000′ was not forecast from KSMX to 3O8 but there was a 25% probability at 9,000′. I mentioned that it was legally flyable but that I wouldn’t do it in the 172, but I probably would in the Turbo 210, since I would have enough power to turn around and get back to an area without ice. I also mentioned that icing layers are usually not too thick, only three or four thousand feet, but climbing to a layer above where there is no icing isn’t usually possible in the planes we fly. I think this is where he asked about the kinds of icing and I just talked about rime, clear, and mixed and how rime was dangerous because it was usually caused by super-cooled liquid droplets and smooth was dangerous because it was hard to see. Either one will cause the airplane to stall because it disrupts the flow of air over the wing. One thing I didn’t mention is that in airplanes with altitude hold or select, you should disable the altitude mode of the autopilot. The autopilot could keep increasing the angle of attack to compensate for the ice, until it reaches a point where the autopilot kicks off and the airplane stalls.

For the last question he told me that we were departing Van Nuys at 10:00 PM and the destination was Camarillo, the entire area was 600′ overcast and Camarillo was 1,100 overcast 2 mile visibility. Did I need an alternate. Yes. Can I use Oxnard if the ceiling is 700 and 3 miles, There is an ILS there and the standard minimum would be 600 and 2 but there is a note on the chart for non-standard minimums. The note says that the ILS is not available if the tower is closed. Then he asked if I can use Camarillo as an alternate if the ceiling was 800′. At first I said no, since the tower was closed, but then I looked more carefully at the note and it only applied to the ILS—not the GPS approaches. To use a GPS approach as an alternate, you need to have visibility greater than the LNAV or circling minimums and 800′ meets that standard.

As I was doing this he was looking out the runway and after an hour and forty-five minutes he asked if the weather was good enough to fly today. The ceiling was few at 2,600 and 10 miles vis, wind right down the runway a 8 kts. So it was perfect for flying but both ends of the runway were covered in clouds so my answer was that unless he was willing to vector me a lot on the approaches, then we couldn’t to the flying portion. The clouds looked like they were moving in from the south so the chance of it clearing in the near future were slim, so we cancelled.

On the way home, I tracked the localizer outbound and couldn’t get higher than 2,000′ and still stay below the clouds so it was a good decision.

What are the minimum requirements to file and fly IFR?

March 3rd, 2019

The oral portion of the checkride starts with Preflight Preparation and the applicant is expected to demonstrate an understanding of certification requirements, recency of experience, and recordkeeping.

The first part applies to anyone flying an airplane. Do you have a current flight review and medical? Are you endorsed for the aircraft? Tailwheel, high-performance, complex?

For day flights with passengers you need to have three take-offs and landings in the same category and class of aircraft—to a full stop for night flight. Where night is 1 hour after sunset to 1 hour before sunrise.

For flight under IFR, you need 6 approaches, tracking courses, and holding patterns in the previous six months.

Just because you are legal to fly doesn’t mean you should. The FAA loves acronyms and one of them is IMSAFE.

IMSAFE Checklist

  1. Illness—Am I sick? Illness is an obvious pilot risk.
  2. Medication—Am I taking any medicines that might affect my judgment or make me drowsy?
  3. Stress—Stress causes concentration and performance problems. While the regulations list medical conditions that require grounding, stress is not among them.
  4. Alcohol—Have I been drinking within 8 hours? Within 24 hours?
  5. Fatigue—Am I tired and not adequately rested? Fatigue continues to be one of the most insidious hazards to flight safety, as it may not be apparent to a pilot until serious errors are made.
  6. Emotions-A pilot who experiences an emotionally upsetting event should refrain from flying until the pilot has satisfactorily recovered.

Personal Minimums
Right now I am night current, having flown three takeoffs and landings at night two months ago in my Cherokee. But my last cross-country night flight was two and a half years ago with an instructor. While it would be legal to fly with passengers on a cross-country flight in a Piper Arrow that I have flown a couple of times, it wouldn’t be prudent.

I’m finishing up my IFR rating and would be comfortable popping through the marine layer in my Cherokee to go somewhere the day after I get my rating. It doesn’t have an autopilot or GPS so I wouldn’t want to fly very long or to minimums in it. I only have a few minutes of actual in my logbook, so I would want to get some more practice in the system popping through puffy clouds before I attempted to fly hard IFR.

If I had a plane that I was familiar with and just needed to drop through the clouds to get home, my personal minimums right now would be 1,000′ AGL ceiling, 5 miles visibility, and minimal winds 10-15 kts.

RAIM and the Service Availability Prediction Tool

March 3rd, 2019

Non-WAAS GPS units (and WAAS units if WAAS is not available) have the ability to self-detect whether they can accurately depict the aircraft’s position. This is called Receiver Autonomous Integrity Monitoring (RAIM). The GPS does a bunch of calculations using various combinations of GPS satellites and if the answers match, you are good to go. If they don’t match, then you will get an alert and must rely on ground-based navigation to complete your flight.

The GPS requires five satellites to make the calculations. If the unit has baro-aiding, and most do, then they only need four. Since satellites follow a know orbit, the availability of four or five for doing calculations can be predicted in advance. Barring failure of the satellite, you can know up to three days in advance of your trip whether the GPS signals will be adequate for the en route, terminal, or approach phase of the flight. The Service Availability Prediction Tool (SAPT) website has maps the display service availability.

As you can see from the maps, if you have a unit with baro-aiding, then RAIM outages are no an issue. With baro-aiding there are occasionally some areas of south Florida that have issues.

RAIM Summary Pages

RAIM Outages NPA No Baro-Aiding

RAIM Outages NPA Baro-Aiding

AC 90-108: GPS in Lieu of Ground Based Nav

February 25th, 2019

Guidance on using RNAV systems, what the AIM refers to as GPS (non-WAAS) and WAAS, is scattered around various publications. AC 90-108 addresses using GPS in place of equipment that you probably no longer have in your panel—ADF and DME—and for determining fixes from cross-radials. Basically, you can use GPS to determine distances and fixes on an approach but you may not use it as the sole means of lateral guidance for a localizer based approach or VOR approach past the FAF. The exception is when the approach is labelled “… OR GPS”.

NOTE: This AC does not address the use of RNAV systems on RNAV routes and RNAV terminal procedures. The current edition of AC 90-100, U.S. Terminal and En Route Area Navigation (RNAV) Operations, applies to those operations. This AC also does not address the use of RNAV systems on instrument approach procedures (IAP) titled, RNAV (GPS) and GPS. The current edition of AC 90-105, Approval Guidance for RNP Operations and Barometric Vertical Navigation in the U.S. National Airspace System, applies to those operations.

a. Usage of Suitable RNAV Systems. Subject to the operating requirements in this AC,
operators may use a suitable RNAV system in the following ways.

(1) Determine aircraft position relative to or distance from a VOR (see first note in subparagraph 7b), TACAN, NDB, compass locator (see second note in subparagraph 7b), DME fix; or a named fix defined by a VOR radial, TACAN course, NDB bearing, or compass locator bearing intersecting a VOR or Localizer (LOC) course.

(2) Navigate to or from a VOR, TACAN, NDB, or compass locator. (3) Hold over a VOR, TACAN, NDB, compass locator, or DME fix. (4) Fly an arc based upon DME

An otherwise suitable RNAV system cannot be used for the following:

a. NOTAMed Procedures. Unless otherwise specified, navigation on procedures that are identified as not authorized (“NA”) without exception by a NOTAM. For example, an operator may not use a RNAV system to navigate on a procedure affected by an expired or unsatisfactory flight inspection, or a procedure that is based upon a recently decommissioned NAVAID.

b. Substitution on a Final Approach Segment (FAS). Substitution for the NAVAID (for example, a VOR or NDB) providing lateral guidance for the FAS.

c. Lateral Navigation on LOC-Based Courses. Lateral navigation on LOC-based courses (including LOC back-course guidance) without reference to raw LOC data.

There is an update in the AIM which allows to fly the final approach segment or VOR, TACAN or NDB approaches with GPS lateral course guidance provided that the underling navaid is monitored.

AIM 1−2−3. Use of Suitable Area Navigation (RNAV) Systems on Conventional Procedures and Routes
2. These operations do not include lateral navigation on localizer−based courses (including localizer back−course guidance) without reference to raw localizer data.

5. Use of a suitable RNAV system as a means to navigate on the final approach segment of an instrument approach procedure based on a VOR, TACAN or NDB signal, is allowable. The underlying NAVAID must be operational and the NAVAID monitored for final segment course alignment.

IFR Use of GPS: Database Requirements

February 25th, 2019

2. IFR Use of GPS

(b) Database Requirements. The onboard navigation data must be current and appropriate for the region of intended operation and should include the navigation aids, waypoints, and relevant coded terminal airspace procedures for the departure, arrival, and alternate airfields.

(1) Further database guidance for terminal and en route requirements may be found in AC 90-100, U.S. Terminal and En Route Area Navigation (RNAV) Operations.

(2) Further database guidance on Required Navigation Performance (RNP) instrument approach operations, RNP terminal, and RNP en route requirements may be found in AC 90-105, Approval Guidance for RNP Operations and Barometric Vertical Navigation in the U.S. National Airspace System.

(3) All approach procedures to be flown must be retrievable from the current airborne navigation database supplied by the equipment manufacturer or other FAA−approved source. The system must be able to retrieve the procedure by name from the aircraft navigation database, not just as a manually entered series of waypoints. Manual entry of waypoints using latitude/longitude or place/bearing is not permitted for approach procedures.

(4) Prior to using a procedure or waypoint retrieved from the airborne navigation database, the pilot should verify the validity of the database. This verification should include the following preflight and inflight steps:

Rental Rates in 1979

February 20th, 2019

I ran across this in the files of an old pilot. For context, I was working in my first job out of college as an insurance underwriter around this time and making $205 per week.

Rental Rates 1979


Barometric Aiding

February 18th, 2019

I have been flying a Cessna 172SP with an old-school Bendix stack and unlike the Garmin GPS and S-Tec autopilots that I am used to flying, I need to enter the altimeter setting into the KLN 94 GPS and the KAP 140 Autopilot. Most of the GPS systems in GA aircraft use Barometric Aiding to assist in detecting integrity anomalies. Most Garmin units interface directly with the altitude encoder to provide baro-aiding, but other units require the pilot to enter the local altimeter setting. AOPA has an article that lists non-WAAS GPSs that have baro-aiding. WAAS-enabled GPS units do not rely on RAIM so they do not rely on baro-aiding.

Barometric aiding is an integrity augmentation that allows a GPS system to use a non-satellite input source (e.g. the aircraft pitot-static system) to provide vertical reference and reduces the number of required satellites from five to four. Baro-aiding requires four satellites and a barometric altimeter input to detect an integrity anomaly. The current altimeter setting may need to be entered into the receiver as described in the operating manual. Baro-aiding satisfies the Receiver Autonomous Integrity Monitoring (RAIM) requirement in lieu of a fifth satellite.

As usual, John D Collins has an excellent discussion of this.

The RAIM algorithm can be improve upon by using the aircraft pressure altitude, as the vertical position, although less accurate than the lateral position, can substitute for one of the satellites. This is called Baro Aiding and probably all IFR GPS installations use this. With Baro Aiding, only four satellites are needed to determine a value of RAIM.

With WAAS, the calculations are determined by the WAAS system as each ground station that measures its position via the GPS satellites is at a know location, and the error can be determined one satellite at a time. This integrity data is uplinked to the WAAS satellites and is broadcast as part of the WAAS correction messages. So the WAAS system itself is determining the integrity information via explicit measurement and passing it on to the WAAS receiver to determine the HPL.

The autopilot has an altitude capture and hold function where you can select an altitude and climb or descend rate and the autopilot will adjust the elevators to capture the rate and altitude. You still need to set the appropriate power for a climb or descent. You need to enter the altimeter setting so it knows where to stop or hold.

Checkride Prep: KSMX Approaches

February 4th, 2019

I am taking the checkride at KSMX and we have been practicing the approaches and holds that the examiner likes to use. There are five different approaches there so you get to practice just about everything you might encounter in the wild.

Any time you are flying with your iPad, it would be a good idea to have paper backups of your destination and potential alternate IAPs. You can buy the charts, but they go out of date quickly and are expensive. The FAA website has all of them for free on their Digital Products Page. You can download the entire chart supplement and terminal procedures publications or search for just the airport you need and the approaches you airplane is equipped for.

I searched for the KSMX Approaches and printed them out. ForeFlight doesn’t have the Airport Legend as a separate document, so I downloaded it and added it to my documents. Likewise, while you can always find the alternate minimums and takeoff minimums in the airport page of ForeFlight, it doesn’t save the page, so I downloaded them as well, saved just the KSMX page, and added it to my ForeFlight documents.

The first thing to note on the IAPs is the date at the bottom left corner of the plate. You don’t need to print every plate each cycle, but if the date has changed since the last cycle, you need to update your printed version. Unlike Jepp charts, these don’t tell you what changed, so if you use the approach frequently, you might want to make sure you are aware of significant changes. If you are used to flying an approach and the date has changed, make sure that you don’t fly the old numbers by memory e.g. minimums or frequencies. You can also look at the FLAG column on the download page. If it is blank, there has been no change. KSMX has had no changes since the last cycle, so we are good. You can check for all IAPs that have been changed, added, or deleted in your area by using the advanced search feature of the website.

All IAPs follow the same format, but there are some things that you might miss if you aren’t paying close attention. The date is underlined at the bottom. This approach has a NOTAM for higher minimums which suggests that that the chart may change or that when the temporary obstruction is moved the minimums will revert back. There are a whole bunch of words related to using the Vandenberg altimeter setting and you might miss that RWY 2 is NA at night. When you have a note like this, you can often figure out why and keep the information in mind when landing on other runways. In this case there is an obstruction at 340′ MSL just off the end of the runway. If you are making left traffic for RWY 12, you should be aware of it even though you shouldn’t be 120′ above the airport at that point anyway.

The missed approach is always described at the right of the remarks section. A graphical depiction is always on the profile view and it is depicted on the plan view. If the Missed Approach Hold is off the chart, it is depicted in a box near the holding point.

The three red boxes are all related. In the profile view it tells you to remain within 10 nm of the VOR when executing the procedure turn. You can use your GPS to determine this distance, but if you notice the box around GASRE, the chart tells you that GASRE is 10nm from the VOR and you can begin your stepdown there if you started your approach from the MQO VOR. If you started the approach at the GVO VOR, then you can begin your stepdown to 1500 when inbound after the procedure turn.

If you are using GPS for your approach, it is easy to identify GASRE. But you can also identify it by the intersection of the MQO 131° radial and FLW 254° radial. If you have DME, it is 11.5 DME from MQO and 10 DME from GVO on the depicted radials.

One other thing to note on this approach, that I didn’t highlight, is that there is a maximum altitude of 6000′ MSL on the procedure turn outbound. In a radar environment that won’t be an issue but in a lost comms scenario you will need to pay attention to it.

KSMX VOR 12 Annotated

You can find the same kinds of things on the Back Course IAP. In this IAP the plan view contains the location of the Missed Approach hold so it is not contained in a box. There are no NOTAMs for this approach. There are two notes in the profile view which should be obvious. First, disregard any glide slope indications. The second is that you can use DME from the front course to determine stepdown fixes.

Back Course

I figured out why you were high.

February 2nd, 2019

I was invited to go along an a flight and when I got to the airport I found out that we were going to Monterey (KMRY). I had been there 20 years ago for a stop and taxi-back with another pilot but I didn’t remember anything about the airport.

As we approached the airport the pilot asked me what the traffic pattern altitude was and I looked it up in ForeFlight—1757 MSL. That seemed a bit high to me since, while I have never landed there, I have flown over it a bunch of times and I thought it was right on the ocean. We approached from the south and the airport was hidden by mountains. As the airport came into view, I thought that maybe the reason the TPA was so high was because the mountains on the south side were fairly high and that accounted for the high TPA. We were vectored up the coast for a right downwind to 28L. As we approached the runway on final we were really high. I attributed part of it to the odd sight picture. The surrounding terrain on the north side was at sea level and the airport is up on an island with a really long runway. I figured that he just got the sight picture wrong and called for a go-around. On the second try we were still hight but not too high to land.

When I got back I took a look at the charts and Chart Supplement and two things jumped out at me. Do you see the same things?

KMRY Chart Supplement

I have never been to an airport with a TPA that is 1500′ above the airport and neither had the pilot. So you need to drop another 500′ from what you are used to. The runway is the same width as what I am used to but it has an upslope of 1.4% which throws off your sight picture and it is longer than any runways I normally use which also throws off the sight picture.

Also notice that 28L and 28R both have right traffic, so the higher TPA isn’t explained by the higher terrain to the south—in fact the right pattern is probably to keep you out of the mountains.

Cessna 172P

January 22nd, 2019

I’m taking a checkride in a stock Cessna 172P that came from the factory with Bendix/King avionics. It has a GPS and autopilot that I am not familiar with. This post has some videos and pilot information manuals that you might find helpful if you fly one of these.

The GPS is a KLN 94 non-WAAS GPS only device. If you are familiar with other GPSs the operation is pretty straight-forward. These videos are useful for understanding the operation.

Pilots Guide
Quick Reference

KMD 550 Multi-Function Display
Pilot’s Guide
Quick Reference

Here’s how to use it to fly an approach.

This is a longer overview of the GPS that highlights some features that you might find useful.

And a quick take on using it in flight.

KLN 94 Startup Checklist

Nav Mode Button set to GPS
Altimeter Setting input
DME reading 34.5 and 2.5 dot deflection
Deflection on OBS also 2.5 dot FROM
Change OBS course and note change on unit
Verify current airport in reference section
Verify current database

KLN 94 Hints
Nav4 Page – Press menu button
Select Waypoints: Pull and turn the small knob. Press Direct to to go to the selected waypoint.

