1 of 2

Federal Aviation Regulations Intro

Faa online ground school

A light dose of rules

Well, yes there are a lot of rules involved in flying, along with some unique nomenclature you may not have heard before.  Given that this may very well be the “driest” part of your flight training, we’ve decided to break it up into a few parts, and it’s about that time in the course where we start dishing it out to ya! (The Federal Aviation Regulations that is, FARs)

For everything written below, just assume it is all in CAPS, as in, take shorthand notes on what you see and try your best for just pure rote memorization at this point.  You’ll need to be able to regurgitate a large part of what is below for your written test, and some of it will start to make even more sense the more you progress with flight training.  Without further ado, get to it and start writing….


General Regs.

Categories are the broad topic,

  • Airplane
  • Rotorcraft
  • Glider
  • Lighter-than-air

Classes are more specific,

  • Single-engine Land Airplane
  • Multi-engine Land Airplane
  • Single-engine Sea Airplane

V Speeds to remember:

  • Vx – best angle of climb
  • Vy – best rate of climb
  • Vfe – maximum flap extension speed
  • Vle – maximum landing gear extension speed
  • Vso – stall speed in landing configuration
  • Va – maneuvering speed
  • Vno – maximum structural cruise speed

Certificate – no such thing as a pilot’s license, just certificates.  You can get a Private Pilot Certificate or Commercial Pilot Certificate.  You can then add ratings to that certificate, such as an instrument rating which adds privileges to your certificate.

Part 91 Reulations

Part 91 – Operating Rules | Part 61 – Certificates (medical and pilot certs.) | Part 43 – Maintenance

Alcohol + Drugs – 8 Hour bottle to throttle, cannot fly under the influence of drugs, operating or attempting to operate an aircraft under the influence is grounds for denial of any rating sought.

Dropping things from airplanes – it’s totally fine as long as there is no hazard to people or property on the ground.

Pilot Authority – you as PIC are directly responsible for, and are the final authority as to the operation of the aircraft. You may deviate from any rule or regulation to the extent needed to deal with any emergency situation to maintain the safety of passengers and the airplane.  A written report of any deviations from the FARs should be filled with the FAA only upon request (usually 48hrs to do so if asked).

Aircraft Airworthiness – the pilot in command is responsible for ensuring the aircraft is airworthy prior to each flight.  Do not confuse the Owner’s responsibility to maintain the aircraft as airworthy and maintain appropriate records.  The regs also state you should discontinue a flight as soon as possible if the aircraft becomes unairworthy (mechanical failure, electrical failure, etc.).

Required Documents On Board – Arrow

  • A – Airworthiness Certificate of Aircraft
  • R – Radio License (only if operating internationally)
  • R – Registration (much like the “tag” or registration on your car, will have an expiration date, it is normally valid for 3 years)
  • O – Operating Handbook (or POH if the plane has one, must be on board)
  • W – Weight and Balance (document must be on board showing the empty weight of aircraft and loading chart, this is often combined into the POH)

Limitations and Placards – Operating limitations of the aircraft must be located in the current FAA-approved flight manual, approved manual material (POH), markings, placards, or any combination thereof.

  • An exception does exist for “experimental” aircraft where their operating limitations are attached to the airworthiness certificate and can be found on it.

Preflight – Pilots are required to familiarize themselves with all available information concerning the flight prior to every flight, and specifically:

  • Runway lengths and takeoff and landing performance calculations at all airports of intended use
  • Weather reports and forecasts
  • Fuel requirements
  • Alternatives available if the flight cannot be completed as planned
  • Any known air traffic delays

Seat belts – During takeoff and landing, and while enroute, each required flight crewmember must keep their safety belt fastened while at their station.  If shoulder harnesses are available, they must be used for takeoff and landing.

  • Passengers must be briefed on how to use their safety belts.  Pilots must notify all passengers to fasten their safety belts before taxiing, taking off, or landing. All passengers must wear their safety belts during taxiing, takeoff, and landing.  (except a passenger who has not reached their second birthday, may be held by an adult on their lap).

Formation Flight – No person may operate an aircraft in formation flight except by prior arrangement by each PIC of the aircraft in formation.