Aviation Law Articles

Aviation Pre-flight Checks Are Vital

F.A.R. 91.103 requires each pilot-in-command to “become familiar with all available information concerning that flight.” Importantly, this knowledge must be obtained “before beginning a flight,” not while in-flight or afterwards. As discussed elsewhere, this has been used as one of the catalysts to a certificate action in connection with temporary flight restrictions (you must check NOTAMs prior to flight). However, there are other criteria that must be met.

For flights other than home base pattern work and all I.F.R. flights, the required familiarity includes: weather reports and forecasts, fuel requirements, available alternate airports, runway information and any known traffic delays as advised by A.T.C. Accordingly, those pilots who find themselves caught in I.F.R. conditions, low or out of fuel, running out of runway and the like, may be facing an administrative or enforcement action for violation of F.A.R. 91.103 (not to mention, all the serious associated dangers involved). Accordingly, each pilot-in-command should give themselves the extra time to gain “all available information” required.
by Richard T. Miller, Specialist in Aviation Law – (818) 994-8234