Flight Plan: Large knob to select FPL, small knob to select FPL 0

AUX 3 page predicts if and when RAIM (Receiver Autonomous Integrity Monitoring) capability will be available when you are ready to shoot a non-precision approach at your destination airport.

KAP 140 Autopilot

This is a good overview in X-Plane in a Cessna 172 so you can get an overview of the features of the autopilot.

This is detailed explanation of all the features of the autopilot. Skip the first three minutes since it discusses how to set parameters if you are building an airplane in X-Plane.

This is a longer more detailed look in a sim with a Garmin 1000 that goes into more details of the features of the autopilot.

Pilot’s Guide
Quick Reference
Autopilot Tutorial

If you have flown a variety of airplanes, you’ve probably run across the Bendix/King KX155 or KX 165 before. The basic operation is simple, just remember to pull out the small knob to get frequencies ending in 25 or 75 e.g. For 127.725 tune to 127.7 then pull out the small know to get the last two digits. Pilot’s Guide

The AFM for these is serial number specific, but there is a copy of one that a flight school has put online that contains information that applies to all Cessna 172SPs. AFM

Filing an IFR Alternate with GPS

January 16th, 2019

The rules governing approaches for GPS RNAV systems and WAAS-capable RNAV systems are different so it is important to be able to decipher the jargon when reading the AIM. The first section quoted below refers to GPS systems i.e. non-WAAS. The point of the special rules using GPS as an alternate has to do with the fact that non-WAAS GPS is supplementary navigation. So you can file with the destination or the alternate having only a GPS approach, but not both. WAAS-equipped aircraft can file for destinations and alternates having only GPS approaches. In both cases, the weather at the time of arrival must satisfy the LNAV or circling minimums or higher if noted.

AIM 1−1−17. Global Positioning System (GPS)
5. GPS Instrument Approach Procedures
(c) For flight planning purposes, TSO-C129() and TSO-C196()−equipped users (GPS users) whose navigation systems have fault detection and exclusion (FDE) capability, who perform a preflight RAIM prediction for the approach integrity at the airport where the RNAV (GPS) approach will be flown, and have proper knowledge and any required training and/or approval to conduct a GPS-based IAP, may file based on a GPS−based IAP at either the destination or the alternate airport, but not at both locations. At the alternate airport, pilots may plan for:
(1) Lateral navigation (LNAV) or circling minimum descent altitude (MDA);
(2) LNAV/vertical navigation (LNAV/ VNAV) DA, if equipped with and using approved barometric vertical navigation (baro-VNAV) equipment;
(3) RNP 0.3 DA on an RNAV (RNP) IAP, if they are specifically authorized users using approved baro-VNAV equipment and the pilot has verified required navigation performance (RNP) availability through an approved prediction program.

AIM 1−1−18. Wide Area Augmentation System (WAAS)
9 (a) Pilots with WAAS receivers may flight plan to use any instrument approach procedure authorized for use with their WAAS avionics as the planned approach at a required alternate, with the following restrictions. When using WAAS at an alternate airport, flight planning must be based on flying the RNAV (GPS) LNAV or circling minima line, or minima on a GPS approach procedure, or conventional approach procedure with “or GPS” in the title.

For more details, see Notice N 8900.218.

IFR Alternate Required

January 16th, 2019

The 1-2-3 Rule for determining if an alternate is required comes from CFR §91.169 as highlighted below. The way the FAR is written an alternate is always required unless certain conditions are met. Basically, if your destination has an instrument approach then, for 1 hour before to 1 hour after your anticipated arrival at your destination the weather does not have a ceiling of 2,000′ and visibility or 1 mile, an alternate is required. The alternate must have a ceiling of 600′ and visibility of 2 statute miles for precision approaches and 800′ and 2 miles for non-precision approaches unless non-standard alternates are published for the approach. If there is no published approach at the alternate, then the ceiling and visibility minima are those allowing descent from the MEA, approach, and landing under basic VFR.

Destination Palm Springs (KPSP). The airport has multiple approaches and weather reporting. But unless we are RNP equipped, we can only fly the VOR or GPS-B approach. Apply the 1-2-3 rule to see if an alternate is required. However, note that the minimum ceiling for the approach is 2,300′ so even if you meet the 1-2-3 rule, you may still not be able to land. An alternate would be a good idea in that case.

Destination Bermuda Dunes (KUDD). The airport has multiple approaches but no weather reporting. The nearest weather forecast (TAF) is 8 miles away at Palm Springs (KTRM) and 10 miles away at Palm Springs (KPSP). There is no way to apply the 1-2-3 rule so an alternate is required.

Destination Borrego Valley (L08). There is weather reporting but no forecast and one GPS approach. An alternate is required.

Destination King City (KKIC). There is weather reporting but no forecast and no approaches. An alternate is required.

Destination Harris Ranch (308). There is no weather reporting, no forecast, and no approaches. An alternate is required.

Alternate Bermuda Dunes (KUDD). The airport has multiple approaches but no weather reporting but all three of the approaches show Alternate Minimums NA Symbol in the Pilot Briefing section of the approach plate so they are not available as an alternate. This is true even if, by looking at the weather at KTRM and KPSP you can determine that the ceiling and visibility in the area would allow descent from the MEA, approach, and landing under basic VFR.

Alternate Palm Springs, Jacqueline Cochran International (KRTM). The airport has two GPS approaches and two VOR approaches. All of them show Alternate Minimums Symbol in the briefing section, so we can check to see what the restrictions are and see that it just bumps the ceiling visibility from standard. If the weather at the time of arrival meets those minimums, then we can file it as an alternate. When we get there we can use any approach that the weather permits.

Alternate Borrego Valley (L08). There is one approach showing Alternate Minimums NA Symbol in the Pilot Briefing section of the approach plate. It is not available as an alternate because there is no weather forecast.

The rule for filing with GPS is not spelled out in the FAR. This post goes into detail. Basically, if you have a non-WAAS GPS you can file either the destination or alternate with a GPS approach—but not both. If you have WAAS, you both can have only GPS IAPs. You must to use the LNAV or circling minimums at the destination.

§91.169 IFR flight plan: Information required.
(a) Information required. Unless otherwise authorized by ATC, each person filing an IFR flight plan must include in it the following information:

(1) Information required under §91.153 (a) of this part;

(2) Except as provided in paragraph (b) of this section, an alternate airport.

(b) Paragraph (a)(2) of this section does not apply if :

(1) Part 97 of this chapter prescribes a standard instrument approach procedure to, or a special instrument approach procedure has been issued by the Administrator to the operator for, the first airport of intended landing; and

(2) Appropriate weather reports or weather forecasts, or a combination of them, indicate the following:

(i) For aircraft other than helicopters. For at least 1 hour before and for 1 hour after the estimated time of arrival, the ceiling will be at least 2,000 feet above the airport elevation and the visibility will be at least 3 statute miles.

(ii) For helicopters.…

(c) IFR alternate airport weather minima. Unless otherwise authorized by the Administrator, no person may include an alternate airport in an IFR flight plan unless appropriate weather reports or weather forecasts, or a combination of them, indicate that, at the estimated time of arrival at the alternate airport, the ceiling and visibility at that airport will be at or above the following weather minima:

(1) If an instrument approach procedure has been published in part 97 of this chapter, or a special instrument approach procedure has been issued by the Administrator to the operator, for that airport, the following minima:

(i) For aircraft other than helicopters: The alternate airport minima specified in that procedure, or if none are specified the following standard approach minima:

(A) For a precision approach procedure. Ceiling 600 feet and visibility 2 statute miles.

(B) For a nonprecision approach procedure. Ceiling 800 feet and visibility 2 statute miles.

(ii) For helicopters: …

(2) If no instrument approach procedure has been published in part 97 of this chapter and no special instrument approach procedure has been issued by the Administrator to the operator, for the alternate airport, the ceiling and visibility minima are those allowing descent from the MEA, approach, and landing under basic VFR.

(d) Cancellation. When a flight plan has been activated, the pilot in command, upon canceling or completing the flight under the flight plan, shall notify an FAA Flight Service Station or ATC facility.

Fly-over or fly-by on airways?

November 24th, 2018

Someone asked this on a flying blog and while, I was taught to anticipate turns and my Garmin 430 will anticipate turns I don’t remember any specific guidance on the matter, so I looked it up. I found this in the AIM.

5−3−5. Airway or Route Course Changes

a. Pilots of aircraft are required to adhere to airways or routes being flown. Special attention must be given to this requirement during course changes. Each course change consists of variables that make the technique applicable in each case a matter only the pilot can resolve. Some variables which must be considered are turn radius, wind effect, airspeed, degree of turn, and cockpit instrumentation. An early turn, as illustrated below, is one method of adhering to airways or routes. The use of any available cockpit instrumentation, such as Distance Measuring Equipment, may be used by the pilot to lead the turn when making course changes. This is consistent with the intent of 14 CFR Section 91.181, which requires pilots to operate along the centerline of an airway and along the direct course between navigational aids or fixes.

b. Turns which begin at or after fix passage may exceed airway or route boundaries. FIG 5−3−1 contains an example flight track depicting this, together with an example of an early turn.

c. Without such actions as leading a turn, aircraft operating in excess of 290 knots true air speed (TAS) can exceed the normal airway or route boundaries… Consequently, the FAA expects pilots to lead turns and take other actions they consider necessary during course changes to adhere as closely as possible to the airways or route being flown.

AIM Fig 5-3-1

Knowledge Tests for an AGI/IGI or CFI

November 20th, 2018

Our local flight school had a dedicated AGI/IGI for a while. Lots of CFIs don”t like doing ground instruction and, if they are building hours, every hour on the ground is an hour they are not building time. I like teaching and have been tutoring high school algebra and helping guys who rent the Cherokee with their PPL tests. I thought it might be nice to get paid for teaching, and also to be able to sign people off for tests so I just took and passed all three ground instructor tests. Now I need to fly over to a FSDO to get my certificate.

For the Fundamentals of Instruction Knowledge Test, study the Gleim book. If you have time, and if you want to be a CFI, at some point you will need to read FAA-H-8083-9A Aviation Instructor’s Handbook but you don’t need to read it to pass the exam. A lot of the information in the book is wrong, so I had a hard time memorizing the wrong answer to questions. Most people probably won’t have to worry about that unless you have a background in psychology or education.

For the IGI and AGI it probably helps to read FAA books or whatever you prefer for getting your aviation knowledge. And you definitely need to study FAR 61 and 91 and know the VFR and IFR charts. I used the Gleim books Flight/Ground Instructor and Instrument Pilot and there were only a few questions that were completely new to me. But I also wrote all of these posts and the answers to the test questions in the test portion of this website, so your mileage may vary.

I’d say that about half of the questions are really stupid. e.g.

The force acting opposite of lift is:
A. Apples
B. Gravity
C. Oranges

Another quarter were interpolation/math questions that you will never ever need while flying. The study guides do a good job preparing you for them. The trick it to read the question really carefully. e.g. Are they asking you to look on the chart for landing distance or do you need to do another calculation to get ground roll.

There are a bunch of E6B questions that you just need to be really careful in your arithmetic and reading the question.

There are a few that I really had no idea what the question was, let alone what the right answer was. I got about half of those right. There were also a couple on each test where none of the answers was the correct answer.

I took the Commercial and CFI since they are good for two years and I won’t have to study them again if I decide to get a CFI.

My results: FOI 84%, AGI 88%, IGI 90%, CFI 87%, COM 92%. I took the Instrument last year and got a 96%.

I studied for a month, which was a bit of overkill, but I also wrote up a lot of these posts so that took some time.

Sporty’s and King Schools let you take practice tests for free. I put a lot of my notes up on this website so you can save time when studying by printing and memorizing them.

Commercial Pilot Opportunities

November 5th, 2018

You will often see lists of things that you can do with your commercial pilot certificate either as a job or to build time for the airlines. You can work for a Part 135 operation or in a corporate flight department operating under Part 91 but there are other things you can do as well. You can even fly individuals in their own airplane for hire. You can’t carry them in your airplane, since this would be a Part 135 operation.

§119.1 of the FARs is where those other activities are spelled out—basically listing exceptions to needing to comply with the rules for air carriers and cargo operations.

§119.1 Applicability.

(e) Except for operations when common carriage is not involved conducted with airplanes having a passenger-seat configuration of 20 seats or more, excluding any required crewmember seat, or a payload capacity of 6,000 pounds or more, this part does not apply to

(1) Student instruction;

(2) Nonstop Commercial Air Tours conducted after September 11, 2007, in an airplane or helicopter having a standard airworthiness certificate and passenger-seat configuration of 30 seats or fewer and a maximum payload capacity of 7,500 pounds or less that begin and end at the same airport, and are conducted within a 25-statute mile radius of that airport, in compliance with the Letter of Authorization issued under §91.147 of this chapter. For nonstop Commercial Air Tours conducted in accordance with part 136, subpart B of this chapter, National Parks Air Tour Management, the requirements of part 119 of this chapter apply unless excepted in §136.37(g)(2). For Nonstop Commercial Air Tours conducted in the vicinity of the Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona, the requirements of SFAR 50-2, part 93, subpart U, and part 119 of this chapter, as applicable, apply.

(3) Ferry or training flights;

(4) Aerial work operations, including—

   (i) Crop dusting, seeding, spraying, and bird chasing;
   (ii) Banner towing;
   (iii) Aerial photography or survey;
   (iv) Fire fighting;
   (v) Helicopter operations in construction or repair work (but it does apply to transportation to and from the site of operations); and
   (vi) Powerline or pipeline patrol;

(5) Sightseeing flights conducted in hot air balloons;

(6) Nonstop flights conducted within a 25-statute-mile radius of the airport of takeoff carrying persons or objects for the purpose of conducting intentional parachute operations.

(7) Helicopter flights conducted within a 25 statute mile radius of the airport of takeoff if— [Lots of stuff about limitations here]

(8) Operations conducted under part 133 of this chapter or 375 of this title;

(9) Emergency mail service conducted under 49 U.S.C. 41906;

(10) Operations conducted under the provisions of §91.321 of this chapter; or

(11) Small UAS operations conducted under part 107 of this chapter.

Turn and Slip vs. Turn Coordinator

October 26th, 2018

The difference between the two is something you need to memorize for your instrument knowledge test, but don’t necessarily have to understand. John D. Collins on Oct 28, 2012 in a post on Ask A CFI explains it quite well.

The TC indicator provides both bank rate and turn rate, whereas the TS only provides turn rate. Because the TC is affected simultaneously by turn and yaw, it can be difficult to use it to recover from an upset. The old TS has the advantage that it only indicates turn rate, and if you are partial panel, this can save your life.

Back in the mid 1920’s it was fatal if you flew into a cloud. A pilot named Howard Stark worked out a method using the newly developed Turn and Slip Indicator by Sperry to safely fly in the clouds with this instrument. If an upset occurred, he employed what came to be known as the Stark 1-2-3 method to recover control.

First, stop the turn with the rudder so the turn needle is in the center, second center the ball by using the ailerons to level the wings and third control the dive with use of the airspeed indicator and the stick to control the elevators. This method is foolproof and is still used by many experienced pilots today.

Unfortunately, it doesn’t work with the Turn Coordinator because the indicator shows both rate of turn and rate of bank. There are many old and not so bold pilots who either replace the turn coordinator with a turn and slip indicator or install a spare turn and slip in their aircraft when it is equipped with a turn coordinator that is required for the autopilot operation.

More info at AvWeb as well.

CFI and AGI Tests: Miscellaneous Things I Can’t Remember

October 24th, 2018

There are a bunch of questions where the answer that the test-prep books say is the correct answer, is wrong. There are also a bunch where the question probably makes sense in context, but qualifying words are omitted from the question. There are also lots of them where there are two or more correct answers and you need to guess which one the FAA wants. And then there are a few that I just can’t remember the answer to. This is my list. I’d recommend that you prepare your own.

Lots of weather stuff I can’t remember is covered in this post.

In general, at high angles of attack the center of pressure moves forward, while at low angles of attack, the CP moves aft. The relationship between CP and CG affects both aerodynamic balance and controllability.

Thrust is the force that imparts a change in the velocity of a mass. It may be measured in pounds, but it has no element of time or rate. The term “thrust required” is generally associated with jet engines. A forward force which propels the airplane through the air. Power implies work rate or units of work per unit of time, and as such, it is a function of the speed at which the force is developed. The term “power required” is generally associated with reciprocating engines.

Stalling speed: An aircraft’s stalling speed increases in proportion to the square root of the load factor.

The “design maneuvering speed” (VA), which is the speed below which you can move a single flight control, one time, to its full deflection, for one axis of airplane rotation only (pitch, roll or yaw), in smooth air, without risk of damage to the airplane.

When rolling out of a steep-banked turn, what causes the lowered aileron to create more drag than when rolling into the turn. The wing’s angle of attack is greater as the rollout is started.

Adverse Yaw Since the downward deflected aileron produces more lift as evidenced by the wing raising, it also produces more drag. This added drag causes the wing to slow down slightly. This results in the aircraft yawing toward the wing which had experienced an increase in lift (and drag). From the pilot’s perspective, the yaw is opposite the direction of the bank.

Dutch Roll: If the aircraft has a right wing pushed down, the positive sideslip angle corrects the wing laterally before the nose is realigned with the relative wind. As the wing corrects the position, a lateral directional oscillation can occur resulting in the nose of the aircraft making a figure eight on the horizon as a result of two oscillations (roll and yaw), which, although of about the same magnitude, are out of phase with each other.

Spiral instability. A condition that exists when the static directional stability of the airplane is very strong as compared to the effect of its dihedral in maintaining lateral equilibrium.

The propeller acts as a gyroscope. Precession is the resultant action, or deflection, of a spinning rotor when a deflecting force is applied to the rotor’s rim. Thus, as the airplane yaws arond its vertical axis, it results in a pitching moment about its lateral axis.

