The General Aviation Pilots Flying Resource

MyFlyingStuff BLOG

BasicMed has allowed thousands of pilots to skip seeing an aviation medical ­examiner (AME) and instead visit their personal physician for a checkup ­every four years. Plus take a free online aeromedical factors course every two years. If you’re over 40, this doubles the time interval between seeing an AME physician every two years. It should be less costly because personal medical insurance generally covers physicals but not necessarily third-class FAA exams.

BasicMed Renewal Requirements

Every 24 calendar months;
– You need to take a free online course on aeromedical factors plus pass the quiz. (Course on AOPA and can
keep taking until you Pass)
– Agree to an authorization for the National Driver Register to provide your driving record to
the FAA to check for DUI and other motor vehicle offenses.
– Provide a statement that you understand that you cannot act as a pilot in command, or any other capacity
as a required flight crew member, if you know or have reason to know of any medical condition that would
make you unable to operate the aircraft in a safe manner.

Every 48 calendar months;
– You must hold a valid U.S. driver’s license.
– Visit a state-licensed physician for a comprehensive checkup and provide your physician with an
FAA-generated checklist. Your physician needs to affirm that he or she has performed an examination
and discussed all the items on the checklist, including medications, with you. Your physician will
also have to affirm that he or she is unaware of any medical conditions that, as presently treated,
could interfere with your ability to safely operate an aircraft.

Aircraft specifications: Up to six seats, up to 6,000 pounds (no limitations on horsepower, number of engines, or gear type)
Flight rules: Day or night, VFR or IFR
Passengers: Up to five passengers
Aeromedical factors: Pilots must take a free online course every two years and visit their personal physician every four years
Altitude restriction: Up to 18,000 feet msl
Airspeed limitation: 250 knots indicated airspeed
Pilot limitation: Cannot operate for compensation or hire

Link to BasicMed status report 2018 – IFR-Magazine

Additional Info – AOPA


FAA BasicMed News

Categories: Medical, Newsworthy
Comments: No

FAA BasicMed News As of 04-24-17

Comprehensive Medical Examination Checklist has been released!  (BasicMedChecklist)

It still appears to some, that finding a non-AME physician that will sign the checklist may be difficult due to the liabilities potentially involved. The non-AME physician must certify, that there is no medical condition, that as presently treated, could interfere with the individuals ability to safely operate an aircraft.

To keep up with the FAA progress on BasicMed, it appears that this page url will have the latest news and info.

Here’s what the FAA says today:

The FAA is currently working on a BasicMed announcements page, a page for online course providers, and a link for the Comprehensive Medical Examination Checklist. We expect to have this information in the coming weeks. Please check back on this page.



Here is a link to the  FAA Advisory_Circular/AC_68-1.pdf  that contains:


As of today, I do not see any final checklist that is downloadable.

What Do I Need to Fly Under BasicMed? 1. Hold a U.S. driver’s license. 2. Hold or have held a medical certificate issued by the FAA at any point after July 15, 2006. 3. Answer the health questions on the Comprehensive Medical Examination Checklist (CMEC). 4. Get your physical examination by any state-licensed physician, and have that physician complete the CMEC (be sure to keep the CMEC). 5. Take the online medical education course and complete the attestations/consent to the National Driver Register (NDR) check. Keep the course completion document.

Questions are pretty much the same as the old 3rd Class Med Form…

The FAA this week issued a final rule (BasicMed) that allows GA pilots to fly without holding an FAA medical certificate, as long as they meet certain requirements.

Until now, the FAA has required private, recreational, and student pilots, as well as flight instructors, to meet the requirements of and hold a third class medical certificate. They are required to complete an online application and undergo a physical examination with an FAA-designated Aviation Medical Examiner.

Starting May 1, pilots may take advantage of the regulatory relief in the BasicMed rule or opt to continue to use their FAA medical certificate. Under BasicMed, a pilot will be required to complete a medical education course, undergo a medical examination every four years, and comply with aircraft and operating restrictions. For example, pilots using BasicMed cannot operate an aircraft with more than six people onboard, and the aircraft must not weigh more than 6,000 pounds. See the FAA’s BasicMed web page and AC 68-1 for more information.

Basic Med FAQ

FAA New Drone Rules

Categories: Aircraft, Newsworthy
Comments: No

FAA Launches New Drone Rules

On August 29, 2016, the Federal Aviation Administration’s (FAA) new comprehensive regulations went into effect for routine, non-recreational use of small unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) – more popularly known as “drones.” The provisions of the new rule – formally known as part 107 – are designed to minimize risks to other aircraft, and people and property on the ground. A summary is available here. (PDF)

Testing centers nationwide can now administer the Aeronautical Knowledge Test required under part 107. After you pass the test, you must complete an FAA Airman Certificate and/or Rating Application at: to receive your remote pilot certificate.

The new regulations don’t apply to model aircraft operations, as defined in Section 336 of Public Law 112-95 (now codified in part 101), as long as the model aircraft operates only for hobby or recreational purposes.

