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IFR written test question by the FAA. Available answers:

  1. The required minimum crew must be provided and use supplemental oxygen for that part of the flight of more than 30 minutes, and the passengers must be provided supplemental oxygen.
  2. The required minimum crew must be provided and use supplemental oxygen.
  3. The required minimum crew must be provided and use supplemental oxygen for that part of the flight of more than 30 minutes.

Apparently the correct answer is 2? MEA is 15,300FT... I don't understand why passengers don't need oxygen. enter image description here

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2 Answers 2

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The MEA is over 14000, so crew members must be using oxygen at all times. This means that both 1 and 3 are wrong. By process of elimination, 2 must be the correct answer.

A better answer to this would be "The required minimum crew must be provided and use supplemental oxygen, and the passengers must be provided supplemental oxygen." But answer 2 is not wrong, it is just incomplete. When choosing between an incomplete answer and a wrong answer on a multiple choice test, you need to pick the incomplete answer.

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    $\begingroup$ @user2605553 this is yet another case of FAA trickery I described in my answer to your other question 😃 $\endgroup$
    – Jpe61
    Jan 3 at 9:57
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    $\begingroup$ And the extra info ("eastbound" - so westbound won't be an issue?) is also meant to confuse you. Standard multiple-choice question construction. $\endgroup$
    – Jon Custer
    Jan 3 at 14:51
  • $\begingroup$ @JonCuster Westbound from DBS on V520 has a lower MEA and actually would change the answer in this case. $\endgroup$
    – Chris
    Jan 3 at 15:21
  • $\begingroup$ IIRC, there was a question recently about whether there were any commercial flights with passengers where passengers normally required oxygen during regular (not emergency) flight. And on that basis - i.e., it hardly ever happens, especially as high as 520 because few planes fly that high in the first place - the "passenger" part is basically irrelevant. $\endgroup$ Jan 3 at 18:57
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    $\begingroup$ @manassehkatz-Moving2Codidact The answer is sometimes. ;) It's basically the mission that turbocharged unpressurized airplanes were designed for. $\endgroup$
    – Chris
    Jan 3 at 20:04
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The thin air at 15,300 feet isn't dangerous to healthy individuals -- mountain climbers routinely climb summits higher than that without supplemental oxygen -- but it really messes up your decision-making. The crew need to be thinking clearly, so they need to be on oxygen, but the passengers are't making any important decisions.

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  • $\begingroup$ Not disagreeing with your explanation, however passengers are required to have supplemental oxygen above 15,000 ft. As pointed out in the answer by @Chris the correct answer in the FAA exam (#2) was an incomplete statement. Likely a trick question, designed to catch someone who remembered the 15,000 limit for passengers and thus assumed answer #2 was wrong and went with answer #1 because they didn't remember the 14,000 ft. limit for pilots. $\endgroup$ Jan 4 at 4:49

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