Effect of Weight on Flight Performance
The takeoff/climb and landing performance of an aircraft are determined on the basis of its maximum allowable takeoff and landing weights. A heavier gross weight results in a longer takeoff run, higher takeoff speed, and shallower climb. On landing, a faster touchdown speed and longer landing roll.

The aircraft stalls at a higher speed with a forward CG location.

The aircraft cruises faster with an aft CG location because of reduced drag. The drag is reduced because a smaller AOA and less downward deflection of the stabilizer are required to support the aircraft and overcome the nose-down pitching tendency. The aircraft becomes less stable as the CG is moved rearward.

The left engine on most light twins is the critical engine. This is due to multiengine airplanes being subject to P-factor, as are single-engine airplanes. The descending propeller blade of each engine will produce greater thrust than the ascending blade when the airplane is operated under power and at positive angles of attack. The descending propeller blade of the right engine is also a greater distance from the center of gravity, and therefore has a longer moment arm than the descending propeller blade of the left engine.

A common mistake students often make when performing turns is attempting to turn using only instrument references.

When landing with slight ballooning hold a constant angle of attack.

A demarcation bar delineates a runway with a displaced threshold from a blast pad, stopway, or taxiway that precedes the runway.

Separation, measured at the time the preceding aircraft is over the landing threshold, is provided to small aircraft: (a) Small landing behind heavy − 6 miles. (b) Small landing behind large, non−B757 − 4 miles.

Appropriate time or distance intervals are provided to departing aircraft when the departure will be from the same threshold… (a) Three minutes or the appropriate radar separation when takeoff will be behind a super aircraft; (b) Two minutes or the appropriate radar separation when takeoff will be behind a heavy aircraft.


The ceiling/sky condition, visibility, and obstructions to vision may be omitted from the ATIS broadcast if the ceiling is above 5,000 feet and the visibility is more than 5 miles.

A warm front describes a condition where warm air overrides cooler air. When relatively warm rain or drizzle falls through the cool air, evaporation from the precipitation saturates the cool air and produces fog. Q: Fog associated with a warm front is a result of saturation due to evaporation of precipitation. Q: Which in-flight hazard is mot commonly associated with warm fronts: Precipitation-induced fog.

Temperature and dew point converge at 4.4°F (2.5°C).

A moist warm air mass is being cooled from below is characterized by: smooth air.
A moist cold air mass is being warmed from below is characterized by: showers and thunderstorms.
Cool air moving over a warm surface is characterized by instability and showers.

If a moist air mass moves over a warmer surface, lifting action is induced, which results in instability, turbulence, and cumulus clouds. These are indications of an unstable air mass.

Cool air moving over a warm surface becomes warmed from below and is therefore an unstable air mass characterized by showery precipitation, good visibility, turbulent air, and cumuliform clouds.

Stable lapse rate, stratiform clouds, fog, smooth air, and poor visibility are characteristics of a moist air mass that is warmer than the surface over which it passes.

A cold front occlusion occurs when the air behind the cold front is colder than the air in advance of the warm front. This lifts the warm air aloft.

Frontal waves and cyclones (areas of low pressure) usually form on slow-moving cold fronts of stationary fronts.

Microbursts may have a maximum downdraft of 6,000 fpm, last 15 minutes from the time the burst strikes the ground until dissipation, and have a maximum intensity of 2 to 4 minutes.

Fog should be reported on a METAR when visibility is below 5/8 statute miles and mist should be reported when visibility is greater than 5/8 SM and less than 7 statute miles.

In a convective outlook chart, slight risk is 2-5%, moderate risk is 6-10%, high risk is 10-50%.
Slight risk means that risk of severe thunderstorms is indicated, but they will be small in numbers and/or low coverage of the affected area.


An applicant requires 3 hours of training in the previous 2 calendar months in preparation for a practical test. If all parts aren’t completed, the remaining must be competed in 60 days.

Solo Cross Country
For each cross-country flight, the authorized instructor who reviews the cross-country planning must make an endorsement in the person’s logbook after reviewing that person’s cross-country planning, as specified in paragraph (d) of this section. The endorsement must—
(i) Specify the make and model of aircraft to be flown;
(ii) State that the student’s preflight planning and preparation is correct and that the student is prepared to make the flight safely under the known conditions; and
(iii) State that any limitations required by the student’s authorized instructor are met.

A flight instructor must have 5 hours PIC time in the make and model of multiengine airplane, a helicopter, or a powered-lift.

Instruction by an ATP is limited to 36 hours in any 7-day period.
In any 24-consecutive-hour period, a flight instructor may not conduct more than 8 hours of flight training.

Prep for the Knowledge Test and Checkride: FAA-H-8083-25B Pilots Handbook of Aeronautical Knowledge

October 24th, 2018

I’m not very good at remembering things out of context or when they don’t make any sense to me. For example, some of the questions deal with excess power and thrust. Before I read the book, power and thrust were synonyms, so I had a difficult time answering the questions. But now that I understand the terms and how they relate to each other, remembering the answers is much easier. This post was intended to be a bunch of unrelated things that I can’t remember, but appear on the CFI and AGI knowledge tests, but the explanations all seemed to come from the Pilots Handbook of Aeronautical Knowledge so it turned into a post summarizing and expanding on things in that book instead.

The standard atmosphere at sea level is a surface temperature of 59° F or 15° C and a surface pressure of 29.92 inches of mercury (“Hg) or 1,013.2 mb.

A standard temperature lapse rate is when the temperature decreases at the rate of approximately 3.5° F or 2° C (1.9833) per thousand feet up to 36,000 feet, which is approximately –65° F or –55° C. (You can see this in the winds aloft forecast where it is around this value across the country,) Above this point, the temperature is considered constant up to 80,000 feet. A standard pressure lapse rate is when pressure decreases at a rate of approximately 1 “Hg per 1,000 feet of altitude gain to 10,000 feet.

The dry adiabatic lapse rate (unsaturated air) is 3 °C (5.4 °F) per 1,000 feet. The moist adiabatic lapse rate varies from 1.1 °C to 2.8 °C (2 °F to 5 °F) per 1,000 feet. When lifted, unsaturated air cools at a rate of 5.4 °F per 1,000 feet and the dew point temperature decreases at a rate of 1 °F per 1,000 feet. This results in a convergence of temperature and dew point at a rate of 4.4 °F (1° C).

When the temperature of the air is reduced to the dew point, the air is completely saturated and moisture begins to condense out of the air in the form of fog, dew, frost, clouds, rain, or snow.

High density altitude refers to thin air, while low density altitude refers to dense air. The conditions that result in a high density altitude are high elevations, low atmospheric pressures, high temperatures, high humidity, or some combination of these factors. Lower elevations, high atmospheric pressure, low temperatures, and low humidity are more indicative of low density altitude.

FAA-H-8083-25B Pilots Handbook of Aeronautical Knowledge Chapter 3
The control instruments display immediate attitude and power changes and are calibrated to permit adjustments in precise increments. They are the manifold pressure, tachometer (RPM), and attitude indicator.

The performance instruments indicate the aircraft’s actual performance. Performance is determined by reference to the altimeter, airspeed, vertical speed indicator (VSI), heading indicator, turn coordinator (or turn and bank indicator), and slip/skid indicator (ball).

Climb Performance
FAA-H-8083-25B Pilots Handbook of Aeronautical Knowledge Chapter 11

If an aircraft is to move, fly, and perform, work must act upon it. Work involves force moving the aircraft. The aircraft acquires mechanical energy [as opposed to chemical or atomic energy] when it moves. Mechanical energy comes in two forms: (1) Kinetic Energy (KE), the energy of speed; (2) Potential Energy (PE), the stored energy of position.

Aircraft motion (KE) is described by its velocity (airspeed). Aircraft position (PE) is described by its height (altitude). Both KE and PE are directly proportional to the object’s mass. KE is directly proportional to the square of the object’s velocity (airspeed). PE is directly proportional to the object’s height (altitude). The formulas below summarize these energy relationships:

m = object mass
v = object velocity

g = gravity field strength
h = object height

KE = ½ × m × v2
PE = m × g × h

We sometimes use the terms “power” and “thrust” interchangeably when discussing climb performance. This erroneously implies the terms are synonymous. It is important to distinguish between these terms. Thrust is a force or pressure exerted on an object. Thrust is measured in pounds (lb) or newtons (N). Power, however, is a measurement of the rate of performing work or transferring energy (KE and PE). Power is typically measured in horsepower (hp) or kilowatts (kw). We can think of power as the motion (KE and PE) a force (thrust) creates when exerted on an object over a period of time.

Positive climb performance occurs when an aircraft gains PE by increasing altitude. Two basic factors, or a combination of the two factors, contribute to positive climb performance in most aircraft:

1. The aircraft climbs (gains PE) using excess power above that required to maintain level flight, or
2. The aircraft climbs by converting airspeed (KE) to altitude (PE).

As an example of factor 1 above, an aircraft with an engine capable of producing 200 horsepower (at a given altitude) is using only 130 horsepower to maintain level flight at that altitude. This leaves 70 horsepower available to climb. The pilot holds airspeed constant and increases power to perform the climb.

As an example of factor 2, an aircraft is flying level at 120 knots. The pilot leaves the engine power setting constant but applies other control inputs to perform a climb. The climb, sometimes called a zoom climb, converts the airspeed (KE) to altitude (PE); the airspeed decreases to something less than 120 knots as the altitude increases.

Test Question
During a steady climb, the rate of climb depends on excess power. [During a steady climb (rate of climb constant) thrust equals drag. The rate then is determined by the power. As in Case 1 above, if more power than is needed for the airspeed is provided, the aircraft climbs. If less than the airspeed decreases.]

Angle of Climb (AOC)
FAA-H-8083-25 (2003) Pilots Handbook of Aeronautical Knowledge Chapter 3
Before the airplane begins to move, thrust must be exerted. It continues to move and gain speed until thrust and drag are equal. In order to maintain a constant airspeed, thrust and drag must remain equal, just as lift and weight must be equal to maintain a constant altitude. If in level flight, the engine power is reduced, the thrust is lessened, and the airplane slows down. As long as the thrust is less than the drag, the airplane continues to decelerate until its airspeed is insufficient to support it in the air.

Likewise, if the engine power is increased, thrust becomes greater than drag and the airspeed increases. As long as the thrust continues to be greater than the drag, the airplane continues to accelerate. When drag equals thrust, the airplane flies at a constant airspeed.

During straight-and level-flight when thrust is increased and the airspeed increases, the angle of attack must be decreased. That is, if changes have been coordinated, the airplane will still remain in level flight but at a higher speed when the proper relationship between thrust and angle of attack is established. If the angle of attack were not coordinated (decreased) with this increase of thrust, the airplane would climb.

FAA-H-8083-25B Pilots Handbook of Aeronautical Knowledge Chapter 5
One method to climb (have positive AOC performance) is to have excess thrust available. Essentially, the greater the force that pushes the aircraft upward, the steeper it can climb. Maximum AOC occurs at the airspeed and angle of attack (AOA) combination which allows the maximum excess thrust. The airspeed and AOA combination where excess thrust exists varies amongst aircraft types.

Test Question
During a steady climb, the angle of climb depends on excess thrust. [Here they are not referring to thrust greater than drag, rather they are referring to thrust required for steady level flight. Given the above text, I think they are really asking about the angle of attack—not angle of climb.]

Lift is the upward force on the wing acting perpendicular to the relative wind and perpendicular to the aircraft’s lateral axis. Lift is required to counteract the aircraft’s weight. In stabilized level flight, when the lift force is equal to the weight force, the aircraft is in a state of equilibrium and neither accelerates upward or downward. If lift becomes less than weight, the vertical speed will decrease. When lift is greater than weight, the vertical speed will increase. [The angle of attack will need to remain constant and airspeed will increase or decrease.]

Ground Effect
Ground effect also alters the thrust required versus velocity. Since induced drag predominates at low speeds, the reduction of induced drag due to ground effect will cause a significant reduction of thrust required (parasite plus induced drag) at low speeds. Due to the change in upwash, downwash, and wingtip vortices, there may be a change in position (installation) error of the airspeed system associated with ground effect. In the majority of cases, ground effect causes an increase in the local pressure at the static source and produces a lower indication of airspeed and altitude. Thus, an aircraft may be airborne at an indicated airspeed less than that normally required.

An aircraft leaving ground effect after takeoff encounters just the reverse of an aircraft entering ground effect during landing. The aircraft leaving ground effect will:
• Require an increase in AOA to maintain the same CL
• Experience an increase in induced drag and thrust required
• Experience a decrease in stability and a nose-up change in moment
• Experience a reduction in static source pressure and increase in indicated airspeed

When the vortices of larger aircraft sink close to the ground (within 100 to 200 feet), they tend to move laterally over the
ground at a speed of 2 or 3 knots. A crosswind will decrease the lateral movement of the upwind vortex and increase the movement of the downwind vortex. Thus a light wind with a cross runway component of 1 to 5 knots could result in the upwind vortex remaining in the touchdown zone for a period of time and hasten the drift of the downwind vortex toward another runway.

Moment and Moment Arm
A study of physics shows that a body that is free to rotate will always turn about its CG. In aerodynamic terms, the mathematical measure of an aircraft’s tendency to rotate about its CG is called a “moment.” A moment is said to be equal to the product of the force applied and the distance at which the force is applied. (A moment arm is the distance from a datum [reference point or line] to the applied force.) For aircraft weight and balance computations, “moments” are expressed in terms of the distance of the arm times the aircraft’s weight, or simply, inch-pounds.

Stability is the inherent quality of an aircraft to correct for conditions that may disturb its equilibrium and to return to or to continue on the original flight path.

Stability in an aircraft affects two areas significantly:
Maneuverability—the quality of an aircraft that permits it to be maneuvered easily and to withstand the stresses imposed by maneuvers. It is governed by the aircraft’s weight, inertia, size and location of flight controls, structural strength, and powerplant. It too is an aircraft design characteristic.
Controllability—the capability of an aircraft to respond to the pilot’s control, especially with regard to flight path and attitude. It is the quality of the aircraft’s response to the pilot’s control application when maneuvering the aircraft, regardless of its stability characteristics.

Adverse Yaw
In a turn, the downward deflected aileron produces more lift as evidenced by the wing raising, it also produces more drag. This added drag causes the wing to slow down slightly. This results in the aircraft yawing toward the wing which had experienced an increase in lift (and drag). From the pilot’s perspective, the yaw is opposite the direction of the bank. The adverse yaw is a result of differential drag and the slight difference in the velocity of the left and right wings. Application of rudder in the direction of turn counters the adverse yaw.

FAA-H-8083-25B Pilots Handbook of Aeronautical Knowledge Chapter 5
A propeller is a rotating airfoil that produces thrust through aerodynamic action. A high-pressure area is formed at the back of the propeller’s airfoil, and low pressure is produced at the face of the propeller, similar to the way lift is generated by an airfoil used as a lifting surface or wing. This pressure differential develops thrust from the propeller, which in turn pulls the airplane forward. Engines may be turned around to be pushers with the propeller at the rear.

There are two significant factors involved in the design of a propeller that impact its effectiveness. The angle of a propeller blade, as measured against the hub of the propeller, keeps the angle of attack (AOA) relatively constant along the span of the propeller blade, reducing or eliminating the possibility of a stall. The amount of lift being produced by the propeller is directly related to the AOA, which is the angle at which the relative wind meets the blade. The AOA continuously changes during the flight depending upon the direction of the aircraft.

The pitch is defined as the distance a propeller would travel in one revolution if it were turning in a solid. These two factors combine to allow a measurement of the propeller’s efficiency.

Blade angle, usually measured in degrees, is the angle between the chord of the blade and the plane of rotation and is measured at a specific point along the length of the blade. Because most propellers have a flat blade “face,” the chord line is often drawn along the face of the propeller blade. Pitch is not blade angle, but because pitch is largely determined by blade angle, the two terms are often used interchangeably. An increase or decrease in one is usually associated with an increase or decrease in the other. The pitch of a propeller may be designated in inches. A propeller designated as a “74–48” would be 74 inches in length and have an effective pitch of 48 inches. The pitch is the distance in inches, which the propeller would screw through the air in one revolution if there were no slippage.

The angle at which this air (relative wind) strikes the propeller blade is its AOA. The air deflection produced by this angle causes the dynamic pressure at the engine side of the propeller blade to be greater than atmospheric pressure, thus creating thrust. The shape of the blade also creates thrust because it is cambered like the airfoil shape of a wing. As the air flows past the propeller, the pressure on one side is less than that on the other. As in a wing, a reaction force is produced in the direction of the lesser pressure. The airflow over the wing has less pressure, and the force (lift) is upward. In the case of the propeller, which is mounted in a vertical instead of a horizontal plane, the area of decreased pressure is in front of the propeller, and the force (thrust) is in a forward direction. Aerodynamically, thrust is the result of the propeller shape and the AOA of the blade.

The blade angle is also an excellent method of adjusting the AOA of the propeller. On constant-speed propellers, the blade angle must be adjusted to provide the most efficient AOA at all engine and aircraft speeds. Lift versus drag curves, which are drawn for propellers as well as wings, indicate that the most efficient AOA is small, varying from +2° to +4°. The actual blade angle necessary to maintain this small AOA varies with the forward speed of the aircraft.

Since the efficiency of any machine is the ratio of the useful power output to the actual power input, propeller efficiency is the ratio of thrust horsepower to brake horsepower. Propeller efficiency varies from 50 to 87 percent, depending on how much the propeller “slips.” Propeller slip is the difference between the geometric pitch of the propeller and its effective pitch. Geometric pitch is the theoretical distance a propeller should advance in one revolution; effective pitch is the distance it actually advances. Thus, geometric or theoretical pitch is based on no slippage, but actual or effective pitch includes propeller slippage in the air.

Test Questions
Blade angle is defined as the angle between the chord line and the plane of rotation,
Propeller efficiency is the ratio of thrust horsepower to brake horsepower.
The distance a propeller advances in one rotation is effective pitch.
Propeller slip is the difference between the geometric pitch and effective pitch of the blade.

