January 2001 Issue

Thou Shalt Not

The most-violated FARs are sometimes true safety problems, sometimes merely legal ones

Sometimes you look at an FAR and have to scratch your head. What, you ask yourself, can that possibly have to do with flight safety? The various rules, placards and limitations seem to be written more for the FAA’s lawyers than for pilots and their passengers.

Sadly, many of the notes, warnings and cautions in aircraft manuals and some of the FARs are written in blood. But violation of an FAR doesn’t automatically mean that the flight was unsafe. It all seems so confusing.

When I was a private pilot, a lot of the rules seemed difficult to understand. It took an instrument rating before I understood control zones. It took a flight engineer certificate and a graduate school education...

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