R-ATP Cross Country Time

Robert Chapin
2015-09-28T07:55:41+00:00

ATP Qualifications Job AidI previously wrote about a regulatory boo boo that made it impossible to determine how much cross country flying experience was required to obtain a restricted ATP certificate.  The regulation that allowed students to apply for the rating with 30 college credit hours was never included in the nearby paragraph authorizing reduced cross-country time requirements.

To bring some clarity to this issue, I can now point you to this official checklist: FAA ATP Qualifications

Although this checklist is not regulatory, it is published by the FAA and so shows the original intent of the R-ATP regulation to allow anyone with 200 hours of cross-country time to apply for reduced minimums.

Since FAR § 61.160(e) contradicts the above checklist, I still anticipate a future amendment to fix this regulation.

29 Sep 2015

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Regulations

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R-ATP Denied at Eastern Michigan University

Robert Chapin
2015-09-28T13:46:00+00:00

Letter of denial from FAA to EMU.A search on federal websites revealed the FAA denied Eastern Michigan University’s exemption petition for R-ATP flight training last month.  “The FAA has fully considered the petitioner’s supporting information and has determined the relief requested is not in the public interest and would adversely affect safety.”  This decision is not surprising in light of the two-year delay and similar decisions preventing other Part 141 flight students from obtaining eligibility certification for a Restricted ATP check ride.

In its letter, the FAA gives this official response:

Based on the FAA’s records, EMU does not hold a part 141 ground school certificate. The FAA reviewed the description that EMU provided of its arrangement with EFC for the ground and flight training of students enrolled in its Aviation Flight Technology program. The arrangement does not meet the intent of having the ground training integrated with the broader academic curriculum. EMU does not have control over the curriculum provided by EFC and the FAA would have no oversight responsibilities with EMU because it does not hold a part 141 pilot school certificate. Therefore, the FAA has determined that EMU’s aviation degree program does not meet the minimum level of integrating its pilot ground training with its broader academic curriculum of an aviation degree program.

 

28 Sep 2015

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Flight Range Ring is Always a Circle

Robert Chapin
2015-06-17T22:11:56+00:00
Concentric flight range rings with wind.

Even with a strong wind, the range ring is a perfect circle.

I found an interesting error in Flying Magazine today, in which the author described an airplane’s range as being “anywhere from a perfect circle to an egg shape based on the wind conditions.”  Wrong!

Remember, one should think in the most simple terms about the effect of wind on an airplane.  Wind is just motion of the air.  After an airplane leaves the ground during takeoff, it experiences no relative influence from a steady wind because the airplane is flying into the air in a manner that is constant relative to that air.  From any given point in the air mass, the airplane’s range is a perfect circle within that mass.

Wind is important in flight, of course, because it modifies the ground track and speed relative to the Earth’s surface.  This changes fuel requirements, and ultimately the cost and efficiency of flight between points on the surface.  But what the wind does not do is create “eggs” or “semi-oval shapes”.  When the wind is calm, the range circle in the air mass is identical on the ground.  When the wind is 20 kt, the center of the range circle moves 20 NM away from the airplane’s initial position on the surface for each one hour of flight.

The slight asymmetry of two or more range circles is created by the fact that concentric “range rings” will be centered in different positions on the surface.  As described above, if a 1-hour range ring is offset by 20 NM, then a 2-hour range ring must be offset by 40 NM, and so on.  When these range rings are plotted simultaneously, they give a slight illusion of being oblong, when in fact they are still perfectly circular.

If that explanation is too simple, you can verify the wind calculations using some basic high school trigonometry.