For more information:

Quick Summary

Operational Limitations • Unmanned aircraft must weigh less than 55 lbs. (25 kg).
• Visual line-of-sight (VLOS) only; the unmanned aircraft must
remain within VLOS of the remote pilot in command and the
person manipulating the flight controls of the small UAS.
Alternatively, the unmanned aircraft must remain within
VLOS of the visual observer.
• At all times the small unmanned aircraft must remain close
enough to the remote pilot in command and the person
manipulating the flight controls of the small UAS for those
people to be capable of seeing the aircraft with vision
unaided by any device other than corrective lenses.
• Small unmanned aircraft may not operate over any persons
not directly participating in the operation, not under a
covered structure, and not inside a covered stationary
• Daylight-only operations, or civil twilight (30 minutes before
official sunrise to 30 minutes after official sunset, local time)
with appropriate anti-collision lighting.
• Must yield right of way to other aircraft.
• May use visual observer (VO) but not required.
• First-person view camera cannot satisfy “see-and-avoid”
requirement but can be used as long as requirement is
satisfied in other ways.
• Maximum groundspeed of 100 mph (87 knots).
• Maximum altitude of 400 feet above ground level (AGL) or, if
higher than 400 feet AGL, remain within 400 feet of a
• Minimum weather visibility of 3 miles from control station.
• Operations in Class B, C, D and E airspace are allowed with
the required ATC permission.
• Operations in Class G airspace are allowed without ATC
• No person may act as a remote pilot in command or VO for
more than one unmanned aircraft operation at one time.
• No operations from a moving aircraft.
• No operations from a moving vehicle unless the operation is
over a sparsely populated area.
• No careless or reckless operations.
• No carriage of hazardous materials.

Hobby or recreational…
…flying doesn’t require FAA approval but you must follow safety guidelines. Any other use requires FAA FAA Model Card
authorization. Avoid doing anything hazardous to other airplanes or people and property on the ground.

Model Aircraft/Hobby Drones Operations Limits
According to the FAA Modernization and Reform Act of 2012 as (1) the aircraft is flown strictly for hobby or recreational use; (2) the aircraft is operated in accordance with a community-based set of safety guidelines and within the programming of a nationwide community-based organization; (3) the aircraft is limited to not more than 55 pounds unless otherwise certified through a design, construction, inspection, flight test, and operational safety program administered by a community-based organization; (4) the aircraft is operated in a manner that does not interfere with and gives way to any manned aircraft; (5) when flown within 5 miles of an airport, the operator of the aircraft provides the airport operator and the airport air traffic control tower with prior notice of the operation; and (6) the aircraft is flown within visual line sight of the operator.

Download or Print the Model Aircraft Operations (PDF)

Commercial Drones
The Federal Aviation Administration on Sunday (2-15-15) released proposed rules regarding the use of small commercial drones. The rules apply to drones weighing up to 55 pounds, limit the device speed to 100 mph and altitudes no higher than 500 feet. The drone must be in the pilot’s sight at all times, operated by a person not younger than 17 years old,  and would be prohibited from flying them at night. Drone operators will not have to undergo an FAA medical but must self-certify before every flight. They will further need to pass an FAA knowledge test every two years. Their commercial drone must be registered under the regulations proposed in a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking released by the FAA and the DOT

 FAA Draft Commercial Drone Rules

My Garmin Android Pilot

Took a VFR flight recently with my 32GB Nexus 7 (2nd Gen) tablet loaded with Garmin Pilot along with a couple other pilots using their iPads, Foreflight and the Stratus 2. I am always pleased with my android tablet and the built in GPS along with cellular modem for 4G reception. Only one piece of modest priced equipment at $349, as opposed to two with a 32GB iPad mini WiFi at $459 + the Stratus 2 at $899. The iPad mini with cellular modem and GPS is about $599. If you wish the addition of active weather and traffic for your android, the Garmin GDL 39 sells for $899 like the Stratus. I know it’s not always about money when you are a GA flyer, but then I’m a bit of an Android fan. Okay, yes, I know the iPad/Stratus 2/Foreflight combo has ADS-B traffic plus WAAS GPS and my single android setup doesn’t, but for VFR, the Garmin Pilot+Android tablet has become quite capable for what I needed on the flight.

To Compare Specs:
Garmin Pilot –
Garmin GDL 39 –

Foreflight –
Stratus 2 –

So, back to the flight. Besides the charts and course info, I would hear “I can get fuel price information and I have airport information”, but then so could I. Now we get to the ADS-B addition that I didn’t have on my android. Certainly was helpful with the active information until we got to a high traffic airport.

Quick tutorial:
ADS-B receiver only – Displays only ADS-B Out equipped aircraft (Not a lot of GA aircraft in that category “yet”).