The reason a propeller is “twisted” is that the outer parts of the propeller blades, like all things that turn about a central point, travel faster than the portions near the hub. If the blades had the same geometric pitch throughout their lengths, portions near the hub could have negative AOAs while the propeller tips would be stalled at cruise speed. Twisting or variations in the geometric pitch of the blades permits the propeller to operate with a relatively constant AOA along its length when in cruising flight. Propeller blades are twisted to change the blade angle in proportion to the differences in speed of rotation along the length of the propeller, keeping thrust more nearly equalized along this length.

Usually 1° to 4° provides the most efficient lift/drag ratio, but in flight the propeller AOA of a fixed-pitch propeller varies—normally from 0° to 15°. This variation is caused by changes in the relative airstream, which in turn results from changes in aircraft speed. Thus, propeller AOA is the product of two motions: propeller rotation about its axis and its forward motion.

A constant-speed propeller automatically keeps the blade angle adjusted for maximum efficiency for most conditions encountered in flight. During takeoff, when maximum power and thrust are required, the constant-speed propeller is at a low propeller blade angle or pitch. The low blade angle keeps the AOA small and efficient with respect to the relative wind. At the same time, it allows the propeller to handle a smaller mass of air per revolution. This light load allows the engine to turn at high rpm and to convert the maximum amount of fuel into heat energy in a given time. The high rpm also creates maximum thrust because, although the mass of air handled per revolution is small, the rpm and slipstream velocity are high, and with the low aircraft speed, there is maximum thrust. After liftoff, as the speed of the aircraft increases, the constant speed propeller automatically changes to a higher angle (or pitch). Again, the higher blade angle keeps the AOA small and efficient with respect to the relative wind. The higher blade angle increases the mass of air handled per revolution. This decreases the engine rpm, reducing fuel consumption and engine wear, and keeps thrust at a maximum.

After the takeoff climb is established in an aircraft having a controllable-pitch propeller, the pilot reduces the power output of the engine to climb power by first decreasing the manifold pressure and then increasing the blade angle to lower the rpm.

At cruising altitude, when the aircraft is in level flight and less power is required than is used in takeoff or climb, the pilot again reduces engine power by reducing the manifold pressure and then increasing the blade angle to decrease the rpm. Again, this provides a torque requirement to match the reduced engine power. Although the mass of air handled per revolution is greater, it is more than offset by a decrease in slipstream velocity and an increase in airspeed. The AOA is still small because the blade angle has been increased with an increase in airspeed.

Power adjustments in the proper order:
• When power settings are being decreased, reduce manifold pressure before reducing rpm. If rpm is reduced before manifold pressure, manifold pressure automatically increases, possibly exceeding the manufacturer’s tolerances.
• When power settings are being increased, reverse the order—increase rpm first, then manifold pressure.

NTSB 830: Prep for the Knowledge Test and Checkride

October 10th, 2018

This regulation isn’t too long, so you should probably read it on the ecfr.gov website, but there are parts that show up on most of the exams, so they are summarized here.

Aircraft accident means an occurrence associated with the operation of an aircraft which takes place between the time any person boards the aircraft with the intention of flight and all such persons have disembarked, and in which any person suffers death or serious injury, or in which the aircraft receives substantial damage. For purposes of this part, the definition of “aircraft accident” includes “unmanned aircraft accident”.

Civil aircraft means any aircraft other than a public aircraft. Public aircraft means an aircraft used only for the United States Government.

Fatal injury means any injury which results in death within 30 days of the accident.

Incident means an occurrence other than an accident, associated with the operation of an aircraft, which affects or could affect the safety of operations.

Operator means any person who causes or authorizes the operation of an aircraft, such as the owner, lessee, or bailee of an aircraft.

Serious injury means any injury which: (1) Requires hospitalization for more than 48 hours, commencing within 7 days from the date of the injury was received; (2) results in a fracture of any bone (except simple fractures of fingers, toes, or nose); (3) causes severe hemorrhages, nerve, muscle, or tendon damage; (4) involves any internal organ; or (5) involves second- or third-degree burns, or any burns affecting more than 5 percent of the body surface.

Substantial damage means damage or failure which adversely affects the structural strength, performance, or flight characteristics of the aircraft, and which would normally require major repair or replacement of the affected component.

Not considered “substantial damage” for the purpose of this part:
Engine failure or damage limited to an engine if only one engine fails or is damaged, bent fairings or cowling, dented skin, small punctured holes in the skin or fabric, ground damage to rotor or propeller blades, and damage to landing gear, wheels, tires, flaps, engine accessories, brakes, or wingtips.

Unmanned aircraft accident when the system is activated with the purpose of flight and the time that the system is deactivated at the conclusion of its mission, in which any person suffers death or serious injury or the aircraft has a maximum gross takeoff weight of 300 pounds or greater and sustains substantial damage.

Immediate Notification
The operator of any civil aircraft, or any public aircraft not operated by the Armed Forces or an intelligence agency of the United States, or any foreign aircraft shall immediately, and by the most expeditious means available, notify the nearest National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) office,1 when:

An aircraft accident or any of the following listed serious incidents occur:
Flight control system malfunction or failure;

Inability of any required flight crewmember to perform normal flight duties as a result of injury or illness;

Failure of any internal turbine engine component that results in the escape of debris other than out the exhaust path;

In-flight fire;

Aircraft collision in flight;

Damage to property, other than the aircraft, estimated to exceed $25,000 for repair (including materials and labor) or fair market value in the event of total loss, whichever is less.

For large multiengine aircraft
• In-flight failure of electrical systems which requires the sustained use of an emergency bus powered by a back-up source such as a battery, auxiliary power unit, or air-driven generator to retain flight control or essential instruments;
• In-flight failure of hydraulic systems that results in sustained reliance on the sole remaining hydraulic or mechanical system for movement of flight control surfaces;
• Sustained loss of the power or thrust produced by two or more engines; and
• An evacuation of an aircraft in which an emergency egress system is utilized.

Release of all or a portion of a propeller blade from an aircraft, excluding release caused solely by ground contact;
A complete loss of information, excluding flickering, from more than 50 percent of an aircraft’s cockpit displays known as:
• Electronic Flight Instrument System (EFIS) displays;
• Engine Indication and Crew Alerting System (EICAS) displays;
• Electronic Centralized Aircraft Monitor (ECAM) displays; or
• Other displays of this type, which generally include a primary flight display (PFD), primary navigation display (PND), and other integrated displays;

Airborne Collision and Avoidance System (ACAS) resolution advisories issued when an aircraft is being operated on an instrument flight rules flight plan and compliance with the advisory is necessary to avert a substantial risk of collision between two or more aircraft.

Damage to helicopter tail or main rotor blades, including ground damage, that requires major repair or replacement of the blade(s);

Any event in which an operator, when operating an airplane as an air carrier at a public-use airport on land:
• Lands or departs on a taxiway, incorrect runway, or other area not designed as a runway; or
• Experiences a runway incursion that requires the operator or the crew of another aircraft or vehicle to take immediate corrective action to avoid a collision.

An aircraft is overdue and is believed to have been involved in an accident.

Preservation of Aircraft Wreckage, Mail, Cargo, and Records
The operator of an aircraft involved in an accident or incident is responsible for preserving to the extent possible any aircraft wreckage, cargo, and mail aboard the aircraft, and all records, including all recording mediums of flight, maintenance, and voice recorders, pertaining to the operation and maintenance of the aircraft and to the airmen until the Board takes custody thereof or a release is granted.

Such wreckage, mail, or cargo may not be disturbed or moved except to the extent necessary:
• To remove persons injured or trapped;
• To protect the wreckage from further damage; or
• To protect the public from injury.

Where it is necessary to move aircraft wreckage, mail or cargo, sketches, descriptive notes, and photographs shall be made, if possible, of the original positions and condition of the wreckage and any significant impact marks.

Reports and Statements To Be Filed
(a) Reports. The operator shall file a report on Board Form 6120.5 within 10 days after an accident, or after 7 days if an overdue aircraft is still missing. A report on an incident for which immediate notification is required shall be filed only as requested by an authorized representative of the Board.

Part 91 Maintenance: Prep for the Knowledge Test and Checkride

October 10th, 2018

The maintenance regulations in Part 91 are something that you will be tested on for all certificates. They are especially important if you are the owner/operator of an aircraft. Part 43 governs maintenance and preventive maintenance.

The owner or operator of an aircraft is primarily responsible for maintaining that aircraft in an airworthy condition, including compliance with Airworthiness Directives.

No person may perform maintenance, preventive maintenance, or alterations on an aircraft other than as prescribed in this subpart and other applicable regulations, including part 43 of this chapter.

Maintenance Required
Each owner or operator of an aircraft shall have that aircraft inspected; have discrepancies repaired; shall ensure that maintenance personnel make appropriate entries in the aircraft maintenance records indicating the aircraft has been approved for return to service; and shall have any inoperative instrument or item of equipment, permitted to be inoperative repaired, replaced, removed, or inspected at the next required inspection.

Operation After Maintenance
No person may carry any person (other than crewmembers) in an aircraft that has been maintained, rebuilt, or altered in a manner that may have appreciably changed its flight characteristics or substantially affected its operation in flight until an appropriately rated pilot with at least a private pilot certificate flies the aircraft, makes an operational check of the maintenance performed or alteration made, and logs the flight in the aircraft records.

The aircraft does not have to be flown as required above if, prior to flight, ground tests, inspection, or both show conclusively that the maintenance, preventive maintenance, rebuilding, or alteration has not appreciably changed the flight characteristics or substantially affected the flight operation of the aircraft.

Annual Inspections
No person may operate an aircraft unless, within the preceding 12 calendar months, it has had an annual inspection in accordance with part 43 and approved for return to service. An annual inspection must be conducted by an IA.

100 Hour Inspections
No person may operate an aircraft carrying any person (other than a crewmember) for hire, and no person may give flight instruction for hire in an aircraft which that person provides, unless within the preceding 100 hours of time in service the aircraft has received an annual or 100-hour inspection and been approved for return to service in accordance with part 43. A 100 hour inspection may be conducted by an A&P or IA.

The 100-hour limitation may be exceeded by not more than 10 hours while en route to reach a place where the inspection can be done. The excess time used to reach a place where the inspection can be done must be included in computing the next 100 hours of time in service.

There are lots of exceptions that do not generally apply to light aircraft. Experimental certificate and light-sport require an annual condition inspection performed once every 12 calendar months.

Light sport can be conducted by a certificated repairman (light-sport aircraft) with a maintenance rating, an appropriately rated mechanic, or an appropriately rated repair station.

The operating limitations on your homebuilt will include the following (or something similar):
No person shall operate this aircraft unless within the preceding 12 calendar months it has had a condition inspection performed in accordance with the scope and detail of appendix D to part 43, or other FAA-approved programs, and found to be in a condition for safe operation. The inspection can be performed by any licensed A&P mechanic, an FAA Approved Repair Station, or by the builder of the airplane provided the builder obtains a “Repairman’s Certificate” from the FAA.

No person may operate an airplane, or helicopter, in controlled airspace under IFR unless within the preceding 24 calendar months, each static pressure system, each altimeter instrument, and each automatic pressure altitude reporting system has been tested and inspected.

ATC Transponder
No persons may use an ATC transponder unless, within the preceding 24 calendar months, the ATC transponder has been tested and inspected and found to comply with regulations.

Maintenance Records
Except for work performed in accordance with the regulations governing Altimeters and Transponders, each registered owner or operator shall keep the following records until the work is repeated or superseded by other work or for 1 year after the work is performed.

Records of the maintenance, preventive maintenance, and alteration and records of the 100-hour, annual, progressive, and other required or approved inspections, as appropriate, for each aircraft (including the airframe) and each engine, propeller, rotor, and appliance of an aircraft must include—
• A description (or reference to data acceptable to the Administrator) of the work performed; and
• The date of completion of the work performed; and
• The signature, and certificate number of the person approving the aircraft for return to service.
• The total time in service of the airframe, each engine, each propeller, and each rotor.
• The current status of life-limited parts of each airframe, engine, propeller, rotor, and appliance.
• The time since last overhaul of all items installed on the aircraft which are required to be overhauled on a specified time basis.
• The current inspection status of the aircraft, including the time since the last inspection required by the inspection program under which the aircraft and its appliances are maintained.
• The current status of applicable airworthiness directives (AD) and safety directives including, for each, the method of compliance, the AD or safety directive number and revision date. If the AD or safety directive involves recurring action, the time and date when the next action is required.
• Copies of the forms prescribed by §43.9(d) of this chapter for each major alteration to the airframe and currently installed engines, rotors, propellers, and appliances.

The records specified in of this section shall be retained and transferred with the aircraft at the time the aircraft is sold.

Part 91: Prep for the CFI or AGI Knowledge Test and Checkride

October 10th, 2018

There are lots of regulations that you should memorize in order to be a safe and legal pilot. There are also lots of things that you can easily look up when you need the info. I wish I needed to know the maximum airspeeds in different airspaces, but the planes I fly don’t come near that limit. Unfortunately, many of those make easy to write test questions so they show up on lots of the FAA Knowledge Tests. This post contains things in Part 91 that will probably show up on the CFI or AGI test.

Responsibility and authority of the pilot in command.
The pilot in command of an aircraft is directly responsible for, and is the final authority as to, the operation of that aircraft.

In an in-flight emergency requiring immediate action, the pilot in command may deviate from any rule of this part to the extent required to meet that emergency.

Each pilot in command who deviates from a rule under paragraph (b) of this section shall, upon the request of the Administrator, send a written report of that deviation to the Administrator.

The pilot in command of a civil aircraft is responsible for determining whether that aircraft is in condition for safe flight. The pilot in command shall discontinue the flight when unairworthy mechanical, electrical, or structural conditions occur. Note that: The owner or operator of an aircraft is primarily responsible for maintaining that aircraft in an airworthy condition, including compliance with Airworthiness Directives.

Alcohol or drugs
No person may act or attempt to act as a crewmember within 8 hours after the consumption of any alcoholic beverage;
While under the influence of alcohol;
While using any drug that affects the person’s faculties in any way contrary to safety; or
While having an alcohol concentration of 0.04 or greater in a blood or breath specimen.

Except in an emergency, no pilot of a civil aircraft may allow a person who appears to be intoxicated or who demonstrates by manner or physical indications that the individual is under the influence of drugs (except a medical patient under proper care) to be carried in that aircraft.

Preflight Action
Each pilot in command shall, before beginning a flight, become familiar with all available information concerning that flight.
For a flight under IFR or a flight not in the vicinity of an airport, weather reports and forecasts, fuel requirements, alternatives available if the planned flight cannot be completed, and any known traffic delays of which the pilot in command has been advised by ATC;
For any flight, runway lengths at airports of intended use, and takeoff and landing distance information.

Safety Belts
Crewmembers—During takeoff and landing, and while en route, each required flight crewmember shall—be at the crewmember station and keep the safety belt fastened. During takeoff and landing, keep their shoulder harness fastened unless there is no shoulder harness or the crewmember would be unable to perform required duties with the shoulder harness fastened.

The pilot in command of that aircraft ensures that each person on board is briefed on how to fasten and unfasten that person’s safety belt and, if installed, shoulder harness.

When moving on the surface, taking off, or landing the pilot in command of the aircraft ensures that each person on board has been notified to fasten their safety belt and, if installed, their shoulder harness.

Safety Pilot
Safety pilot must possess at least a private pilot certificate with category and class ratings appropriate to the aircraft being flown. [The safety pilot is a required crewmember so must possess an appropriate medical certificate. Basic Med would apply if the safety pilot acts as PIC for the entire flight and the flight conforms to the Basic Med rules. AOPA]

Operating Near Other Aircraft
No person may operate an aircraft so close to another aircraft as to create a collision hazard.
No person may operate an aircraft in formation flight except by arrangement with the pilot in command of each aircraft in the formation.
No person may operate an aircraft, carrying passengers for hire, in formation flight.

Right-of-way Rules
Vigilance shall be maintained by each person operating an aircraft so as to see and avoid other aircraft. When a rule of this section gives another aircraft the right-of-way, the pilot shall give way to that aircraft and may not pass over, under, or ahead of it unless well clear.

An aircraft in distress has the right-of-way over all other air traffic.
When aircraft are approaching each other head-on, or nearly so, each pilot of each aircraft shall alter course to the right.
An aircraft towing or refueling other aircraft has the right-of-way over all other engine-driven aircraft.

When aircraft of the same category are converging at approximately the same altitude (except head-on, or nearly so), the aircraft to the other’s right has the right-of-way. If the aircraft are of different categories:
Balloon –> Glider –> Airship –> a powered parachute, weight-shift-control aircraft, airplane, or rotorcraft.

Each aircraft that is being overtaken has the right-of-way and each pilot of an overtaking aircraft shall alter course to the right to pass well clear.

Aircraft, while on final approach to land or while landing, have the right-of-way over other aircraft in flight or operating on the surface, except that they shall not take advantage of this rule to force an aircraft off the runway surface which has already landed and is attempting to make way for an aircraft on final approach. When two or more aircraft are approaching an airport for the purpose of landing, the aircraft at the lower altitude has the right-of-way, but it shall not take advantage of this rule to cut in front of another which is on final approach to land or to overtake that aircraft.

Aircraft Speed
Below 10,000 feet MSL at an indicated airspeed of no more than 250 knots.
At or below 2,500 feet above the surface within 4 nautical miles of the primary airport of a Class C or Class D airspace area at an indicated airspeed of no more than 200 knots.
Underlying a Class B airspace area designated for an airport or in a VFR corridor designated through such a Class B airspace area, at an indicated airspeed of no more than 200 knots.
If the minimum safe airspeed for any particular operation is greater than the maximum speed prescribed in this section, the aircraft may be operated at that minimum speed.

Minimum Safe Altitudes
Except when necessary for takeoff or landing, no person may operate an aircraft below an altitude allowing, if a power unit fails, an emergency landing without undue hazard to persons or property on the surface.