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17 Jun 2015

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Aeronautical Knowledge

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Safety Pilots are Not Allowed Cross Country Experience

Robert Chapin
2015-06-06T00:03:24+00:00

Think twice the next time you log a “time share” flight or act as a safety pilot on a cross country flight.  According to legal interpretations from the FAA dated in 2009, only the pilot flying is allowed to log cross country time under § 61.  As explained in the Gebhart Interpretation:

Section 61.65(d) contemplates that only the pilot conducting the entire flight, including takeoff, landing, and en route flight, as a required flight crewmember may log cross-country flight time.  Because a safety pilot does not conduct the entire flight, a person acting as a safety pilot for a portion of the flight may not log any cross-country flight time for the flight.

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6 Jun 2015

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Regulations

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GPS Flight Planning – WAAS Going On?

Robert Chapin
2015-04-23T23:16:08+00:00

Symbol for Alternate Minimums Not AuthorizedIt’s time to review the rules for planning an IFR flight with GPS navigation.  Maybe the airplane has an old receiver without WAAS capability.  Or maybe the rules have changed too many times to remember the current limitations.  Where to find the answers?

Destination Alternates – Without WAAS

I’m starting with destination rules, because most flight plans begin with that basic question:  Where to go and how to get there?

2013 – If you were aware of these rules a couple years ago, you knew to look them up in Published NOTAM No. GEN13000.  That notice expired in 2014.

2014 – AIM 1-1-18(g)(1) superseded the obscure notice, making the alternate airport rules somewhat easier to find.

2015 – The published 2015 FAR/AIM is already obsolete because the rules changed again on 8 January 2015.  Now, one must look for AIM 1-1-18(b)(5)(c).

I found four basic rules for flying GPS without WAAS:

  1. Pilots “may file based on a GPS-based IAP at either the destination or the alternate airport, but not at both locations.”
  2. Pilots may plan for LNAV or CIRCLING minimums only, unless equipped for baro-VNAV.
  3. A preflight RAIM prediction for the destination or the alternate airport is required.
  4. Language left over from AIM 1-2-3(d) and Notice N 8900.218 indicate the non-GPS approach at the other location is required to “be flown without reliance on GPS.”

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23 Apr 2015

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Aeronautical Knowledge

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Unmanned Aircraft, See and Avoid?

Robert Chapin
2015-02-24T08:44:45+00:00

UAS NPRMThe first proposal for unmanned aircraft regulations appeared in the Federal Register yesterday.  A small unmanned aircraft, less than 55 lbs, could fly for commercial purposes up to 500 feet above the ground.  I am in favor of adopting new technologies, and I took the time to write some constructive comments for the official docket.  This is just a summary.

Unmanned Aircraft at Class G Airports:  I asked the FAA to add coordination procedures for unmanned aircraft operating on or near uncontrolled airports.  It is nice to allow unmanned aircraft to use these airports, but the “see and avoid” rule seems like a bad idea for these tiny machines.

Unmanned Aircraft at Towered Airports:  I asked the FAA to disallow unmanned flights at controlled airports when the ceiling is less than 1,000 feet.  I did not see a reason why manned airplanes should share an airport under instrument flight rules with a visually operated unmanned aircraft.

Flight Instructors Accepting Certificate Applications:  In granting the CFI privilege of accepting certificate applications, the FAA would create an authority similar to a pilot examiner.  I think it is interesting that the assumed price for this application process is $50.  Even without a practical test requirement, the CFI may be obligated to devote time to adequately research the regulations, to evaluate the applicant, and to assist the applicant in this process beyond what might be worth $50.

24 Feb 2015

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Opinion

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Re-Thinking Risk Assessment

Robert Chapin
2016-12-24T12:51:16+00:00

Assessing Risk, image from Risk Management HandbookThe best tool available for pilots to quantify overall flight risk is the form found in the FAA’s Personal and Weather Risk Assessment Guide.  However, that form is more than 10 years old and needs many improvements.  It is based on the “PAVE” method or checklist, and enables a pilot to assign a predetermined point value to each area of risk.  This helps to minimize subjectivity and encourages detailed preflight planning.  Using this process in connection with Aeronautical Decision Making is a great idea, but I want to illustrate several ways to make it more complete and hopefully more accurate.