**HOWEVER, if a nearby ADS-B Out aircraft is connected to a ground station, it will be receiving a traffic picture in a cylindrical shape with a 30 mile diameter and ±3500ft high around that aircraft. This traffic picture is “specific” to their location. If you are located somewhere within that 30 mile cylinder, your receiver will show the same picture of both ADS-B traffic “and” any Mode C traffic within that cylinder. Fine if you are in the center, but not so if located on the outer portion.


So here’s a problem. If you are approaching a busy airport area for landing, like the Oshkosh AirVenture, and there is and ADS-B Out aircraft nearby connected to a ground station, you get all the active ADS-B & Mode C traffic within a ±3500ft altitude. So far sounds good, but then one of my pilot passengers began to get “Information Overload” from his tablet displaying many traffic targets all around us. Problem is, that in spite of all the displayed targets, the tablet will still not display traffic that could be passing right in front of you if that traffic not ADS-B Out or Mode C equipped.

I feel that the tablets with all the aviation information are great, but sometimes no substitute for simply looking out the windscreen and flying the airplane. My comment in the airport traffic area was to please look outside and help me spot “all” the close traffic.

Okay, so bottom line. Do I like the iPad combo? Definitely yes, but then my Android Tablet is perfectly acceptable with loads of information for VFR flying and at a modest price.

Some ADS-B detailed tutorial links:

*Under current FCC regulations, the use cellular devices is prohibited while airborne. BUT, there are some changes in the wind… stay tuned.

Aviation Humor

Categories: Humor
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Beginner’s Guide to Aviation Terminology… 

( Found in one of those forwarded emails )
AIRSPEED – Speed of an airplane. (Deduct at least 25% when listening to a fighter pilot. Deduct 50% when listening to a Mooney pilot)
BANK – An institution that holds the lien on most pilots’ cars.
CARBURETOR ICING – A phenomenon reported to the FAA by pilots immediately after they run out of gas.
CONE OF CONFUSION – An area about the size of New Jersey located near the final approach fix at an airport.
DEAD RECKONING – You reckon correctly, or you are.
DESTINATION – Geographical location 15 minutes beyond the pilot’s bladder saturation point.
ENGINE FAILURE – A condition that always results when all fuel tanks mysteriously become filled with low-octane air.
FIREWALL – Section of the aircraft specifically designed to funnel heat and smoke into the cockpit.
FLIGHT FOLLOWING – 1. Formation flying 2. Bird watching.
GLIDE DISTANCE – Half the distance from an airplane to the nearest emergency landing field.
HOBBS METER – An instrument requiring an immediate emergency landing if it should fail during dual instruction.
HYDROPLANE – An airplane landing long and “hot” on a short and very wet runway.
LEAN MIXTURE – Nonalcoholic beer.
MINI MAG LITE – Device designed to support the AAA battery industry.
NANOSECOND – Time delay between the Low Fuel Warning light and the onset of carburetor icing (see above).
PARASITIC DRAG – A pilot who bums a ride and complains about the service.
RICH MIXTURE – What you order at another pilot’s promotion party.
ROGER – Used when you have no idea about what else to say.
SECTIONAL CHART – Any chart that ends 25 nm short of your destination.
SERVICE CEILING – Altitude above which the cabin crew cannot serve drinks.
SPOILERS – 1. FAA Inspectors. 2. Box lunches
STALL – Technique used to explain to the bank why your car payment is late.
STEEP BANKS – Banks that charge pilots more than 10% interest.
TURN & BANK INDICATOR – An instrument largely ignored by pilots.
USEFUL LOAD – Volumetric capacity of the aircraft, disregarding weight.
WAC CHART – Directions to the Army female barracks.
YANKEE – Any pilot who has to ask New Orleans tower to “Say again”.

End of LSA? Been thinking about the Cessna Skycatcher LSA (162) aircraft ending production and some saying the LSA movement is over. Well, probably not. Especially not simply because Cessna decided to be out of that market. There are scores of active LSA manufacturers that have aircraft flying in many parts of the world including the US and many of those are at FBO’s for training. It did seem as though everyone was expecting the 162 to be the next 152. However, the lower purchase costs and rental rates of the 152 vs 162, has kept the 152 a very popular trainer. The greater useful load for the 152 is also a positive factor. People don’t seem to be getting smaller these days.

Piper CubPersonally I think that light sport aircraft have more limited use than I had previously thought. Not to mention higher prices that were originally hoped for. One does have to admire the early days of civil aviation where the Piper Cubs and Champs along with others were the mainstay of flying. The fact is, like the earlier aircraft, there is not much weight vs wing surface in a typical LSA to ride comfortably in light/mod turbulence or climb power to get above. We are talking gross weights of only 1100lbs to the LSA of 1320lbs and wing loading in the 9-11 lbs/ ft² range.  Common wing loadings for a GA single engine aircraft are at 14-17 lbs/ft² and twins-26 lbs/ft². (birds-5 lbs/ ft² – airliners-@120 lbs/ ft²)

So how does wing loading affect aircraft performance? A larger wing area relative to mass (wing loading) creates more lift. It also will have lower stall speeds, shorter takeoff & landing distances, better climb performance (for the power available) and better maneuvering/turning performance. Sounds great except for the bumpy ride as the wing is more sensitive to gusts and turbulence.