Over congested areas. Over any congested area of a city, town, or settlement, or over any open air assembly of persons, an altitude of 1,000 feet above the highest obstacle within a horizontal radius of 2,000 feet of the aircraft.

Over other than congested areas. An altitude of 500 feet above the surface, except over open water or sparsely populated areas. In those cases, the aircraft may not be operated closer than 500 feet to any person, vessel, vehicle, or structure.

A powered parachute or weight-shift-control aircraft may be operated at less than the minimums over other than congested areas if the operation is conducted without hazard to persons or property on the surface.

Compliance with ATC Clearances and Instructions.
When an ATC clearance has been obtained, no pilot in command may deviate from that clearance unless an amended clearance is obtained, an emergency exists, or the deviation is in response to a traffic alert and collision avoidance system resolution advisory. However, except in Class A airspace, a pilot may cancel an IFR flight plan if the operation is being conducted in VFR weather conditions. When a pilot is uncertain of an ATC clearance, that pilot shall immediately request clarification from ATC.

Except in an emergency, no person may operate an aircraft contrary to an ATC instruction in an area in which air traffic control is exercised.

Each pilot in command who (though not deviating from a rule of this subpart) is given priority by ATC in an emergency, shall submit a detailed report of that emergency within 48 hours to the manager of that ATC facility, if requested by ATC.

Light Signals

Color and type of signal Meaning with respect to aircraft on the surface Meaning with respect to aircraft in flight
Steady green Cleared for takeoff Cleared to land.
Flashing green Cleared to taxi Return for landing (to be followed by steady green at proper time).
Steady red Stop Give way to other aircraft and continue circling.
Flashing red Taxi clear of runway in use Airport unsafe—do not land.
Flashing white Return to starting point on airport Not applicable.
Alternating red and green Exercise extreme caution Exercise extreme caution.

Communications with Control Towers in Class G and E
Unless otherwise authorized or required by ATC, no person may operate an aircraft to, from, through, or on an airport having an operational control tower unless two-way radio communications are maintained between that aircraft and the control tower. Communications must be established prior to 4 nautical miles from the airport, up to and including 2,500 feet AGL.

Each pilot of an airplane must make all turns of that airplane to the left unless the airport displays approved light signals or visual markings indicating that turns should be made to the right, in which case the pilot must make all turns to the right.

Departures from Class E
Each pilot of an aircraft must comply with any traffic patterns established for that airport.

Operations in Class D
Each person must establish two-way radio communications with the ATC facility (including foreign ATC in the case of foreign airspace designated in the United States) providing air traffic services prior to entering that airspace and thereafter maintain those communications while within that airspace. This includes departing from the airport.

From a satellite airport without an operating control tower, must establish and maintain two-way radio communications with the ATC facility having jurisdiction over the Class D airspace area as soon as practicable after departing.

Each pilot operating a large or turbine-powered airplane must enter the traffic pattern at an altitude of at least 1,500 feet above the elevation of the airport and maintain at least 1,500 feet until further descent is required for a safe landing.

Each pilot operating an airplane approaching to land on a runway served by a visual approach slope indicator must maintain an altitude at or above the glide path until a lower altitude is necessary for a safe landing.

Each pilot must comply with any departure procedures established for that airport by the FAA.

No person may, at any airport with an operating control tower, operate an aircraft on a runway or taxiway, or take off or land an aircraft, unless an appropriate clearance is received from ATC.

Operations in Class C
Each person must establish two-way radio communications with the ATC facility (including foreign ATC in the case of foreign airspace designated in the United States) providing air traffic services prior to entering that airspace and thereafter maintain those communications while within that airspace. Same with departing.

From a satellite airport without an operating control tower, must establish and maintain two-way radio communications with the ATC facility having jurisdiction over the Class C airspace area as soon as practicable after departing.

Transponder is required and after 2020-01-01, ADSB.

Operations in Class B
The operator must receive an ATC clearance from the ATC facility having jurisdiction for that area before operating an aircraft in that area.

Large turbine engine-powered airplane to or from a primary airport for which a Class B airspace area is designated must operate at or above the designated floors of the Class B airspace area while within the lateral limits of that area.

The pilot in command holds at least a private pilot certificate. Student, sport, and recreational pilots must have training and endorsement. Only private pilots can takeoff and land at Class B airports.

Communications and navigation equipment requirements.
For IFR operation. An operable VOR or TACAN receiver or an operable and suitable RNAV system; and
For all operations. An operable two-way radio capable of communications with ATC on appropriate frequencies for that Class B airspace area.
Transponder is required and after 2020-01-01, ADSB.

Operations in Class A
Instrument flight rules (IFR) and operations may be conducted only under an ATC clearance received prior to entering the airspace.
Each pilot must maintain two-way radio communications with ATC while operating in Class A airspace.
Transponder is required and after 2020-01-01, ADSB.

Fuel requirements for flight in VFR conditions
No person may begin a flight in an airplane under VFR conditions unless (considering wind and forecast weather conditions) there is enough fuel to fly to the first point of intended landing and, assuming normal cruising speed—
  During the day, to fly after that for at least 30 minutes; or
  At night, to fly after that for at least 45 minutes.

Basic VFR Weather Minimums
Refer to this post.

No person may take off or land an aircraft, or enter the traffic pattern of an airport, under VFR, within the lateral boundaries of the surface areas of Class B, Class C, Class D, or Class E airspace designated for an airport unless ground or flight visibility at that airport is at least 3 statute miles.

Except as provided in Special VFR, no person may operate an aircraft beneath the ceiling under VFR within the lateral boundaries of controlled airspace designated to the surface for an airport when the ceiling is less than 1,000 feet.

Special VFR operations may only be conducted with an ATC clearance and clear of clouds when flight visibility is at least 1 statute mile. Between sunrise and sunset the person being granted the ATC clearance meets the applicable requirements for instrument flight and the aircraft is equipped as required.

Helicopters have no visibility limit. At night pilot does not have to be IFR rated and the helicopter is not required to be IFR equipped.

Required Equipment
Refer to this post.

Emergency Locator Transmitters
Batteries used in the emergency locator transmitters required by paragraphs (a) and (b) of this section must be replaced (or recharged, if the batteries are rechargeable) when the transmitter has been in use for more than 1 cumulative hour; or when 50 percent of their useful life (or, for rechargeable batteries, 50 percent of their useful life of charge) has expired, as established by the transmitter manufacturer under its approval.

Each emergency locator transmitter must be inspected within 12 calendar months after the last inspection.

You may ferry an airplane with an inoperative emergency locator transmitter.
An aircraft while engaged in training operations conducted entirely within a 50-nautical mile radius of the airport from which such local flight operations began does not need an ELT.

An aircraft during any period for which the transmitter has been temporarily removed for inspection, repair, modification, or replacement, may be operated for no more than 90 days after the ELT is initially removed from the aircraft.

Minimum Equipment List
No person may take off an aircraft with inoperative instruments or equipment installed unless the aircraft has within it a letter of authorization, issued by the responsible Flight Standards office, authorizing operation of the aircraft under the Minimum Equipment List.

The approved Minimum Equipment List must provide for the operation of the aircraft with the instruments and equipment in an inoperable condition.

The following instruments and equipment may not be included in a Minimum Equipment List:
(1) Instruments and equipment that are either specifically or otherwise required by the airworthiness requirements under which the aircraft is type certificated and which are essential for safe operations under all operating conditions.
(2) Instruments and equipment required by an airworthiness directive to be in operable condition unless the airworthiness directive provides otherwise.

[The primary purpose of a minimum equipment list is to list the equipment that can be inoperative and still not affect the airworthiness of an aircraft.] [An MEL is a precise listing of instruments, equipment, and procedures that allows an aircraft to be operated under specific conditibns with inoperative equipment. AC 91-67]

A person may takeoff an aircraft in operations conducted under this part with inoperative instruments and equipment without an approved Minimum Equipment List provided the inoperative instruments and equipment are:
Removed from the aircraft, the cockpit control placarded, and the maintenance recorded; or deactivated and placarded “Inoperative.” If deactivation of the inoperative instrument or equipment involves maintenance, it must be accomplished and recorded in accordance with part 43 of this chapter; and
A determination is made by a pilot, who is certificated and appropriately rated under part 61 of this chapter, or by a person, who is certificated and appropriately rated to perform maintenance on the aircraft, that the inoperative instrument or equipment does not constitute a hazard to the aircraft.

If a transponder is installed, it must be turned on while in controlled airspace. It must be inspected every 24 months. Exceptions exist for aircraft not originally certified with an electrical system, balloons, and gliders.

ATC authorized deviations
Requests for ATC authorized deviations at any time for: without operating automatic pressure altitude reporting equipment; inoperative transponder to the airport of ultimate destination, including any intermediate stops, or to proceed to a place where suitable repairs can be made or both.

At least one hour before the proposed operation if not equipped with a transponder.

Transponder Requirements
Airspace Altitude
Class A, B, C All
Above the ceiling of Class B or C and within lateral boundaries Below 10,000′ MSL
Within 30 nm of at least one airport in Class B Below 10,000′ MSL
Within Contiguous US Above 10,000′ MSL and above 2,500′ AGL
Controlled Airspace–if equipped and maintained. All
DC Special Flight Rules Area All

ADSB is required in the same airspace as transponders plus:
Class E airspace at and above 3,000 feet MSL over the Gulf of Mexico from the coastline of the United States out to 12 nautical miles.

Aerobatic Flight
No person may operate an aircraft in aerobatic flight over any congested area of a city, town, or settlement; over an open air assembly of persons; within the lateral boundaries of the surface areas of Class B, Class C, Class D, or Class E airspace designated for an airport; within 4 nautical miles of the center line of any Federal airway; below an altitude of 1,500 feet above the surface; or when flight visibility is less than 3 statute miles.

For the purposes of this section, aerobatic flight means an intentional maneuver involving an abrupt change in an aircraft’s attitude, an abnormal attitude, or abnormal acceleration, not necessary for normal flight.

Flight test areas.
No person may flight test an aircraft except over open water, or sparsely populated areas, having light air traffic.

Packed within the preceding 180 days, if its canopy, shrouds, and harness are composed exclusively of nylon, rayon, or other similar synthetic fiber or materials that are substantially resistant to damage from mold, mildew, or other fungi and other rotting agents propagated in a moist environment; or

Packed within the preceding 60 days, if any part of the parachute is composed of silk, pongee, or other natural fiber or materials not specified above.

Unless wearing a parachute, may not execute any intentional maneuver that exceeds a bank of 60 degrees relative to the horizon; or a nose-up or nose-down attitude of 30 degrees relative to the horizon.

Part 61 Subpart A: Prep for the CFI or AGI Knowledge Test and Checkride

October 9th, 2018

The Knowledge Test covers regulations and you will be asked about them in the oral portion of the checkride. Some of the stuff is common knowledge if you have passed a bunch of checkrides, but some of it you won’t remember after the test. This is my cheat sheet for the exams.

Complex airplane means an airplane that has a retractable landing gear, flaps, and a controllable pitch propeller, including airplanes equipped with an engine control system consisting of a digital computer and associated accessories for controlling the engine and propeller, such as a full authority digital engine control.

Cross-country time includes a point of landing that was at least a straight-line distance of more than 50 nautical miles from the original point of departure; sport pilot certificate—more than 25nm; powered parachute privileges or a private pilot certificate with a powered parachute category rating—more than 15nm; rotorcraft 25nm.

Pilot time means that time in which a person—Serves as a required pilot flight crewmember, so this includes safety pilot; Receives training from an authorized instructor or gives training as an authorized instructor in an aircraft, full flight simulator, flight training device, or aviation training device.

Required Documents
Photo Identification
Pilot Certificate
Medical certificate—Except not required for glider category rating, a balloon class rating, or glider or balloon privileges;
U.S. driver’s license for sport pilot certificate, weight-shift-control aircraft category rating, or a powered parachute category.
May not use a driver’s license for sport pilot if a medical has been denied.

CFI Required Documents
Photo Identification
Pilot Certificate
Flight Instructor Certificate if conducting training
Medical Certificate if a required crewmember (e.g Private Pilot training, IFR training, BFR with pilot whose BFR is expired)

Flight Instructor may—
Give training required to qualify a person for solo flight and solo cross-country flight;
Endorse an applicant for a—
  Pilot certificate or rating issued under this part
  Flight instructor certificate or rating issued under this part
  Ground instructor certificate or rating issued under this part
    Although Ground Instructor doesn’t require endorsements unless you fail a knowledge test.
Endorse a pilot logbook to show training given
Endorse a logbook for solo operating privileges
Ground instructor may do all of these except endorse for solo. [However, the student’s authorized instructor must administer the pre-solo test.]

Instrument Rating
No person may act as pilot in command of a civil aircraft under IFR or in weather conditions less than the minimums prescribed for VFR flight unless that person holds the appropriate aircraft category, class, type (if required), and instrument rating on that person’s pilot certificate for any airplane, helicopter, or powered-lift being flown (or an ATP certificate for the category, class, and type).

For a glider, a pilot certificate with a glider category rating and an airplane instrument rating; or
For an airship, a commercial pilot certificate with a lighter-than-air category rating and airship class rating.

Student pilot, Sport pilot, Recreational pilot, Private pilot, Commercial pilot, Airline transport pilot, Flight instructor, Ground instructor

Aircraft category ratings
Airplane, Rotorcraft, Glider, Lighter-than-air, Powered-lift, Powered parachute, Weight-shift-control.

Class Ratings
Airplane—Single-engine land, Multiengine land, Single-engine sea, Multiengine sea.
Rotorcraft—Helicopter, Gyroplane.
Lighter-than-air—Airship, Balloon.
Weight-shift-control aircraft—Weight-shift-control aircraft land, Weight-shift-control aircraft sea.
Powered parachute— Powered parachute land, Powered parachute sea.
Aircraft type ratings— Large aircraft other than lighter-than-air, Turbojet-powered airplanes, Other aircraft type ratings specified by the Administrator through the aircraft type certification procedures.

Instrument ratings apply to private and commercial pilot certificates only. ATP has privileges but not rating.
Instrument—Airplane, Instrument—Helicopter, Instrument—Powered-lift.

Flight Instructor Certificate Ratings
Aircraft category—Airplane, Rotorcraft, Glider, Powered-lift.
Airplane class— Single-engine, Multiengine.
Rotorcraft class— Helicopter, Gyroplane.
Instrument— Instrument—Airplane, Instrument—Helicopter, Instrument—Powered-lift.
Sport pilot.

Ground Instructor Certificate Ratings
Basic, Advanced, Instrument

Suspension or revocation.
Suspension—may not apply for any certificate, rating, or authorization during the period of suspension.
Revoked—may not apply for any certificate, rating, or authorization for 1 year after the date of revocation.

Drugs and Alcohol
A conviction for the violation of any Federal or State statute relating to the growing, processing, manufacture, sale, disposition, possession, transportation, or importation of narcotic drugs, marijuana, or depressant or stimulant drugs or substances is grounds for denial or suspension.

Provide a written report of each motor vehicle action to the FAA not later than 60 days after the motor vehicle action.

Light Sport Medical
U.S. driver’s license and comply with each restriction and limitation.
Have been found eligible for the issuance of at least a third-class airman medical certificate at the time of his or her most recent application (if the person has applied for a medical certificate and not have had his or her most recently issued medical certificate (if the person has held a medical certificate) suspended or revoked or most recent Authorization for a Special Issuance of a Medical Certificate withdrawn.

Not know or have reason to know of any medical condition that would make that person unable to operate a light-sport aircraft in a safe manner.

Basic Med
At any point after July 14, 2006, have held a medical certificate.
Complete the medical education course during the previous 24 months.
Receive a comprehensive medical examination from a State-licensed physician during the previous 48 months.
Most recently issued medical certificate— May include an authorization for special issuance; may be expired; and cannot have been suspended or revoked.

Acting as PIC
To serve as the pilot in command of an aircraft, a person must hold the appropriate category, class, and type rating (if a class or type rating is required) for the aircraft to be flown; or received training and an endorsement for solo flight in that aircraft from an authorized instructor.

Endorsements require that the pilot has received and logged ground and flight training and received a one-time endorsement in the pilot’s logbook.
Complex airplane, high performance airplane, pressurized aircraft (an aircraft that has a service ceiling or maximum operating altitude, whichever is lower, above 25,000 feet MSL), tailwheel airplanes.
Glider: ground-tow procedures, aerotow procedures, self-launch procedures.
Night vision goggle operations

Prerequisites for practical tests.
Knowledge test in past 24 months.
Received and logged 3 hours of training time within 2 calendar months preceding the month of application in preparation for the practical test.
Hold at least a third-class medical certificate (or Basic Med), if a medical certificate is required.
  Student Pilots – 16 years of age for other than the operation of a glider or balloon.
  Student Pilots – 14 years of age for the operation of a glider or balloon.
  Private Pilot — 17
  Recreational Pilots – 17
  Sport Pilot – 17 years old (or 16 years old if you are applying to operate a glider or balloon).
  Commercial Pilot – 18
  Flight Instructor – 18
  Ground Instructor – 18
  ATP – 23 (21 if bachelors degree from 141 school)

Practical tests: Required aircraft and equipment.
Is of the category, class, and type, if applicable, for which the applicant is applying for a certificate or rating and has a standard airworthiness certificate or special airworthiness certificate in the limited, primary, or light-sport category.

An aircraft used for a practical test must have the equipment for each area of operation required for the practical test. No prescribed operating limitations that prohibit its use in any of the areas of operation required for the practical test. At least two pilot stations with adequate visibility for each person to operate the aircraft safely.

An aircraft used for a practical test must have engine power controls and flight controls that are easily reached and operable in a conventional manner by both pilots.

An examiner may waive some of these requirements see §61.45 for details.