PDF Icon Flight Assessment Form Download (29 KB)

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1 Feb 2015

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R-ATP Denied at Baylor University

Robert Chapin
2015-01-12T09:05:05+00:00

Letter of denial from the FAA to Baylor University.Part 141 flight training graduates have been denied participation in the R-ATP program again, this time at Baylor University.  In its recent denial letter, the FAA explained that even though Baylor’s students are enrolled in an aviation degree program with part 141 ground and flight training, the lack of a ground training certificate in the university’s name prevents the graduates from qualifying under the new regulations.

The FAA reviewed the description that Baylor provided of its arrangement with TSTC for the ground and flight training of students enrolled in its Aviation Science Bachelor degree program. The arrangement does not meet the intent of having the ground training integrated with the broader academic curriculum by virtue of Baylor not holding an air agency certificate issued in accordance with part 141. Baylor does not have control over the curriculum provided by TSTC. As noted in the petition, Baylor students pursuing their instrument rating and commercial pilot training become TSTC students during those phases. Therefore, the FAA has determined that Baylor’s aviation degree program does not meet the minimum level of integrating its pilot ground training with its broader academic curriculum of an aviation degree program.

The FAA also cites the recent denial at MSU Denver as precedent for this new denial at Baylor University.

12 Jan 2015

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Missed Approach Points in Jeppesen Charts

Robert Chapin
2016-12-24T13:19:26+00:00
Legend for the missed approach point symbol.

Jeppesen Chart Symbols

The M.A.P. Study Guide is a list of notes I first developed during instrument-flight-instructor training because I needed a concise explanation of various approach profiles.  Now that I’m considering airline jobs, I’ve decided to adapt my study guide to the chart format used by Jeppesen, which is also used by many airlines.  I find the missed approach procedures slightly more intuitive in the Jeppesen format, but it also presents more information that can become overwhelming at first.

PDF Icon Study Guide Download – Jepp Format (1.2 MB)

You might also want the FAA charts format of the study guide.

Introduction

Reading a missed approach procedure is a critical step toward briefing and flying a complete instrument approach to an airport.  The missed approach point is the position where the pilot must immediately climb away from the airport if the landing criteria of FAR 91.175(c) are not met.  There are two challenges involved in reading the missed approach point:

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1 Jan 2015

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Engine Failure with Runway Remaining

Robert Chapin
2015-05-04T16:03:47+00:00
ATSB said most immediate forced landings do not result in serious injury.

ATSB said most immediate forced landings do not result in serious injury.

One of the most intimidating parts of flight training is the unlikely possibility that a single-engine training airplane could develop a single engine failure, thereby leaving no other engines available to help bring the airplane to a safe landing position.  While engine failures and emergency procedures are widely discussed and practiced within the general aviation community, not all emergencies are created equal.

It seems I may be teaching a relatively obscure maneuver: The engine failure that occurs after liftoff but before passing the departure end of the runway.  It’s not an engine failure during multi-engine training, not an engine failure in the pattern, and not an “impossible turn” situation.  I’m talking about a loss of thrust right smack in that precarious transition from ground effect to a sustained, best rate climb.  I use the word “obscure” here because I have looked through every guide for maneuvers, FAA handbooks, airplane manuals, and online training resources that I could find, and not one of them contains a detailed description of this maneuver.

I am writing this article for the benefit of flight instructors and single-engine pilots everywhere, and it comes with a big disclaimer:  My detailed procedure is not an adaptation of other work and is not based on existing procedures.  If a more official procedure existed, I would use it!  The information below might not be appropriate to your aircraft, and this procedure should never be attempted in an aircraft without a flight instructor.

Below the fold, you will also find a video that shows a very bad example of what this maneuver looks like when it is practiced without careful consideration for safety or personal minimums.

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8 Nov 2014

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Aeronautical Knowledge

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