When I think back to my early days in flight training, I started in a Piper Tomahawk or “tummy-ache” as some of us called it. The main issue was the light wing loading and the squirrely nature in the more turbulent summer air. And we are talking a gross weight that was several hundred pounds heavier than the cubs/champs or today’s LSA’s. Of course there are other factors that contribute to an aircraft’s’ ride in unsettled air, but weight is part of the equation.I recall coming in for my lesson one day to find that it had to be cancelled because the Tomahawk was down for some repair. Rather than cancel, there was a Piper Cruiser 4 seater sitting on the tarmac and I said, how about we take that instead? We did and I never went back to the Tomahawk. Why? Because this Cruiser had another 300 lbs of GW and another 25hp. All seemed more stable handling in rough air and the extra power was great.


Next, I tried a Cherokee Warrior with even more hp, gross weight and higher wing loading. Now I’m hooked on this even as my training costs continue to rise with each new airplane. Wasn’t done yet. Finally went to the Archer with even more weight and power and this was the one! Loved it and oh yeah, there were all the great avionics because it was the instrument trainer too. Finally got my Private in the Archer and went on to fly many airplanes in the years to follow.

Rans S7-S
How does all this relate to LSA? Well, with the advent of the new category and license, I began getting involved with light sport and it thrust me back to the Tomahawk days of training and the somewhat under powered planes with the bumpy ride. Now don’t get me wrong, I like these light sport aircraft and even own one. They are great fun to fly down low and slow on those nice summer days. The view is terrific compared to climbing up to 7-8-9k and just heading to the destination as fast as you can. But, if I want to travel somewhere over a couple hours or so, the bumps and lack of horsepower to get above the turbulence, all make the travel less comfortable. I think a lot of the older pilots like me that are moving to the LSA are finding some of the same truths. If you’re not, great!

AOPA and EAA submitted a request in March 2012 to the FAA for those flying recreationally and has completed the recurrent aeromedical course, to use the driver’s license as the baseline of health as an option to obtaining a 3rd class FAA medical. This would be limited to day vfr, two on board in aircraft with max of 4 seats and up to 180hp. This would be a good alternative for those that may want to transition to light-sport / recreational category-class-type aircraft or someone who is only interested in these aircraft. Personally I’m not interested in the super light ac for travel.

Now, we also have the General Aviation Pilot Protection Act (GAPPA) designated S. 2103 in the Senate and H.R. 3708 in the House of Representatives. This legislation would apply medical certification standards similar to the decade-old and successful Sport Pilot rule to most general aviation aircraft when flown for personal flights under visual flight rules at or below 14,000 feet MSL and under 250 knots.

Please support this initiative and sign the petition though this url at EAA:


 Aviation Weather Center Media Release…New Aviation Weather Site

Technical Implementation Notice 14-07
National Weather Service Headquarters Washington DC

750 AM EST Mon Feb 3 2014

TO: Subscribers: Family of Services
-NOAA Weather Wire Service
-Emergency Managers Weather Information Network
Other NWS Partners and Employees

FROM:      Cyndie Abelman
Chief, Aviation Services Branch

SUBJECT: Design Refresh

Effective Tuesday, March 25, 2014, at 1800 Coordinated Universal Time (UTC), the NWS Aviation Weather Center will implement newly designed webpages to the and These design improvements will affect the look and feel of the website, but will not change the content. Users can examine the changes before March 25, 2014 at and

These changes are being implemented to bring the layout of the website up to the standard set by,  released fall of 2012.  The new website will streamline the user access to the site and provide a common look and feel for the web pages. The new web pages still use the ADDS database and products. The GIS maps introduced in the fall of 2013 are now the primary displays of data replacing the Java applets. The design provides the same functionality on a tablet as it does on the desktop.

The legacy web pages will remain on the web site until March 25, 2015 to allow users to transition on their own and not break bookmarks.

You can find a tutorial on the changes to these awc pages at:

If you have any questions about this change, please contact:
Dan Vietor
Aviation Weather Center
Kansas City, MO 64153
Phone: 816-584-7211

National NWS Technical Implementation Notices are online at:

GA Protection Act

Categories: Aircraft, Newsworthy
Comments: 1

General Aviation Protection Act (GAPPA)

You have probably heard of the two pieces of legislation currently going through the US Congress and Senate, which includes a provision that would reform airman medical certificate standards while maintaining safety. The EAA has created a web page that will send a message/petition to your Senators and Representatives urging their support of the General Aviation Pilot Protection Act.

Also, please contact your Senators and Representative and politely ask them to co-sponsor the General Aviation Pilot Protection Act. A phone call generally creates the fastest results.

