August 2009 Issue

The Part 135 Way

Adopting some Part 135 rules can mean a safer, more organized way to think about the go/no-go decision under Part 91.

On a recent foggy morning in Hagerstown, Md., I sat waiting for the visibility to improve enough for me to depart on a Part 135 passenger flight. Every airport in the region was socked in with less than a quarter mile visibility, when a somewhat agitated passenger came up to me and asked what we were waiting for. I explained that the visibility had to improve before we would be legal to depart. In an incredibly ill-timed coincidence, we heard the sound of a single-engine piston departing from somewhere in the cloud outside the door, and my passenger snidely inquired why that plane could leave, but we couldnít. I felt like I had been asked to explain Bernoulliís principle to a five-year-old. It was a deceptively complicated question, and one that should be of interest to pilots flying in their own aircraft under FAR Part 91.

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