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Unmanned Aircraft Systems (“UAS“) operations are here to stay. And with that realization, the FAA continues to implement, revise and clarify its enforcement and compliance program to address UAS operations. Its latest guidance, Order 8900.529, FAA is requiring increased surveillance of UAS based upon analyses reflecting an increase in UAS sightings that pose potential risks to air transport due to UAS sightings in communities bordering airport approach and departure paths [and] potential risks identified…
As you may know, the FAA is charged with oversight of the the national airspace (“NAS“) and aircraft operations conducted within the NAS.  This includes making sure that that air carriers (those who transport persons or property for compensation or hire – Part 121 and 135 operators) are complying with heightened regulatory requirements applicable to those operations. Until recently, air carriers were limited to operations with manned aircraft.  However, that is no longer the case.…
For most airmen, obtaining a medical certificate is a straight-forward process.  They apply online, go to see their AME and walk out with a medical certificate.  For a small percentage of airmen, that is just the beginning of the process.  But whether an AME issues or defers an airman’s application for a medical certificate, that isn’t the end of the process for the FAA. For an explanation of how the FAA handles airmen applications for…
If you have ever applied for an FAA medical certificate, you know the first step is to complete your application online at MedExpress.  Next, you schedule and submit to a physical examination with an FAA aviation medical examiner (“AME”).  At that point though, the process isn’t necessarily the same for all applicants.  For about 96% of the applicants (in 2018), the AME issued the applicant a medical certificate.  The other 4% of applicants in…
Businesses and individuals face many regulatory issues in connection with owning or operating an aircraft. Aircraft owners or operators who are unfamiliar with the limitations imposed by the applicable regulations may unnecessarily expose themselves to liability for non-compliance. For example, aircraft owners or operators commonly attempt to shield their liability by creating some form of business entity that is a subsidiary of the “real” operating company to own the aircraft.  Or, rather than forming a…
As you may know, the FAA has recently increased its investigations into illegal charter activities and is vigorously pursuing enforcement against operators conducting illegal charter flights. Many of the publicized cases have involved owners and operators of business jets with civil penalty assessments in excess of a million dollars. However, the FAA doesn’t just pursue enforcement actions against illegal charter involving jets. It will go after any operator conducting illegal charter whether the operator is…
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If you own an aircraft and are not utilizing it as much as you would like or if you would like to try and recover some of the cost of owning the aircraft, you may have thought about renting your aircraft to other pilots. As a practical matter, that makes some sense. But before you actually rent your aircraft to another pilot, here are a few things you should consider. Aircraft Owners May Rent Their…
Earlier this year, the National Transportation Safety Board (“NTSB”) conducted a safety study, The Safety of Experimental Amateur-Built Aircraft, in conjunction with the Experimental Aircraft Association (“EAA”) and other organizations, investigating the certification and testing of E-AB aircraft and the training of the pilots who fly these aircraft. The results of the study were presented at a public hearing on June 19 and 20, 2012. Following the public meeting, the NTSB adopted the study on May…
This was the question posed and answered in a recent Legal Interpretation issued by the FAA’s Office of Chief Counsel (AGC). The Interpretation specifically answered the question “whether a chief pilot who no longer holds a first-or second-class medical certificate but holds a third-class medical certificate and is qualified to serve as pilot in command (PIC) in at least one aircraft used in the certificate holder’s operation may continue to hold the chief pilot…