A possible email…

Dear —- , As a constituent and long time pilot, I wholeheartedly support the General Aviation Pilot Protection Act  H.R. 3708 (Rokita) in the House and S. 2103 (Boozman) in the Senate. I would ask that you please support this important Act for General Aviation which:

Expands on the FAA’s successful sport pilot medical standard.
Saves pilots and the FAA money and time.
Addressess the number one concern of pilots.

General aviation is a vital part of the nation’s transportation system and I hope you will please seriously consider becoming a cosponsor.

Warm Regards, —–


Most of the aviation world has seen/heard the story of the Boeing 747 Dreamlifter that landed at the wrong Wichita-area airport a bit ago. Is it really that unusual? Probably unusual yes for 747’s, but one has to wonder if it doesn’t happen occasionally to smaller GA aircraft. I recall several years ago and incident here in Minneapolis that created a similar stir. Not so much with the general public, but with the local aviation community.

The incident occurred when a GA aircraft was inbound from the southwestern U.S.  to MIC (Minneapolis Crystal) a city reliever airport. As I recall, the pilot was on a vfr flight plan and he had told Flight Service that he had the airport in sight, cancelled the flight plan and proceeded to contact the Crystal tower. MIC has parallel runways 14-32 with a cross runway of 06-24. MSPMSP (Minneapolis International) a few miles to the southeast has parallel runways 12-30 and a cross runway of 04-22. And of course, MSP was all lit up with evening rush hour air traffic. So here’s where the fun began. The pilot was talking to the reliever airport tower, but was on a visual course to the International.  The reliever tower kept saying that they did not have visual contact with his aircraft, so please turn on landing lights. We can easily assume that the MSP Int’l folks were seeing a small plane approaching its airport on radar and no radio contact with the plane. Apparently many airliners had to be vectored from approaches into holding patterns and takeoffs were held. The GA plane did land at International and was likely met very quickly by authorities. This was before 9-11 so you could imagine the problems to be faced today.

These errant landings probably don’t often happen at major international airports, but I’ll bet they occur at smaller non-towered ones. Just nobody but the pilot knows it. You can expect most airports in a local area to have similar wind patterns and thus similar runway directions. My best guess is that when a pilot has that nearby look-alike “airport in sight” and begins a visual approach, the mental focus becomes the airport in sight and not the instruments that are saying wrong airport. Sometimes it can be confusing and especially at night. The word “verify” comes to mind.

DreamlifterWhat surprises me is that the Wichita reliever airport runway was able to handle the weight of that Dreamlifter that can be in the 800k lbs range. Years ago I had an opportunity to fly a 747-400 full motion simulator at one of the airline sim centers and talked the instructor pilot into letting me attempt a landing at a local reliever airport. Very fun and made it in although my instructor pilot commented that in real life the runway may not be able to handle the load. That particular airport is one of our larger reliever airports has a runway single wheel load limit of 30k lbs, while MSP Int’l handles 100k lbs per single wheel. The Dreamlifter looks to have 18 wheels or over  40k lbs per wheel. The Wichita look-alike Colonel James Jabara airport has a single wheel load limit of 40k lbs. I guess with some fuel burned off during flight and likely a margin for error on the runway limit, they managed to be spared another major problem.

My learning thoughts on these episodes still turn back to always check your instruments and “verify”, especially in an unfamiliar location…

Cessna 162 Skycatcher – No Future

For all of you who follow light sport aircraft…Skycatcher

At the recent National Business Aviation Association 2013 in Las Vegas, media has reported that Cessna Aircraft CEO Scott Ernest says “No Future” for the Skycatcher. Another Cessna executive reported that about 20 of the 162 Skycatchers had been sold (I assume in 2013) and had several in stock and available. Looking of the FAA Aircraft Registry database, it appears that several available is in the neighborhood of 80 plus. In Aug 2007, Cessna Aircraft announced that they had orders for 720 Skycatchers. Again, according to the FAA database, there are only a total of 276 Skycatchers registered to date and that includes the unsold inventory. Wow, I remember when the aircraft was announced in 2006, that there seemed to be a huge interest, and many FBO’s and individuals plunking down cash to reserve an airplane for the special introductory price of $109,500.00. So, I am really very surprised to see the numbers that I found in the FAA database! Now the Skycatcher is selling at almost $150,000.00 with several previous optional features as standard. That certainly put the aircraft on the higher end of light sport. Ernest’s later commented  “That program didn’t have a business model that worked”. I certainly hope that this sad news, is a function of the economy regarding light sport aviation, and not of light sport in general….


iOS 7 Update Caution

Categories: Apps, Newsworthy
Comments: No

WingX Pro/ Hilton Software iOS 7 Update Caution…iOS 7

…. because of issues we have seen with iOS 7 (reboots, lock up, and strange UI behavior) and unrelated to any third party app (including WingX Pro7), we cannot recommend upgrading your iPhone or iPad to iOS 7 (for now).
If you have already upgraded to iOS 7.0, just be aware that there are some instability issues in the underlying iOS and be sure to upgrade to the latest iOS as soon as Apple releases an update. Read Full Article!