Cheating on Knowledge Test
An applicant who the Administrator finds has committed an act prohibited by paragraph (a) of this section is prohibited, for 1 year after the date of committing that act, from applying for any certificate, rating, or authorization issued under this chapter; and applying for and taking any test under this chapter.

Retesting after failure.
An applicant for a knowledge or practical test who fails that test may reapply for the test only after the applicant has received the necessary training from an authorized instructor who has determined that the applicant is proficient to pass the test and an endorsement from an authorized instructor who gave the applicant the additional training.

An applicant for a flight instructor certificate with an airplane category rating or a glider category rating, who has failed the practical test due to deficiencies in instructional proficiency on stall awareness, spin entry, spins, or spin recovery must receive additional training and bring an aircraft to the retest that is certificated for spins and demonstrate satisfactory instructional proficiency on stall awareness, spin entry, spins, and spin recovery to an examiner during the retest.

Logging PIC Time—CFI
A certificated flight instructor may log pilot in command flight time for all flight time while serving as the authorized instructor in an operation if the instructor is rated to act as pilot in command of that aircraft. Or gives training as an authorized instructor in an aircraft, full flight simulator, flight training device, or aviation training device.

An authorized instructor may log instrument time when conducting instrument flight instruction in actual instrument flight conditions.

Logging training time
A person may log training time when that person receives training from an authorized instructor in an aircraft, full flight simulator, flight training device, or aviation training device.

Operations that require a medical certificate
No person who holds a medical certificate issued under part 67 of this chapter may act as pilot in command, or in any other capacity as a required pilot flight crewmember, while that person knows or has reason to know of any medical condition that would make the person unable to meet the requirements for the medical certificate necessary for the pilot operation or is taking medication or receiving other treatment for a medical condition that results in the person being unable to meet the requirements for the medical certificate necessary for the pilot operation.

Operations that do not require a medical certificate.
A person shall not act as pilot in command, or in any other capacity as a required pilot flight crewmember, while that person knows or has reason to know of any medical condition that would make the person unable to operate the aircraft in a safe manner.

Flight review.
Required every 24 months unless passed a pilot proficiency check or practical test for a pilot certificate, rating, or operating privilege. Or passed a practical test conducted by an examiner for the issuance of a flight instructor certificate, an additional rating on a flight instructor certificate, renewal of a flight instructor certificate, or reinstatement of a flight instructor certificate (and a few other cases).

A flight review consists of a minimum of 1 hour of flight training and 1 hour of ground training. The review must include: a review of the current general operating and flight rules of part 91 of this chapter; and a review of those maneuvers and procedures that, at the discretion of the person giving the review, are necessary for the pilot to demonstrate the safe exercise of the privileges of the pilot certificate.

Recent flight experience: Pilot in command.
No person may act as a pilot in command of an aircraft carrying passengers or of an aircraft certificated for more than one pilot flight crewmember unless that person has made at least three takeoffs and three landings within the preceding 90 days, and— (i) The person acted as the sole manipulator of the flight controls; and (ii) The required takeoffs and landings were performed in an aircraft of the same category, class, and type (if a type rating is required), and, if the aircraft to be flown is an airplane with a tailwheel, the takeoffs and landings must have been made to a full stop in an airplane with a tailwheel.

Night currency is the same except that the landings must be to a full stop.

Within the 6 calendar months preceding the month of the flight, that person performed and logged at least the following tasks and iterations in an airplane, powered-lift, helicopter, or airship, as appropriate, for the instrument rating privileges to be maintained in actual weather conditions, or under simulated conditions using a view-limiting device that involves having performed the following— (i) Six instrument approaches. (ii) Holding procedures and tasks. (iii) Intercepting and tracking courses through the use of navigational electronic systems.

A person may use time in a full flight simulator, flight training device, or aviation training device for satisfying instrument recency experience requirements provided a logbook or training record is maintained to specify the training device, time, and the content.

A person who has failed to meet the instrument experience requirements of this section for more than six calendar months may reestablish instrument currency only by completing an instrument proficiency check.

Change of address
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.

Logging Time
A pilot is only required to log time required to establish recent flight experience and to qualify for a certificate, rating, or endorsement.

Proposal for the FAA Fundamentals of Instruction Knowledge Test

October 4th, 2018

The Fundamentals of Instruction Knowledge Test is based (according to the FAA) entirely on one document, Aviation Instructor’s Handbook FAA-H-8083-9A. I read it twice and took notes then tried answering questions from the test at King Schools. I scored really poorly on the practice tests. Most of the questions I got wrong—and lots of the ones I got right, had two answers that as far as I could tell, were equally correct. Here’s an example:

In developing a lesson, the instructor should organize explanations and demonstrations to help the student
 A.  achieve the desired learning outcome.
 B.  acquire a thorough understanding of the material presented.
 C.  acquire new concepts, generally progressing from the known to the unknown.

All three of these are correct, but you are supposed to pick the one the is, in their words, more correct.

Here’s another one where you need to guess which answer the test writer was thinking of:

Which is one of the major difficulties encountered in the construction of multiple-choice test items?
 B.  Keeping all responses approximately equal in length.
 C.  Inventing distractors which will be attractive to students lacking knowledge or understanding.

What’s ironic about this one is that one of the things they mention in discussing the difficulties of writing test questions is that often the correct answer is longer than the others. And in this case both ASA and Gleim agree that C is the correct answer.

Here’s one where the “correct” answer is wrong, but you need to memorize it anyway.

An advantage of e-learning includes
A. higher levels of mastery and retention. 
B. The instructor need not be actively involved with the student when using a form of e-learning.

I purchased the Gleim book and after studying the questions and answers I can consistently get 95-100% on the tests.

I wonder if anyone at the big schools would be interested in doing an experiment to test whether the Knowledge Tests are a test of knowledge or of test taking ability. There should be three groups. One group of aspiring CFIs who have their Instrument and Commercial ratings, but have not studied for the FOI test. One group who have studied the book and/or taken a course in the material, and one group that has exclusively studied one of the test prep books/courses.

I’m guessing that the test prep folks score in the 90s, the ones who read the material and the ones who haven’t read the book score about the same somewhere in the 70s. I have been taking the practice tests and scoring 90% or 100%. I just took the test and scored 84% (I usually score 94-98% on FAA tests). There were a couple of questions that I had never seen before but they were close to ones that I had studied. There were two questions that I had no idea what they were asking but I was confident that I had the correct answer on all the rest. When I reviewed the questions I got wrong, I couldn’t tell why my answers were incorrect.

Aviation Instructor’s Handbook FAA-H-8083-9A: Knowledge Test

October 1st, 2018

A major problem that I have with the FAA knowledge tests is that they often have multiple correct answers (or in the case of questions related to flight planning—no correct answer). Knowing which answer is correct often hinges on deciphering what was in the mind of the person who wrote the question or remembering which word was used in a list of items when the answers are all synonyms. These are some of the questions that I have to just memorize the answers to.

You can practice taking the test at:
King Schools

The learning process may include verbal elements, conceptual elements, perceptual elements, emotional elements, and problem-solving elements all taking place at once. p. 2-17

Which factor affecting perceptions is based on the effectiveness of a properly planned training syllabus?
Time and opportunity.
A perception factor in which learning something is dependent on the student having the time to sense and relate current experiences in context with previous events. p. G-7

Factors That Affect Perception
• Physical organism
• Goals and values
• Self-concept
• Time and opportunity
• Element of threat

Which principle of learning creates a strong impression? You would think it would be intensity, since the definition literally matches the question—the quality of being extreme in degree; excessive. But it is primacy. They claim, without providing any evidence, that Primacy, the state of being first, often creates a strong, almost unshakable impression and underlies the reason an instructor must teach correctly the first time and the student must learn correctly the first time. p. 2-11

Integrated flight instruction is flight instruction during which students are taught to perform flight maneuvers both by outside visual references and by reference to flight instruments. p. 8-10 However, the answer to a question of integrated flight instruction is the student develops the habit of looking for other traffic, which is true but not mentioned in relation to this topic.

In the lecture method, the instructor delivers his knowledge via lectures to students who are more or less silent participants. Lectures are best used when an instructor wishes to convey a general understanding of a subject that students lack. Lectures are used for introduction of new subjects, summarizing ideas, showing relationships between theory and practice, and reemphasizing main points. p. 4-10
One advantage of a lecture is? Excellent when additional research is required. Why Gleim thinks this is the correct answer rather than Allows for maximum attainment of certain types of learning outcomes. is a mystery to me. Exams4Pilots agrees with me that the answer is Uses time economically.

The more effective way for an instructor to properly motivate students: Positive motivation is provided by the promise or achievement of rewards.

Responses that create a pleasurable return are called praise. I have no idea what this even means, but it is apparently the answer.

This question hinges on their definition of prepare.
The best way to prepare a student to perform a task is to: explain the purpose of the task, provide a clear step-by-step example. In my mind, you prepare someone before you start the task. Providing an example comes after preparing them.

When students are unable to see the benefits or purpose of a lesson, they will be less motivated. No idea why this is correct and not learn as quickly isn’t. I get this wrong every time it comes up.

Drops in motivation appear in several different ways. During these times, it is often helpful to remind students of their own stated goals for seeking aviation training.

Success in reducing stress associated with a crisis on the flight deck begins with assessing stress areas in one’s personal life. This isn’t mentioned anywhere in the book and the other answers make at least as much sense as this one.

I hate most of the acronyms that you need to memorize, this one in particular since it doesn’t show up in the FOI book. It is in AC60-22 Aeronautical Decision Making and FAA-G-8082-22 Remote Pilot Study Guide, and FAA-H-8083-25B Pilots Handbook of Aeronautical Knowledge.

1. Detect The decision maker detects the fact that change has occurred.
2. Estimate The decision maker estimates the need to counter or react to the change.
3. Choose The decision maker chooses a desirable outcome (in terms of success for the flight).
4. Identify The decision maker identifies actions which could successfully control the change.
5. Do The decision maker takes the necessary action.
6. Evaluate The decision maker evaluate the effect(s) of his action countering the change.

In evaluating student demonstrations of piloting ability, it is important for the flight instructor to keep the student informed of progress. The key word is evaluating. While the student is performing the instructor should remain silent and observe.

There is a question on five responsibilities. All of them are correct but they want:
Helping students learn, providing adequate instruction, demanding adequate standards of performance, emphasizing the positive, and ensuring aviation safety.

Aviation Instructor Responsibilities

Helping Students Learn
Providing Adequate Instruction
Training to Standards of Performance
Emphasizing the Positive
Minimizing Student Frustrations
Motivate students
Keep students informed
Approach students as individuals
Give credit when due
Criticize constructively
Be consistent
Admit errors

Here’s another one where they use synonyms and you need to memorize the word they use.

The three types of problem-based learning instruction are: Scenario-based training, the collaborative problem-solving method, and the case study method.

An effective scenario should not promote errors.

The e-learning answer is wrong, but memorize it anyway. The whole point of e-learning is that it does not require active involvement of the instructor and can be done on the student’s timeframe and schedule. Whether it results in higher levels of mastery is an open question—but I doubt it.
An advantage of e-learning includes higher levels of mastery and retention. The instructor need not be actively involved with the student when using a form of e-learning.

Asking students about problems or decisions that test the limits of their knowledge is an effective method to help students acquire knowledge.

The main concern in developing a lesson plan is the student.

A primary consideration in planning for student performance is the length of the practice session. This is one of the questions where none of the answers is correct, but this is what they want.

Instructional aids should be designed to cover the key points in a lesson.

A fact question would be answered based on memory or recall. It is characterized by rote learning but that is not a type of question.

There are only two types of learning transfer: Positive and Negative.

In the communication process, the communicator will be more successful in gaining and retaining the receiver’s attention by
being friendly and informative. using a varied communicative approach.

When students display the defense mechanism called aggression, they become visibly angry, upset, and childish. may refuse to participate in class activities. This isn’t one of the defense mechanisms, so I have no idea why this is a question, let alone why this is the answer.

Simulated complete loss of engine power by closing the throttle and announcing “simulated engine failure” is Correlation.

The proper sequence for the subparts of an introduction is attention, motivation, and overview.

Which method of presentation is desirable for teaching a skill such as ground school lesson on the flight computer?

Which is one of the major difficulties encountered in the construction of multiple-choice test items? Keeping all responses approximately equal in length. Inventing distractors which will be attractive to students lacking knowledge or understanding. The book clearly states that “Research of instructor-made tests reveals that, in general, correct alternatives are longer than incorrect ones.” p. B4 so I don’t know why that isn’t the answer.

The educational objective level of the psychomotor domain at which a student’s skill demonstrates new movement patterns and creativity is origination.

When teaching new material, the teaching process can be divided into which steps? Preparation, presentation, application, and review and evaluation.

Weather Conditions for Takeoff

September 26th, 2018

There are two FARs that govern takeoff. The first is §91.155 and quite clearly states that no one may take off under VFR (except at Class G airports) if the ceiling is less than 1,000′. You could ask for a Special VFR, but you might have to wait for IFR traffic to land and take off since they have priority. You won’t get it at Class B—in fact many (most?) have a notation on the chart saying that it is not allowed.

The second FAR is §91.175 (f) governs visibility in IFR operations and does not apply to Part 91 operations (which I assume most readers of this post are).

So assuming you want to depart VFR, you would need 1,000′ ceiling to depart, except for an airport in Class G airspace where the takeoff and landing require the same weather conditions as the airspace—1 mile visibility and clear of clouds. If you want to depart IFR, you can do so with 0 ceiling and 0 visibility. (Subject to any conditions in the Obstacle Departure Procedure §91.175 (f)(3)).

§91.155 Basic VFR weather minimums.

(c) Except as provided in §91.157, no person may operate an aircraft beneath the ceiling under VFR within the lateral boundaries of controlled airspace designated to the surface for an airport when the ceiling is less than 1,000 feet.

(d) Except as provided in §91.157 of this part [Special VFR—which you won’t get at a Class B airport], no person may take off or land an aircraft, or enter the traffic pattern of an airport, under VFR, within the lateral boundaries of the surface areas of Class B, Class C, Class D, or Class E airspace designated for an airport—

(1) Unless ground visibility at that airport is at least 3 statute miles; or

(2) If ground visibility is not reported at that airport, unless flight visibility during landing or takeoff, or while operating in the traffic pattern is at least 3 statute miles.

(e) For the purpose of this section, an aircraft operating at the base altitude of a Class E airspace area is considered to be within the airspace directly below that area.

§91.175 Takeoff and landing under IFR.

(f) Civil airport takeoff minimums. This paragraph applies to persons operating an aircraft under part 121, 125, 129, or 135 of this chapter.

(1) Unless otherwise authorized by the FAA, no pilot may takeoff from a civil airport under IFR unless the weather conditions at time of takeoff are at or above the weather minimums for IFR takeoff prescribed for that airport under part 97 of this chapter.

(2) If takeoff weather minimums are not prescribed under part 97 of this chapter for a particular airport, the following weather minimums apply to takeoffs under IFR:

(i) For aircraft, other than helicopters, having two engines or less—1 statute mile visibility.

(ii) For aircraft having more than two engines— 1⁄2 statute mile visibility.

(iii) For helicopters— 1⁄2 statute mile visibility.

(3) Except as provided in paragraph (f)(4) of this section, no pilot may takeoff under IFR from a civil airport having published obstacle departure procedures (ODPs) under part 97 of this chapter for the takeoff runway to be used, unless the pilot uses such ODPs or an alternative procedure or route assigned by air traffic control.

Aviation Instructor’s Handbook FAA-H-8083-9A: Lists

September 20th, 2018

The Fundamentals of Instruction test assumes that you have memorized a bunch of lists. Here are some of them.

Maslow’s Hierarchy

These are biological needs. They consist of the need for air, food, water, and maintenance of the human body.

Security needs are about keeping oneself from harm.

Maslow states that people seek to overcome feelings of loneliness and alienation. This involves both giving and receiving love, affection, and the sense of belonging.

Humans get esteem in two ways: internally or externally. Internally, a person judges himself or herself worthy by personally defined standards. High self-esteem results in self-confidence, independence, achievement, competence, and knowledge.

Cognitive and Aesthetic
In later years, Maslow added cognitive (need to know and understand) and aesthetic (the emotional need of the artist) needs to the pyramid.

When all of the foregoing needs are satisfied, then and only then are the needs for self-actualization activated. Maslow describes self-actualization as a person’s need to be and do that which the person was “born to do.”

Human Nature and Motivation

Douglas McGregor set out two opposing assumptions about human nature and motivation in 1960.
“Theory X” assumes that management’s role is to coerce and control employees because people need control and direction.

“Theory Y” and holds that work is as natural as play and rest. The average person does not inherently dislike work.

Defense Mechanisms

Repression is the defense mechanism whereby a person places uncomfortable thoughts into inaccessible areas of the unconscious mind.

Denial is a refusal to accept external reality because it is too threatening.

Compensation is a process of psychologically counterbalancing perceived weaknesses by emphasizing strength in other areas.

Through projection, an individual places his or her own unacceptable impulses onto someone else.

Rationalization is a subconscious technique for justifying actions that otherwise would be unacceptable.

In reaction formation a person fakes a belief opposite to the true belief because the true belief causes anxiety.

Fantasy occurs when a student engages in daydreams about how things should be rather than doing anything about how things are.

Displacement results in an unconscious shift of emotion, affect, or desire from the original object to a more acceptable, less threatening substitute.

Thorndike and the Laws Principles of Learning

The basic needs of the learner must be satisfied before they are ready or capable of learning.

All learning involves the formation of connections and connections are strengthened or weakened according to the law of effect. Responses to a situation that are followed by satisfaction are strengthened; responses followed by discomfort are weakened, either strengthening or weakening the connection of learning.

Practice strengthens the learning connection; disuse weakens it. Exercise is most meaningful and effective when a skill is learned within the context of a real world application.

The state of being first, often creates a strong, almost unshakable impression and underlies the reason an instructor must teach correctly the first time and the student must learn correctly the first time.

