Archive for 2013

CFI Checkrides Do Count as Flight Reviews

Robert Chapin
2016-12-24T14:04:16+00:00

Federal Register Cover PageYes, it’s true!  After a CFI or CFII checkride, you do not need another flight review for 24 calendar months.

For example, I passed the commercial AMEL practical test on 26 October 2012.  When I was hired in October 2013, I reported my flight review date for my commercial test, meaning I would need a flight review in 2014.  But, then my flight review date changed.  Why?

As of 15 November 2013, flight instructor practical tests are recognized as flight reviews.  This rule was published as a revision to FAR 61.56 in the Federal Register under RIN 2120-AK23 on 16 September 2013, pages 56822 through 56829.

Thanks to this new regulation, my flight review date changed to 19 August 2013.  I will need a flight review in 2015.

If you find conflicting information on this topic, it is likely obsolete.  This new regulation does not appear in the ASA printing of the 2014 FAR/AIM.

Enjoy the new grace period, and have a Happy New Year!

29 Dec 2013

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Regulations

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How to Credit Card

Robert Chapin
2014-01-31T02:50:29+00:00
Three Credit Cards

Photo by Petr Kratochvil

If credit were as simple as cash, we wouldn’t need cash anymore.  Credit cards are very complicated sometimes, yet the fundamental financial skills needed to use them are not taught in schools or colleges.  Here are my secrets to success in managing credit accounts.

#1  Always have at least two credit accounts

This is the number one, most important lesson.  Credit cards help to establish your history of responsible borrowing, whether or not you use them at all.  For pilots especially, it’s a good idea just to have a credit card in the airplane in case of unexpected expenses while traveling.  And believe me, a credit card can stop working at any time for a wide variety of reasons.  Two “reliable” credit accounts is my bare minimum.  If one credit card is restricted to specific stores or small spending limits, then I need to have three cards or more so that I always have a fallback.

#2  Get your rewards

All the best credit cards put something back in your pocket when you spend money.  Rewards might be in the form of billing credits, gift certificates, or free air travel.  If you’re not getting rewards, it’s a bad deal.  Look into it.  Shop for what you like.  Don’t take bad deals.  Don’t open accounts that mention any annual membership fees.  If you are attending a flight school that accepts credit card payments, this will be a matter of hundreds of dollars in rewards!  Do the shopping before it’s too late.

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26 Dec 2013

Category:
Flight Training Survival Guide

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Missed Approach Point Study Guide

Robert Chapin
2016-12-24T15:20:14+00:00
Legend for the missed approach point symbol.

FAA 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 am instructing instrument students, it seems this guide is the best tool for teaching missed approach identification with FAA charts.  The Missed Approach Point and Missed Approach Track symbols on each chart profile can mean different things depending on the type of procedure.

PDF Icon Study Guide Download – FAA format (2.8 MB)

You might also want the Jeppesen 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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13 Nov 2013

Category:
Aeronautical Knowledge

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Hired!

Robert Chapin
2016-12-24T14:28:40+00:00

Robert Chapin at the US Aviation Academy.

A photo to send home, from KGYI, October 2013.

A successful career move happened since my last post.  I am now the newest flight instructor at US Aviation Academy based on the North Texas Regional Airport!

Leading up to this development, my commencement ceremony at Eastern Michigan University (EMU) was in April, followed by my official flight instructor course completion in June, and my official graduation in August.

Between June and August, I used my time to obtain the flight instructor instrument airplane rating, which I was advised was “the most important job qualification for a pilot.”  The so-called CFII was not a degree requirement at EMU, but now I have to agree with the advice.  I would not have this job today without a CFII certificate in my pocket.

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30 Oct 2013

Category:
Career

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New Circling Procedures in Michigan

Robert Chapin
2015-04-23T16:22:42+00:00

New approach minimums format.Starting with the current chart cycle from August 22, the radius of protected airspace for new circling approach procedures has increased.

This change will mainly affect airplanes in approach categories B through D.

While the procedures are flown in the same way, the requirements for a larger protected airspace may result in higher altitudes being flown.

For example, if your destination is the Traverse City (KTVC) GPS RWY 36 approach, the category C minimum descent altitude (MDA) has increased from 1,280 ft to 1,500 ft.  The category D MDA changed from 1,300 ft to 1,720 ft, and so on.  The good news is that this approach was also revised to include an LPV descision altitude of 898 ft.

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2 Sep 2013

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Aeronautical Knowledge

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First R-ATP Authorizations Announced

Robert Chapin
2013-08-25T20:27:29+00:00

Institutions Authorized to Certify its Graduates for an Airline Transport Pilot (ATP) Certificate  with Reduced Aeronautical ExperienceThe Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) this week issued the first Letters of Authorization for universities to make their graduates eligible for an airline pilot certificate under FAR 61.160.