FAA Action

Final Notice Of The Process For Limiting Aircraft Data Displayed Via Asdi.

**Read Full FAA Rule Release...Tracking


With respect to the procedures for aircraft owner and operator requests to block and unblock aircraft from inclusion in the FAA’s ASDI data feed, the FAA concludes as follows:

1. Requestors. The FAA will honor each written request of an aircraft owner and operator, submitted in accordance with paragraphs 2 and 3 to block or unblock their aircraft’s appearance in the FAA’s public ASDI data feed. Aircraft owners and operators may submit their request on their own behalf, or they may do so through a legally authorized agent, including an attorney or an aircraft management company with a fiduciary duty to carry out the owner’s or operator’s express wishes with respect to the aircraft.

2. Substance of Requests. To assist the FAA in processing aircraft owner or operator requests promptly, all requests related to an aircraft’s ASDI blocking or unblocking must include the following information:

  • The name of the requestor;
  • the registration number(s) of the aircraft to be blocked or unblocked;
  • a certification that the requestor is the owner or operator of the specified aircraft or is a legally authorized representative of the aircraft owner or operator;
  • a telephone number or electronic mail address to which the FAA can direct any questions about the request; and
  • for a request to block one or more aircraft, a statement indicating the requestor’s desired level of ASDI blocking—either at the FAA source or at the ASDI subscriber level.

3. Addresses. The FAA’s primary electronic mailbox for all aircraft blocking and unblocking requests and for related inquiries directed to the ASDI blocking program is The FAA also will accept aircraft block and unblock requests submitted by regular mail at: FAA ASDI Blocking Request; ATO System Operation Services, AJR-0; Wilbur Wright Building, Room 3E1500; 600 Independence Avenue SW; Washington, DC 20597.

4. FAA Monthly Implementation. The FAA implements the ASDI block list updates on the first Thursday of each month. As a result, requests that the FAA receives on or before the 15th of the preceding month are likely to be processed in time to take effect in the month after the FAA receives them. However, it is possible that the volume of requests in a given month, a requestor’s timeliness, or issues with the completeness and accuracy of the information that the FAA receives could preclude the FAA from processing some requests in time for them to take effect in the month following their submission. In that event, the FAA will process all requests in the order in which the FAA receives them, to the extent that it is possible.

5. FAA Treatment of Aircraft That Are Currently Blocked. Any aircraft that is currently on the ASDI block list, either by virtue of a certified security concern submitted after June 3, 2011, or a request submitted under the FAA’s interim ASDI block policy, will remain indefinitely on the ASDI block list when the policies in this document take effect. It is not necessary for the owners or operators of these aircraft to resubmit their requests, unless they wish to change the blocking status of their aircraft or amend the level at which their aircraft is blocked.

Issued in Washington, DC, on August 14, 2013.

J. David Grizzle,

Chief Operating Officer, ATO.

EAA, AOPA Urge Survey Participation for Medical Exemption
3rd Class
EAA and AOPA continue their joint efforts to have the FAA grant a third-class medical exemption for private pilots who fly noncomplex aircraft, and you can help.

The petition was submitted in March 2012, and the two organizations recently received indications that the FAA sought more data related to the rate of medically related incidents among pilots flying under sport pilot rules. This data will help the FAA decide whether to allow private pilots or better to fly day VFR, four-seat (with one passenger), 180-hp-maximum aircraft using a self-certification medical standard and a driver’s license in lieu of a traditional third-class FAA medical.

EAA is asking all pilots currently flying under sport pilot rules – either certificated sport pilots or private pilots exercising sport pilot privileges – to complete a brief survey to better document the amount of hours flown by this segment of the pilot population. Data will be used to paint a clearer picture of how many pilots fly under these rules and for how many hours each year. No personally identifiable information will be collected.

If this is you, please take the survey. Takes only a couple minutes… Thanks!

NTSB The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) has released its accident statistics for 2012 and it shows little progress in the General Aviation sector. Sad to note that in most fatal GA accidents, all aboard perish.

GAAccidents ______ Fatalaties ________ Flt HrsAccidents/100,000 FltHrs

In response to these statistics and to help pilots address the most common accident causes, the NTSB has produced five general aviation safety alert videos that were released just a few weeks ago. These videos concentrate on risk management, loss of control at low altitude, inflight emergencies and maintenance, and flight into low visibility. We all know that these are mostly problems that we DO have control over, but often neglect re-currant training to keep fresh on the procedures. When is the last time you practiced engine out emergency landing procedures or approach to landing stalls? How about the in-flight engine fire procedure? Do you ever skip over checklists because you know them so well? Are you up to snuff on your flight by reference to instruments? What about maintenance? Do you make sure that the lower than usual oil pressure or a cylinder running hotter than normal gets looked into promptly? These videos are a good reminder of what we GA pilots should be up-to-snuff on and not just at bi-annual time….