Real world applications (scenarios) that integrate procedures and tasks the learner is capable of learning make a vivid impression and he or she is least likely to forget the experience.

The principle of recency states that things most recently learned are best remembered.

The principle of freedom states that things freely learned are best learned.

The law of requirement states that “we must have something to obtain or do something.” It can be an ability, skill, instrument or anything that may help us to learn or gain something.

Domains of Learning

Cognitive Domain
The four practical learning levels are rote, understanding, application, and correlation.

Affective Domain
The affective domain addresses a learner’s emotions toward the learning experience. It includes feelings, values, enthusiasms, motivations, and attitudes.
Five levels: awareness, response, value, organizing, and integration.

Psychomotor Domain
The psychomotor domain is skill based and includes physical movement, coordination, and use of the motor-skill areas.

Characteristics of Learning

A Result of Experience
Active Process

Learning Is Multifaceted

The learning process may include verbal elements, conceptual elements, perceptual elements, emotional elements, and problem-solving elements all taking place at once.

Stages of Skill Acquisition

Cognitive Stage
The best way to prepare the student to perform a task is to provide a clear, step-by-step example.

Associative Stage
As the storage of a skill via practice continues, the student learns to associate individual steps in performance with likely outcomes.

Automatic Response Stage
As procedures become automatic, less attention is required to carry them out, so it is possible to do other things simultaneously, or at least do other things more comfortably.

Types of Practice

Deliberate Practice
Practices specific areas for improvement and receives specific feedback after practice.

Blocked Practice
Practicing the same drill until the movement becomes automatic. While blocked practice enhances current performance, it does not improve either concept learning or retrieval from long-term memory.

Random Practice
Random practice mixes up the skills to be acquired throughout the practice session.

Summary of Instructor Actions

To help students acquire skills, the instructor should:
• Explain that the key to acquiring and improving any skill is continued practice.
• Monitor student practice of skills and provide immediate feedback.
• Avoid conversation and other distractions when students are practicing individual skills.
• Explain that learning plateaus are common and that continued practice leads to continued improvement.

Reducing Error

Learning and Practicing
Taking Time
Checking for Errors
Using Reminders
Developing Routines
Raising Awareness

Basic Elements of Communication

Source (sender, speaker, writer, encoder, transmitter, or instructor)
Symbols used in composing and transmitting the message (words or signs (model prop))
Receiver (listener, reader, decoder, or student)

Barriers to Effective Communication

Lack of Common Experience
Confusion Between the Symbol and the Symbolized Object
Overuse of Abstractions

Essence of Good Teaching

Good teachers:
select and organize worthwhile course material,
lead students to encode and integrate this material in memorable form,
ensure competence in the procedures and methods of a discipline,
sustain intellectual curiosity,
promote how to learn independently.

Instructor’s Code of Conduct

• Make safety the number one priority,
• Develop and exercise good judgment in making decisions,
• Recognize and manage risk effectively,
• Be accountable for his or her actions,
• Act with responsibility and courtesy,
• Adhere to prudent operating practices and personal operating parameters, and
• Adhere to applicable laws and regulations.

The Certificated Flight Instructor (CFI) needs to remember he or she is teaching a pilot who should:
• Seek proficiency in control of the aircraft,
• Use flight deck technology in a safe and appropriate way,
• Be confident in a wide variety of flight situations, and
• Be respectful of the privilege of flight.

Teaching Process


Preparation of a Lesson

Performance-based objectives
Description of the Skill or Behavior

Presentation of a Lesson

• attention
• motivation
• an overview of what is to be covered.
past to present
simple to complex
known to unknown
most frequently used to least used.

Training Delivery Methods

Lecture Method
Teaching Lecture
Formal Versus Informal Lectures
Discussion Method
Guided Discussion Method

Problem-Based Learning

• Relate to the real world so students want to solve them.
• Require students to make decisions.
• Are open ended and not limited to one correct answer.
• Are connected to previously learned knowledge as well as new knowledge.
• Reflect lesson objective(s).
• Challenge students to think critically.

Teaching Higher Order Thinking Skills (HOTS)
Risk management, ADM, automation management, situational awareness, and Controlled Flight into Terrain (CFIT) awareness are the skills encompassed by HOTS.

Types of Problem-Based Instruction

Scenario-Based Training Method (SBT)
Collaborative Problem-Solving Method
Case Study Method

Demonstration-Performance Method

• Explanation
• Demonstration
• Student Performance
• Instructor Supervision
• Evaluation

Drill and Practice Method

Guidelines for Use of Instructional Aids

• Clearly establish the lesson objective.
• Gather the necessary data by researching for support material.
• Organize the material into an outline or a lesson plan.
• Select the ideas to be supported with instructional aids.

Assessment Terminology

Traditional assessment
Authentic assessment
Diagnostic assessments
Formative assessments
Summative assessments

General Characteristics of Effective Assessment


Traditional Assessment


Collaborative Assessment


Maneuver or Procedure “Grades”

Describe—the student is able to describe the physical characteristics and cognitive elements of the scenario activities, but needs assistance to execute the maneuver or procedure successfully.
Explain—the student is able to describe the scenario activity and understand the underlying concepts, principles, and procedures that comprise the activity, but needs assistance to execute the maneuver or procedure successfully.
Practice—the student is able to plan and execute the scenario. Coaching, instruction, and/or assistance will correct deviations and errors identified by the instructor.
Perform—the student is able to perform the activity without instructor assistance. The student will identify and correct errors and deviations in an expeditious manner. At no time will the successful completion of the activity be in doubt.
Not observed—any event not accomplished or required.

Single-Pilot Resource Management (SRM) “Grades”

Explain—the student can verbally identify, describe, and understand the risks inherent in the flight scenario, but needs to be prompted to identify risks and make decisions.
Practice—the student is able to identify, understand, and apply SRM principles to the actual flight situation. Coaching, instruction, and/or assistance quickly corrects minor deviations and errors identified by the instructor. The student is an active decision maker.
Manage-Decide—the student can correctly gather the most important data available both inside and outside the flight deck, identify possible courses of action, evaluate the risk inherent in each course of action, and make the appropriate decision. Instructor intervention is not required for the safe completion of the flight.

Choosing an Effective Assessment Method

• Determine level-of-learning objectives.
• List indicators of desired behaviors.
• Establish criterion objectives.
• Develop criterion-referenced test items.

Critiques and Oral Assessments

An effective critique considers good as well as bad performance, the individual parts, relationships of the individual parts, and the overall performance.

Instructor/Student Critique
Student-Led Critique
Small Group Critique
Individual Student Critique by Another Student
Written Critique
Oral Assessment

Characteristics of Effective Questions

• Apply to the subject of instruction.
• Be brief and concise, but also clear and definite.
• Be adapted to the ability, experience, and stage of training of the students.
• Center on only one idea (limited to who, what, when, where, how, or why, not a combination).
• Present a challenge to the students.

Answering Student Questions

• Be sure that you clearly understand the question before attempting to answer.
• Display interest in the student’s question and frame an answer that is as direct and accurate as possible.
• After responding, determine whether or not the student is satisfied with the answer.

Characteristics of a Well-Planned Lesson

After the objective is determined, the instructor must research the subject as it is defined by the objective. Once the research is complete, the instructor determines the method of instruction and identifies a useful lesson planning format. The decision of how to organize the lesson and the selection of suitable support material come next. The final steps include assembling training aids and writing the lesson plan outline. [Exam questions.]

Relation to course of training
Instructional steps-every lesson, when adequately developed, falls logically into the four steps of the teaching process: preparation, presentation, application, and review and evaluation.

Duties, Responsibilities, and Authority of the Aviation Instructor

1. Orient new learners to the SBT approach.
2. Help the learner become a confident planner and a critical evaluator of his or her own performance.
3. Help the learner understand the knowledge requirements present in real world applications.
4. Diagnose learning difficulties and help the individual overcome them.
5. Evaluate student progress and maintain appropriate records.
6. Provide continuous review of student learning.

Aviation Instructor Responsibilities

Helping Students Learn
Providing Adequate Instruction
Training to Standards of Performance
Emphasizing the Positive
Minimizing Student Frustrations
Motivate students
Keep students informed
Approach students as individuals
Give credit when due
Criticize constructively
Be consistent
Admit errors


Acceptance of the Student
Personal Appearance and Habits
Proper Language

Practical Flight Instructor Strategies

The flight instructor should demonstrate good aviation sense at all times:
• Before the flight—discuss safety and the importance of a proper preflight and use of the checklist.
• During flight—prioritize the tasks of aviating, navigating, and communicating. Instill importance of “see and avoid” in the student.
• During landing—conduct stabilized approaches, maintain desired airspeed on final, demonstrate good judgment for go-arounds, wake turbulence, traffic, and terrain avoidance. Use ADM to correct faulty approaches and landing errors. Make power-off, stall-warning blaring, on centerline touchdowns in the first third of runway.
• Always—remember safety is paramount.

Obstacles to Learning During Flight Instruction

• Feeling of unfair treatment
• Impatience to proceed to more interesting operations
• Worry or lack of interest
• Physical discomfort, illness, fatigue, and dehydration
• Apathy due to inadequate instruction
• Anxiety

Acute fatigue

• Inattention
• Distractibility
• Errors in timing
• Neglect of secondary tasks
• Loss of accuracy and control
• Lack of awareness of error accumulation
• Irritability

Chronic fatigue

Physiological problems
Psychological issues

Warning Signs of Fatigue

Eyes going in and out of focus
Head bobs involuntarily
Persistent yawning
Spotty short-term memory
Wandering or poorly organized thoughts
Missed or erroneous performance of routine procedures
Degradation of control accuracy

Demonstration-Performance Training Delivery Method

Explanation Phase
Demonstration Phase
Student Performance and Instructor Supervision Phases
Evaluation Phase

The Telling-and-Doing Technique

• The flight instructor gives a carefully planned demonstration of the procedure or maneuver with accompanying verbal explanation.
• Student Tells—Instructor Does
• Student Tells—Student Does

Recognizing Hazardous Attitudes

Attitude: “Description” -> Antidote
Macho: “I can do it.” -> Taking chances is foolish.
Anti-authority” “Don’t tell me.” -> Follow the rules. They are usually right.
Impulsivity: “Do it quickly.” -> Not so fast. Think first.
Invulnerability: “It won’t happen to me.” -> It could happen to me.
Resignation: “What’s the use?” -> I’m not helpless. I can make a difference.

Defining Risk Management

Risk is defined as the probability and possible severity of accident or loss from exposure to various hazards, including injury to people and loss of resources.

Hazard—a present condition, event, object, or circumstance that could lead to or contribute to an unplanned or undesired event, such as an accident.
Risk—the future impact of a hazard that is not controlled or eliminated. It is the possibility of loss or injury. The level of risk is measured by the number of people or resources affected (exposure); the extent of possible loss (severity); and likelihood of loss (probability).
Safety—freedom from those conditions that can cause death, injury, occupational illness, or damage to or loss of equipment or property, or damage to the environment. Therefore, safety is a relative term that implies a level of risk that is both perceived and accepted.

Principles of Risk Management

Accept No Unnecessary Risk
Make Risk Decisions at the Appropriate Level
Accept Risk When Benefits Outweigh the Costs
Integrate Risk Management Into Planning at All Levels

Risk Management Process

Risk management is a simple process which identifies operational hazards and takes reasonable measures to reduce risk to personnel, equipment, and the mission.

Step 1: Identify the Hazard
Step 2: Assess the Risk
Step 3: Analyze Risk Control Measures
1. Probability of occurrence
2. Severity of the hazard
Step 4: Make Control Decisions
Step 5: Implement Risk Controls
Step 6: Supervise and Review

Implementing the Risk Management Process

• Apply the steps in sequence—each step is a building block for the next
• Allocate the time and resources to perform all steps in the process.
• Apply the process in a cycle—the “supervise and review” step should include a brand new look at the operation being analyzed to see whether new hazards can be identified.
• Involve people in the process—the people who are actually exposed to risks usually know best what works and what does not.

Level of Risk

The level of risk posed by a given hazard is measured in terms of:
• Severity (extent of possible loss)
• Probability (likelihood that a hazard will cause a loss)

IMSAFE Checklist

1. Illness—Am I sick? Illness is an obvious pilot risk.
2. Medication—Am I taking any medicines that might affect my judgment or make me drowsy?
3. Stress—Stress causes concentration and performance problems. While the regulations list medical conditions that require grounding, stress is not among them.
4. Alcohol—Have I been drinking within 8 hours? Within 24 hours?
5. Fatigue—Am I tired and not adequately rested? Fatigue continues to be one of the most insidious hazards to flight safety, as it may not be apparent to a pilot until serious errors are made.
6. Emotions-A pilot who experiences an emotionally upsetting event should refrain from flying until the pilot has satisfactorily recovered.

The PAVE Checklist

Pilot in command (PIC), Aircraft, enVironment, and External pressures

Three-P Model for Pilots

Risk management is a decision-making process designed to perceive hazards systematically, assess the degree of risk associated with a hazard, and determine the best course of action.

• Perceives the given set of circumstances for a flight.
• Processes by evaluating the impact of those circumstances on flight safety.
• Performs by implementing the best course of action.

SRM and the 5P Check

• The Plan
• The Plane
• The Pilot,
• The Passengers
• The Programming

Teaching Decision-Making Skills

It is also important for the flight instructor to remember that a good scenario:
• Is not a test.
• Will not have a single correct answer.
• Does not offer an obvious answer.
• Engages all three learning domains.
• Is interactive.
• Should not promote errors.
• Should promote situational awareness and opportunities for decision-making.
• Requires time-pressured decisions.

Aviation Instructor’s Handbook FAA-H-8083-9A: Glossary

September 19th, 2018

I’ve highlighted the definitions that are on the test and/or that I have trouble remembering.

Abstractions.  Words that are general rather than specific. Aircraft is an abstraction; airplane is less abstract; jet is more specific; and jet airliner is still more specific.

Aeronautical decision-making (ADM).  A systematic approach to the mental process used by aircraft pilots to consistently determine the best course of action in response to a given set of circumstances.

Affective domain.  A grouping of levels of learning associated with a person’s attitudes, personal beliefs, and values which range from receiving through responding, valuing, and organization to characterization.

Air traffic control (ATC).  A service provided by the FAA to promote the safe, orderly, and expeditious flow of air traffic.

Aircraft checkouts.  An instructional program designed to familiarize and qualify a pilot to act as pilot in command of a particular aircraft type.

Anxiety.  Mental discomfort that arises from the fear of anything, real or imagined. May have a potent effect on actions and the ability to learn from perceptions.

Application.  A basic level of learning at which the student puts something to use that has been learned and understood.

Application step.  The third step of the teaching process, where the student performs the procedure or demonstrates the knowledge required in the lesson. In the telling-and-doing technique of flight instruction, this step consists of the student doing the procedure while explaining it.

Area of operation.  A phase of the practical test within the PTS.

ATC.  See air traffic control.

Attitude.  A personal motivational predisposition to respond to persons, situations, or events in a given manner that can, nevertheless, be changed or modified through training as a sort of mental shortcut to decision-making.

Attitude management.  The ability to recognize one’s own hazardous attitudes and the willingness to modify them as necessary through the application of appropriate antidotal thoughts.

Authentic assessment.  An assessment in which the student is asked to perform real-world tasks, and demonstrate a meaningful application of skills and competencies.

Basic need.  A perception factor that describes a person’s ability to maintain and enhance the organized self.

Behaviorism.  Theory of learning that stresses the importance of having a particular form of behavior reinforced by someone other than the student to shape or control what is learned.

Bookmark.  A means of saving addresses on the World Wide Web (WWW) for easy future access. Usually done by selecting a button on the web browser screen, it saves the current web address so it does not have to be input again in a lengthy series of characters.

Branching.  A programming technique which allows users of interactive video, multimedia courseware, or online training to choose from several courses of action in moving from one sequence to another.

Briefing.  An oral presentation where the speaker presents a concise array of facts without inclusion of extensive supporting material.

Building block concept.  Concept of learning that new knowledge and skills are best based on a solid foundation of previous experience and/or old learning. As knowledge and skills increase, the base expands, supporting further learning.

CBI.  See computer-based instruction.

CBT.  See computer-based training.

CD.  See compact disk.

Cognitive domain.  A grouping of levels of learning associated with mental activity. In order of increasing complexity, the domains are knowledge, comprehension, application, analysis, synthesis, and evaluation.

Compact disk (CD).  A small plastic optical disk which contains recorded music or computer data. Also, a popular format for storing information digitally. The major advantage of a CD is its capability to store enormous amounts of information.

Comprehensiveness.  The degree to which a test measures the overall objective.

Computer-assisted instruction.  Instruction in which the instructor is responsible for the class and uses the computer to assist in the instruction.

Computer-based training (CBT).  The use of the computer as a training device. CBT is sometimes called computer-based instruction (CBI); the terms and acronyms are synonymous and may be used interchangeably.

Condition.  The second part of a performance-based objective which describes the framework under which the skill or behavior will be demonstrated.

Confusion between the symbol and the symbolized object.  Results when a word is confused with what it is meant to represent. Words and symbols create confusion when they mean different things to different people.

Cooperative or group learning.  An instructional strategy which organizes students into small groups so that they can work together to maximize their own and each other’s learning.

Correlation.  A basic level of learning where the student can associate what has been learned, understood, and applied with previous or subsequent learning.

Course of training.  A complete series of studies leading to attainment of a specific goal, such as a certificate of completion, graduation, or an academic degree.

Crew resource management (CRM).  The application of team management concepts in the flight deck environment. It was initially known as cockpit resource management, but as CRM programs evolved to include cabin crews, maintenance personnel and others, the phrase “crew resource management” has been adopted. This includes single pilots, as in most general aviation aircraft. Pilots of small aircraft, as well as crews of larger aircraft, must make effective use of all available resources; human resources, hardware, and information. A current definition includes all groups routinely working with the cockpit crew who are involved in decisions required to operate a flight safely. These groups include, but are not limited to: pilots, dispatchers, cabin crewmembers, maintenance personnel, and air traffic controllers. CRM is one way of addressing the challenge of optimizing the human/machine interface and accompanying interpersonal activities.