It is a short list of lucky firsts:

  • Eastern Kentucky University
  • Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University
  • University of North Dakota

These three universities can now officially certify graduates as qualifying for a restricted privileges airline transport pilot (R-ATP) check ride.  Without such certification, pilots are required to meet a new minimum experience level of 1,500 flight hours before working at an airline.

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23 Aug 2013

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Aviation News

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CFIT Training Aid

Robert Chapin
2016-12-24T15:14:24+00:00

Controlled Flight Into Terrain Education and Training AidControlled Flight Into Terrain (CFIT) prevention is one of the main topics of Single-pilot Resource Management (SRM).  As a pilot, I do want to avoid flying into terrain!  I also enjoy studying any aspect of aviation.  Sometimes this means tracking down an obscure publication, and I do enjoy that challenge as well.

I found several mentions of a document named Controlled Flight Into Terrain Education and Training Aid from around 1996.  However, something has gone buggy in the FAA website, and there is no obvious way to find the document.  It looks like someone copied an old CD-ROM to the website and expected it to work without any modernization.

As a service to the aviation community, I have painstakingly reverse-engineered, scraped, edited, and re-assembled the more than 500 individual files to create an easy-to-download version on a single link.

PDF Icon CFIT Training Aid (40 MB)

Important note: The original document was approximately 914 pages long and I have been unable to find at least nine of those pages.  I am also missing the original video.

21 Aug 2013

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Aeronautical Knowledge

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R-ATP Regulation to Reality

Robert Chapin
2014-09-05T19:34:28+00:00

The newly-promulgated FAR 61.160 went into effect last week.  Already, I am seeing positive changes in the aviation industry.  Hiring is on a rapid up-swing, and rumors are starting to circulate about a liberal interpretation of the new first officer qualifications and certification rules.

While discussing the potential for a pilot shortage last year, I didn’t yet mention the combined effects of existing trends and the looming 1,500-hour minimum experience level for new first officers.  What was happening at the time, and slowly becoming problematic, was that the regional airlines were increasing their own hiring qualifications.  Those hiring policies were becoming restrictive faster than the country was producing ATP-qualified pilots.  Remember, before the Airline Safety Act of 2010 there was no requirement for regional airlines to hire ATP certified first officers.  But the Act required by August 1, 2013 that “all flight crewmembers have obtained an airline transport pilot certificate.”  The Act also required the FAA to issue its Final Rule on this by an August 1, 2012 deadline, which it failed to do.  This left airlines in the awkward position of hiring only those pilots who could obtain an ATP before the 2013 deadline.  Hiring slowed to near zero because there was a shortage of entry-level pilots who could accumulate 1,500 hours of flight experience.

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4 Aug 2013

Category:
Hangar Talk

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Deciding Not to Land

Robert Chapin
2013-07-25T15:41:56+00:00

In response to the recent Air Safety Institute blog about the Asiana crash at San Francisco, I am addressing the point of developing basic “stabilized approach” skills and how they are used in flight training.

Bruce Landsberg wrote:

I absolutely agree that students will be working it all the way down and that is part of their learning what “good” is but there’s that judgment thing on teaching when an approach has become unsalvageable. Not so good to allow them to “attempt to save it” when the risk is rising rapidly.

Given that a light single-engine airplane needs to make turns and configuration changes below 1,000 feet above ground to complete a traffic pattern, at what point does one decide to not even attempt the flare and landing?  Do I need to make that decision at a fixed height such as 500 feet?  Do I need to meet specific criteria such as stable airspeed, stable descent angle, and stable configuration?

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25 Jul 2013

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Hangar Talk

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First Officer Qualification Rule in Detail

Robert Chapin
2016-12-24T14:33:50+00:00

Cover page of the Federal Register for July 15.The new first officer qualifications are a hot topic.  On July 10, the FAA released its Final Rule, which should appear in the Federal Register next week.  Everyone has something to say about this.  But opinions aside, all I can I find on the web is the text of the new rule and several paraphrased copies of the FAA press release.

Let’s take a closer look at what’s inside the 221 pages of the Pilot Certification and Qualification Requirements for Air Carrier Operations.

To get the most important information up front here, I compiled a detailed summary of changes as they would apply to a graduate of a qualifying 4-year degree program.

I also outlined the structure of the Final Rule and noted the page numbers of some important sections.  The small page numbers correspond to the unofficial FAA version, followed in parentheses by the official page number in the Federal Register.  For example: Page 1 (42324).  This will help you to reference either version of the Final Rule.

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13 Jul 2013

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Regulations

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