Pilots: Manage Risks to Ensure Safety

Prevent Aerodynamic Stalls at Low Altitude

Is Your Aircraft Talking To You? Listen!

Reduced Visual References Require Vigilance

Mechanics: Manage Risks to Ensure Safety

ForeFlight iOS vs Garmin Pilot Android

Was on a recent flight to Oshkosh for the airshow and I had my trusty Google Nexus7 tablet with the Garmin Pilot app. My friend had his ever faithful iPad with the ForeFlight app. The iPad was WiFi only, so needed an external GPS for moving map and ADS-B device for weather etc. The GPS/ADS-B was the Stratus One. My android tablet was WiFi plus 3/4G cellular and it’s own built-in GPS, so I was able to load up all the latest information during taxi. I believe even WiFi only androids typically have a built in  GPS. Why is this important? The moving map displays require active GPS information. The ADS-B device gave the added traffic information to the iPad which I did not have on my Android tablet.

What happened?
So now for the showdown! Well truth be told, they really have similar features. One could pretty much do everything the other could. The really big difference was that the Stratus would loose signal more often that I expected and the data it provided either wouldn’t display or not be current. The android tablet had a fairly current display. We tried placing the Stratus in multiple locations with only marginal change.

The aircraft itself could be an issue with signal interference, so the Stratus may well have preformed better in another plane. There is also a smaller Stratus 2 out for around $899 with better ADS-B reception. Yes, I am an android devotee and probably a bit prejudiced, but the bottom line is that I was pleased with my Garmin Pilot app on the Nexus7 android and it provided most everything I needed for around $300. True there was no traffic on my tablet, but it was severe clear and there is always the old “look out the window” technique.

If you have some different experiences, I welcome your comments…

Below is a table comparing the 2 apps using mostly the descriptions taken from the manufacturer….

ForeFlight Mobile ( iOS )Garmin Pilot ( iOS or Android )
ForeFlight Mobile is the critically acclaimed flight planning, flight support, and electronic flight bag (“EFB”) app for pilots. Navigation charts, Internet and in-flight weather, airport facility directory information, moving map, hazard and terrain awareness, aviation documents, and much more.Garmin Pilot is the most comprehensive suite of tools for Android designed specifically for general aviation and corporate pilots. Flight planning, DUAT(S) filing, charts, interactive maps, weather briefing resources and navigation capabilities; it’s all included. The app’s intuitive interface mirrors those on the newest Garmin touchscreen avionics so you can go seamlessly from preflight to inflight. Plan, file, fly with Garmin Pilot.
ForeFlight service requires a subscription, available via in-app purchase. $74.99 annual.30 Day Free Trial! $9.99 Monthly Subscription Required or $74.99 annual.
ForeFlight’s A/FD provides information about US and major international airports. Data is provided by government authorities, the AOPA, and Universal Weather and Aviation. Critical airport information is displayed elegantly and additionally provides METARs, TAFs, winds aloft, and NOTAMS.View detailed information for more than 5,300 U.S. airports with included AOPA Airport Directory data. Flight rules, Nearby Airports, NOTAMs and Safe Taxi.
ForeFlight provides access to US VFR and Terminal Area (TAC) charts; US and Canadian VNC/IFR en-route charts; area and gulf helicopter charts, and 15,000 US and 2,000 Canadian instrument procedures. En-route charts and over 12,000 terminal procedures are geo-referenced.Charts: VFR Sectionals, VFR WACs, TAC’s, low and high IFR en-route, airport diagrams and approach procedures.
CForeFlight’s weather is best-in-class. 10 weather Slip Maps(TM) with route overlay, pinch and zoom support, and touch planning support deliver information about conditions along your route quickly and visually. In-flight weather is possible via Stratus ADS-B or XM.Weather Maps: Animated radar, AIRMETs/SIGMETs, Lightning, PIREPs, METARs/TAFs, Winds Aloft, TFRs, Infrared and Visible Satellite. Receive and display subscription-free ADS-B weather and datalink traffic with a GDL 39 receiver. Use the unique NavTrack feature to preview changing weather conditions along your flight route. In-Flight WX does not require ADS-B with 3G or 4G data.
HD NEXRAD composite radarNEXRAD radar
Visible and IR satelliteVisible and infrared cloud imagery
Flight rules – Visibility- Sky coverage- Wind conditions- Temp and dew-point spreadGarmin Pilot, weather data can be displayed over a VFR sectional or an IFR low or high en-route chart to visualize the weather for your route.
LightningLightning data
Global winds aloftWinds and temperature aloft
Plan flights by touch to draw a route of flight, bend a route around weather, and add or drop waypoints. ‘Direct To’ functions get you where you want quickly.Create and graphically edit flight plans. Easily modify your route by dragging your finger across the screen or add waypoints with just a few taps. Also Direct To entry.
Engage the moving map and see your ship’s position on top of en-route charts; use the customizable dashboard to display groundspeed and altitude, track, GPS accuracy, or one of 15 different instruments. Only the +Cellular model iPads contain the GPS chip that can be used to activate the moving map capabilities of ForeFlight Mobile. However, the WiFi model can be paired with an external GPS to provide location fixes in flight.Gain valuable GPS-derived situational awareness with appropriate hardware. The app offers a graphical HSI directional display, as well as indicators for groundspeed, altitude, rate of turn and vertical speed. Most WiFi Android tablets include GPS for location, speed etc. to provide moving map
Optional geo-referenced plates and diagrams.Optional geo-reference Garmin FliteCharts® and Garmin SafeTaxi® show aircraft position on approach charts and taxiways
ForeFlight supports airways, SIDS, STARS, and providers cleared ATC routes. Use multi-runway SIDS, airway entrances/exits, intersections, airway identifiers, and even the most complex STARS.Electronic approach plates and terminal procedures for more than 3,000 U.S. airports.
ForeFlight provides fuel price information, visually color coded by price, for 2,300+ FBOs in Canada and the US. Pilots can also submit fuel price updates in-app.Look up fuel prices along your route to calculate the most cost-effective flights possible. Can overlay on map display.
File flight plans from your iPhone or iPad and get confirmation in seconds. Copies are stored on our servers for safe-keeping; email confirmations and briefings are sent automatically.Flight plan filing via DUAT(S) With Garmin Pilot, users can easily enter a flight plan. Pre-loaded forms make it quick to save and reuse data for frequently flown routes. And when the flight plan is ready, Garmin Pilot makes it simple to file, cancel or close the flight plan via DTC DUAT or CSC DUATS.
Select the regions and information you need. Download one area or the whole country from our highly reliable delivery network. Plate and chart volumes install in seconds.Select the regions and information you need. Download one area or the whole country.
Submit comments directly from device, wherever you may be, and read comments from other pilots. You may just find a great place for fried pickles.