Criteria.  The third part of a performance-based objective, descriptions of standards that will be used to measure the accomplishment of the objective.

Criterion-referenced testing.  System of testing where students are graded against a carefully written, measurable standard or criterion rather than against each other.

CRM.  See crew resource management.

Curriculum.  A set of courses in an area of specialization offered by an educational institution. A curriculum for a pilot school usually includes courses for the various pilot certificates and ratings.

Cut-away.  Model of an object that is built in sections so it can be taken apart to reveal the inner structure.

Defense mechanisms.  Subconscious ego-protecting reactions to unpleasant situations.

Demonstration-performance method.  An educational presentation where an instructor first shows the student the correct way to perform an activity and then has the student attempt the same activity.

Description of the skill or behavior.  The first part of a performance-based objective which explains the desired outcome of instruction in concrete terms that can be measured.

Determiners.  In test items, words which give a clue to the answer. Words such as “always” and “never” are determiners in true-false questions. Since absolutes are rare, such words usually make the statement false.

Direct question.  A question used for follow-up purposes, but directed at a specific individual.

Discrimination.  The degree to which a test distinguishes the differences between students.

Distractors.  Incorrect responses to a multiple-choice test item.

Disuse.  A theory of forgetting that suggests a person forgets those things that are not used.

Drill and practice method.  A time-honored training delivery method based on the learning principle that connections are strengthened with practice.

Effect.  A principle of learning that learning is strengthened when accompanied by a pleasant or satisfying feeling, and that learning is weakened when associated with an unpleasant feeling.

Electronic learning (e-learning).  Any type of education that involves an electronic component such as the Internet, a network, a stand-alone computer, CD/DVDs, video conferencing, websites, or e-mail in its delivery.

Element of threat.  A perception factor that describes how a person is unlikely to easily comprehend an event if that person is feeling threatened since most of a person’s effort is focused on whatever is threatening them.

Exercise.  A principle of learning emphasizing that those things most often repeated are best remembered.

FAASTeam.  See Federal Aviation Administration Safety Team.

FAASTeam Program Manager.  The person who designs, implements, and evaluates the FAASTeam within the FAA flight standards district office (FSDO) area of responsibility.

FAASTeam Representative.  A volunteer within the aviation community who shares technical expertise and professional knowledge as a part of the FAASTeam.

Federal Aviation Administration Safety Team (FAASTeam).  An organization promoting safety standards and the reduction of aircraft related accidents. Each of the eight F A A Flight Standards regions have a dedicated FAASTeam office.

Flight review.  A 14 CFR 61.56 requirement designed to assess and update a pilot’s knowledge and skills.

Flight training devices (FTDs).  A full-size replica of the instruments, equipment, panels, and controls of an aircraft, or set of aircraft, in an open flight deck area or in an enclosed cockpit. A force (motion) cueing system or visual system is not required.

Follow-up question.  In the guided discussion method, a question used by an instructor to get the discussion back on track or to get the students to explain something more thoroughly.

Formal lecture.  An oral presentation where the purpose is to inform, persuade, or entertain with little or no verbal participation by the listeners.

FTD.  See flight training device.

Goals and values.  A perception factor that describes how a person’s perception of an event depends on beliefs. Motivation toward learning is affected by how much value a person puts on education. Instructors who have some idea of the goals and values of their students will be more successful in teaching them.

Guided discussion method.  An educational presentation typically used in the classroom where the topic to be covered by a group is introduced and the instructor participates only as necessary to keep the group focused on the subject.

Hierarchy of human needs.  A listing by Abraham Maslow of needs, from the most basic to the most fulfilling: physiological, security, belonging, esteem, cognitive and aesthetic, and self-actualization.

Human factors.  A multidisciplinary field devoted to optimizing human performance and reducing human error. It incorporates the methods and principles of the behavioral and social sciences, engineering, and physiology. It may be described as the applied science which studies people working together in concert with machines. Human factors involve variables that influence individual performance, as well as team or crew performance.

Human nature.  The general psychological characteristics, feelings, and behavioral traits shared by all humans.

Illustrated talk.  An oral presentation where the speaker relies heavily on visual aids to convey ideas to the listeners.

Insight.  The grouping of perceptions into meaningful wholes. Creating insight is one of the instructor’s major responsibilities.

Instructional aids.  Devices that assist an instructor in the teaching-learning process. They are supplementary training devices, and are not self-supporting.

Instrument proficiency check.  An evaluation ride based on the instrument rating practical test standard which is required to regain instrument flying privileges when the privileges have expired due to lack of currency.

Integrated flight instruction.  A technique of flight instruction in which students are taught to perform flight maneuvers by reference to both the flight instruments and to outside visual references from the time the maneuver is first introduced. Handling of the controls is the same regardless of whether flight instruments or outside references are being used.

Intensity.  A principle of learning in which a dramatic or exciting learning experience is likely to be remembered longer than a boring experience. Students experiencing the real thing will learn more than when they are merely told about the real thing.

Interactive video.  Software that responds quickly to certain choices and commands by the user. A typical system consists of a compact disk, computer, and video technology.

Interference.  (1) A theory of forgetting proposing that a person forgets something because a certain experience overshadows it, or the learning of similar things has intervened. (2) Barriers to effective communication that are caused by physiological, environmental, and psychological factors outside the direct control of the instructor. The instructor must take these factors into account in order to communicate effectively.

Internet.  An electronic network that connects computers around the world.

Judgment.  The mental process of recognizing and analyzing all pertinent information in a particular situation, a rational evaluation of alternative actions in response to it, and a timely decision on which action to take.

Knowledge.  Information that humans are consciously aware of and can articulate.

Lack of common experience.  In communication, a difficulty which arises because words have different meanings for the source and the receiver of information due to their differing backgrounds.

Lead-off question.  In the guided discussion method, a question used by an instructor to open up an area for discussion and get the discussion started.

Learning.  A change in behavior as a result of experience.

Learning plateau.  A learning phenomenon where progress appears to cease or slow down for a significant period of time before once again increasing.

Learning style.  Preferred way(s) by which people learn. Common learning styles include visual, auditory, and kinesthetic, or tactile (hands on). Learning skills can be loosely grouped into physical and cognitive styles.

Learning theory.  A body of principles advocated by psychologists and educators to explain how people acquire skills, knowledge, and attitudes.

Lecture method.  An educational presentation usually delivered by an instructor to a group of students with the use of instructional aids and training devices. Lectures are useful for the presentation of new material, summarizing ideas, and showing relationships between theory and practice.

Lesson plan.  An organized outline for a single instructional period. It is a necessary guide for the instructor in that it tells what to do, in what order to do it, and what procedure to use in teaching the material of a lesson.

Link.  On a website, an external web location that can be accessed by merely clicking on words identifying the new site. They are usually identified by a different color type, underlining, or a button (picture or icon) indicating access to a new site.

Long-term memory.  The portion of the brain that stores information that has been determined to be of sufficient value to be retained. In order for it to be retained in longterm memory, it must have been processed or coded in the working memory.

Matching-type test item.  A test item in which the student is asked to match alternatives on one list to related alternatives on a second list. The lists may include words, terms, illustrations, phrases, or sentences.

Memory.  The ability of people and other organisms to encode (initial perception and registration of information), store (retention of encoded information over time), and retrieve (processes involved in using stored information) information.

Mock-up.  A three-dimensional working model used in which the actual object is either unavailable or too expensive to use. Mock-ups may emphasize some elements while eliminating nonessential elements.

Model.  A copy of a real object which can be life-size, smaller, or larger than the original.

Motivation.  A need or desire that causes a person to act. Motivation can be positive or negative, tangible or intangible, subtle or obvious.

Multimedia.  A combination of more than one instructional medium. This format can include audio, text, graphics, animations, and video. Recently, multimedia implies a computer-based presentation.

Multiple-choice-type test item.  A test item consisting of a question or statement followed by a list of alternative answers or responses.

Navigate.  To move between websites on the internet. Navigation is often accomplished by means of links or connections between sites.

Norm-referenced testing.  System of testing in which students are ranked against the performance of other students.

Objectivity.  The singleness of scoring of a test; it does not reflect the biases of the person grading the test.

Overhead question.  In the guided discussion method, a question directed to the entire group in order to stimulate thought and discussion from the entire group. An overhead question may be used by an instructor as the lead-off question.

Perceptions.  The basis of all learning, perceptions result when a person gives meaning to external stimuli or sensations. Meaning derived from perception is influenced by an individual’s experience and many other factors.

Performance-based objectives.  A statement of purpose for a lesson or instructional period that includes three elements: a description of the skill or behavior desired of the student, a set of conditions under which the measurement will be taken, and a set of criteria describing the standard used to measure accomplishment of the objective.

Personal computer-based aviation training device (PCATD).  A device which uses software which can be displayed on a personal computer to replicate the instrument panel of an airplane. A PCATD must replicate a type of airplane or family of airplanes and meet the virtual control requirements specified in AC 61-126.

Personality.  The embodiment of personal traits and characteristics of an individual that are set at a very early age and are extremely resistant to change.

Physical organism.  A perception factor that describes a person’s ability to sense the world around them.

Pilot error.  Pilot action/inaction or decision/indecision causing or contributing to an accident or incident.

Poor judgment chain.  A series of mistakes that may lead to an accident or incident. Two basic principles generally associated with the creation of a poor judgment chain are: (1) one bad decision often leads to another; and (2) as a string of bad decisions grows, it reduces the number of subsequent alternatives for continued safe flight. Aeronautical decision-making is intended to break the poor judgment chain before it can cause an accident or incident.

Practical Test Standards (PTS).  An FAA published list of standards which must be met for the issuance of a particular pilot certificate or rating. F A A inspectors and designated pilot examiners use these standards when conducting pilot practical tests and flight instructors should use the PTS while preparing applicants for practical tests.

Preparation.  The first step of the teaching process, which consists of determining the scope of the lesson, the objectives, and the goals to be attained. This portion also includes making certain all necessary supplies are on hand. When using the telling-and-doing technique of flight instruction, this step is accomplished prior to the flight lesson.

Presentation.  The second step of the teaching process, which consists of delivering information or demonstrating the skills that make up the lesson. The delivery could be by either the lecture method or demonstration-performance method. In the telling-and-doing technique of flight instruction, this is the segment in which the instructor both talks about and performs the procedure.

Pretest.  A test used to determine whether a student has the necessary qualifications to begin a course of study. Also used to determine the level of knowledge a student has in relation to the material that will be presented in the course.

Primacy.  A principle of learning in which the first experience of something often creates a strong, almost unshakable impression. The importance to an instructor is that the first time something is demonstrated, it must be shown correctly since that experience is the one most likely to be remembered by the student.

Problem-based learning.  Lessons in such a way as to confront students with problems that are encountered in real life which force them to reach real-world solutions.

Psychomotor domain.  A grouping of levels of learning associated with physical skill levels which range from perception through set, guided response, mechanism, complex overt response, and adaptation to origination.

PTS.  See Practical Test Standards. [Superseded by Airman Certification Standards]

Readiness.  A principle of learning where the eagerness and single-mindedness of a person toward learning affect the outcome of the learning experience.

Receiver.  In communication, the listener, reader, or student who takes in a message containing information from a source, processes it, reacts with understanding, and changes behavior in accordance with the message.

Recency.  Principle of learning stating that things learned recently are remembered better than things learned some time ago. As time passes, less is remembered. Instructors use this principle when summarizing the important points at the end of a lecture in order for students to better remember them.

Relay question.  Used in response to a student’s question, the student question is redirected to another student.

Reliability.  The degree to which test results are consistent with repeated measurements.

Repression.  Theory of forgetting proposing that a person is more likely to forget information which is unpleasant or produces anxiety.

Response.  Possible answer to a multiple-choice test item. The correct response is often called the keyed response, and incorrect responses are called distractors.

Reverse question.  Used in response to a student’s question. Rather than give a direct answer to the student’s query, the instructor returns the question to the same student to provide the answer.

Review and evaluation.  The fourth and last step in the teaching process, which consists of a review of all material and an evaluation of the students. In the telling and doing technique of flight instruction, this step consists of the instructor evaluating the student’s performance while the student performs the required procedure.

Rhetorical question.  Generally, a question asked for a purpose other than to obtain the information the question asks. For this handbook’s purpose, a question asked to stimulate group thought. Normally answered by the instructor, it is more commonly used in lecturing rather than in guided discussions.

Risk elements in ADM.  Take into consideration the four fundamental risk elements: the pilot, the aircraft, the environment, and external pressures. [PAVE]

Risk management.  The part of the decision-making process which relies on situational awareness, problem recognition, and good judgment to reduce risks associated with each flight.

Rote learning.  A basic level of learning in which the student has the ability to repeat back something learned, with no understanding or ability to apply what was learned.

Rubric  A guide used to score performance assessments in a reliable, fair, and valid manner. It is generally composed of dimensions for judging student performance, a scale for rating performances on each dimension, and standards of excellence for specified performance levels.

Schema  The cognitive framework that helps people organize and interpret information. Schemas can be revised by any new information and are useful because they allow people to take shortcuts in interpreting a vast amount of information.

Scenario-based training (SBT).  Training method that uses a highly structured script of real world experiences to address aviation training objectives in an operational environment.

Selection-type test items.  Test items requiring the student to choose from two or more alternatives provided. True-false, matching, and multiple-choice type questions are examples of selection type test items.

Self-concept.  A perception factor that ties together how people feel about themselves with how well they receive experiences.

Sensory register.  That portion of the brain which receives input from the five senses. The individual’s preconceived concept of what is important determines how the register prioritizes the information for passing it on to the rest of the brain for action.

Single-Pilot Resource Management (SRM).  The art/science of managing all the resources (both onboard the aircraft and from outside sources) available to a single pilot (prior and during flight) to ensure that the successful outcome of the flight is never in doubt.

Sites.  Internet addresses which provide information and often are linked to other similar sites.

Situational awareness.  The accurate perception and understanding of all the factors and conditions within the four fundamental risk elements that affect safety before, during, and after the flight.

Skill knowledge.  Knowledge reflected in motor or manual skills and in cognitive or mental skills that manifests itself in the doing of something.

Skills and procedures.  The procedural, psychomotor, and perceptual skills used to control a specific aircraft or its systems. They are the stick and rudder or airmanship abilities that are gained through conventional training, are perfected, and become almost automatic through experience.

Source.  In communication, the sender, speaker, transmitter, or instructor who composes and transmits a message made up of symbols which are meaningful to listeners and readers.

Stem.  The part of a multiple choice test item consisting of the question, statement, or problem.

Stress management.  The personal analysis of the kinds of stress experienced while flying, the application of appropriate stress assessment tools, and other coping mechanisms.

Supply-type test item.  Question in which the student supplies answers as opposed to selecting from choices provided. Essay or fill-in-the blank type questions are examples of supply-type test items.

Symbols.  In communication, simple oral and visual codes such as words, gestures, and facial expressions which are formed into sentences, paragraphs, lectures, or chapters to compose and transmit a message that means something to the receiver of the information.

Task.  Knowledge area, flight procedure, or maneuver within an area of operation in a practical test standard.

Taxonomy of educational objectives.  A systematic classification scheme for sorting learning outcomes into three broad categories (cognitive, affective, and psychomotor) and ranking the desired outcomes in a developmental hierarchy from least complex to most complex.

Teaching.  Instructing, training, or imparting knowledge or skill; the profession of someone who teaches.

Teaching lecture.  An oral presentation that is directed toward desired learning outcomes. Some student participation is allowed.

Telling-and-doing technique  . A technique of flight instruction that consists of the instructor first telling the student about a new procedure and then demonstrating it. This is followed by the student telling and the instructor doing. Third, the student explains the new procedure while doing it. Last, the instructor evaluates while the student performs the procedure.

Test.  A set of questions, problems, or exercises for determining whether a person has a particular knowledge or skill.

Test item.  A question, problem, or exercise that measures a single objective and requires a single response.

Time and opportunity.  A perception factor in which learning something is dependent on the student having the time to sense and relate current experiences in context with previous events.

Traditional assessment.  Written testing, such as multiple choice, matching, true/false, or fill-in-the-blank.

Training course outline.  Within a curriculum, describes the content of a particular course by statement of objectives, descriptions of teaching aids, definition of evaluation criteria, and indication of desired outcome.

Training media.  Any physical means that communicates an instructional message to students.

Training syllabus.  A step by-step, building block progression of learning with provisions for regular review and evaluations at prescribed stages of learning. The syllabus defines the unit of training, states by objective what the student is expected to accomplish during the unit of training, shows an organized plan for instruction, and dictates the evaluation process for either the unit or stages of learning.

Transfer of learning.  The ability to apply knowledge or procedures learned in one context to new contexts.

Transition training.  An instructional program designed to familiarize and qualify a pilot to fly types of aircraft not previously flown, such as tail wheel aircraft, high performance aircraft, and aircraft capable of flying at high altitudes.

True-false test item.  A test item consisting of a statement followed by an opportunity for the student to determine whether the statement is true or false.

Understanding.  A basic level of learning at which a student comprehends or grasps the nature or meaning of something.

Usability.  The functionality of tests.

Validity.  The extent to which a test measures what it is supposed to measure.

Virtual Reality (VR).  A form of computer-based technology that creates a sensory experience allowing a participant to believe and barely distinguish a virtual experience from a real one. VR uses graphics with animation systems, sounds, and images to reproduce electronic versions of real-life experience.

Working or short-term memory.  The portion of the brain that receives information from the sensory register. This portion of the brain can store information in memory for only a short period of time. If the information is determined by an individual to be important enough to remember, it must be coded in some way for transmittal to long-term memory.

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