Canadian radar coverage is provided by Environment Canada.
International A/FD provided by Universal Weather and Aviation.

Comprehensive weather data direct from the National Weather Service and Environment Canada.

Class Ground & Class Everywhere else Airspace

For some reason, Class E and the underlying Class G seem to be challenging for a lot of students to wrap their head around. Basically Class E is everything that is not A, B, C, D or G. I know, a pretty obvious statement. I believe one of the problems in understanding is diagrams that squeeze all the different airspaces into one small place like the one here.


Unless you live in a large metro area, the airspace will not be jammed together like this. It would be more common to have many smaller airports spread out with an occasional Class D towered airport. To begin with, Class G (Ground) is the uncontrolled (by ATC) layer of airspace that covers the surface and whose ceiling generally goes up to 1200ft in open areas.  Around airports can drop to 700ft and even the surface. Way out in the rural unpopulated areas, the ceiling goes up to 14,500ft. Daytime requirements for Class G are 1 statute mile visibility and clear of clouds to 1200ft. Above 1200ft, stays at 1sm visibility but then for cloud clearance you must be 1000ft above, 500ft below and 2000ft horizontal.

Above the Class G (ground) is Class E (everywhere else) and is controlled airspace. Here VFR aircraft must maintain higher visibility and cloud clearance requirements to allow for visual separation from aircraft on IFR flight plans. VFR in Class E must have at least 3 statute miles visibility along with the 1000↑-500↓-2000ft↔ cloud clearance. So why would someone even bother to file IFR in VFR conditions? Well, VFR you must stay away from any clouds and areas of low visibility and with an IFR clearance you do not have to deviate to avoid the clouds or lower visibilities, you just keep on flying. Class E becomes more pertinent when in the vicinity of airports.

Classes E & G

Airports on your charts:

– A Class G airport simply has the airport/runway symbol.

– A busier IFR Class G airport often has the Class G ceiling drop to below 700ft and is depicted by a wide magenta circle around the airspace.  The circle can also be elongated to allow for IFR traffic to flow more smoothly to the primary runways.

– The even busier Class E airports have an outer dashed magenta circle (sometimes with elongations) to indicate that class E airspace drops down to the surface.

– A Class D towered airport with a blue airport/runway symbol and an outer dashed blue circle (sometimes with elongations) that indicates Class D airspace down to the surface. You will note that the Class D is usually surrounded by Class E transition airspace. The Class D can also become Class E and rarely Class G should the tower be closed. In other words, if the tower is closed and you remove the Class D, the airport becomes the class of the surrounding airspace.

– Class C airports have the two tiered solid magenta rings surrounding blue runway symbols.

– Class B airports have the three tiered solid blue rings surrounding blue runway symbols.

Now, to make it even more interesting –> several airports in a large metro area can be mixed with Class B on top of Class C on top of Class D and E etc. etc.  For more chart reading help, download the FAA Chart Users Guide PDF here… 23MB

MIAMI INTL (MIA) with a bit of everything….

Mixed Classes