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For instance, I don't remember paragraph 61.51(e)(iii) at all from way back when I studied it to determine when I could log PIC time. I'm fairly certain that it has been added since then (actually, there was no sport pilot license back then so I know that it has at least been changed), but I would like to know when it was changed and what the changes were.

At the bottom of the reg, it includes this:

[Doc. No. 25910, 62 FR 16298, Apr. 4, 1997; Amdt. 61-103, 62 FR 40897, July 30, 1997; Amdt. 61-104, 63 FR 20286, Apr. 23, 1998; Amdt. 61-110, 69 FR 44865, July 27, 2004; Amdt. 61-124, 74 FR 42549, Aug. 21, 2009; Amdt. 61-128, 76 FR 54105, Aug. 31, 2011]

This tells me when it was amended, but not what was amended.

Does the FAA make that information available?

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Changes to federal aviation regulations are listed on the FAA’s Regulatory & Guidance Library (RGL) at http://rgl.faa.gov/:

  • From the home page, click on the database titled "Code of Federal Regulations"
  • On the left, in the navigation tree, select one of the branches under "Historical CFR" (for example, "By Part")
  • On the right, expand the items leading to the regulation that you are looking for (in this case Part 61)
  • Scroll down to the regulation that you are looking for (61.51) and it will list the original version and all of the revisions:

61.51 revision history

Each revision is a link which takes you to the regulation as of that version, with links to the NPRM's and dockets so that you can see what has been changed!

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  • $\begingroup$ I was digging for an answer to another question, and came across an answer to my own question here! $\endgroup$ – Lnafziger Jan 4 '14 at 23:05
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You can find this information with a bit of digging.

Hit up the GPO (Government Printing Office) here.

Choose the date range you want to look up.

Then choose the Title of the CFR you want (Aviation stuff is Title 14 CFR), and drill down until you find the Part you want, and it will give you some meta data about the change, and then the actual text of the change.

There might be an easier way, but, it is the federal government, so maybe not. :)

To answer your specific question, here is the link. (Click on the "Text" link for full details)

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  • $\begingroup$ The only drawback here is you need to know the date range you're interested in - there's no way (I can find) to say "Show me all the changes to 14CFR91", and nothing like the "black line" indicating changes in the paper FAR/AIM from ASA. This is the one-and-only thing I miss about the paper version. $\endgroup$ – voretaq7 Dec 27 '13 at 3:16
  • $\begingroup$ @voretaq7 Well, you can get the specific date of the change from the quote that I posted above (which is at the bottom of every regulation on ecfr.gov). $\endgroup$ – Lnafziger Dec 27 '13 at 3:21
  • $\begingroup$ @Canuk I'll look at this a little more closely, but the link that you posted was for a change to 61.58, and not 61.51. $\endgroup$ – Lnafziger Dec 27 '13 at 3:22
  • $\begingroup$ @lnafziger Yes, I suppose you could look up each change listed in the amendment list. But dangit we're pilots - we're supposed to be lazy and spoiled and have automation to do this sort of thing for me while someone slips us coffee through a pass-thru in the armored door! :-) $\endgroup$ – voretaq7 Dec 27 '13 at 3:24
  • $\begingroup$ @Inafziger, I had written up this big thing and then realized I didn't specifically answer your question! So I looked up the last change mentioned on 61.51, but I guess I got the wrong one still! So, I guess you have to really want it! :) $\endgroup$ – Canuk Dec 27 '13 at 3:27
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Another good answer has already been given to this question, but this answer will address specifically how to see the documents you've referenced in the list of sources attached to your answer.

[Doc. No. 25910, 62 FR 16298, Apr. 4, 1997; Amdt. 61-103, 62 FR 40897, July 30, 1997; Amdt. 61-104, 63 FR 20286, Apr. 23, 1998; Amdt. 61-110, 69 FR 44865, July 27, 2004; Amdt. 61-124, 74 FR 42549, Aug. 21, 2009; Amdt. 61-128, 76 FR 54105, Aug. 31, 2011]

"FR" means "Federal Register", and the "Federal Register" is available on-line, at last back through the mid-80's if not much further back. The information in the list includes the page number (16298 in the first item in the list) and the volume number, which you don't really need (62 in the first item in the list).

Let's say I want to check the first source in the list above. Google "Federal Register April 4 1997". Select one of the hits that starts with a url "loc" (Library of Congress) or "gov.info.gov". Use the link to download the April 4 1997 edition of the Federal Register. (Example: https://www.govinfo.gov/content/pkg/FR-1997-04-04/pdf/FR-1997-04-04.pdf ) Go to page 16298. There it is! It is a Final Rule that actually spans pages 16219-16367. You can read all about not only WHAT the FAA changed, but WHY they changed it-- how they justified it in terms of economic costs, safety benefits, etc; what other alternatives were considered, what kind of response they received to their original Notice Of Proposed Rule Making, what was the date of the original Notice of Proposed Rule Making and in which issue of the Federal Register was it published, etc.

Update-- if you read the FARs with this on-line source, the Federal Register references are actually attached to working links-- https://www.law.cornell.edu/cfr/text/14/chapter-I

Also, if you wish to see the FARs as they existed at any given date, here's how to do it--

Go to the government's webpage of cfr's on-line--

https://gov.ecfr.io/cgi-bin/ECFR?page=browse

In the box on the lower right, browse down to "Title 14" and hit "go"

Browse down to the part you are interested in-- e.g. part 91

There it is--

To see older versions, click on the "Browse/ Search Previous" button in the upper left.

However, it appears you'll only be able to navigate back as far as Jan 1, 2015.

Also, it does not seem to be easy to stay focused on one particular FAR (eg 91.157) as you move around to various dates.

It is also possible to find an on-line ebook of the entire FAR for some years, which you may be able to read for free. Do a "google" search using the "books" option, searching for something like "FAR" or "FAR/AIM", "ebook", and the year of interest.

As far as seeing the revision history of one particular FAR goes, method suggested in the answer starting "Changes to federal aviation regulations are listed on the FAA’s Regulatory & Guidance Library (RGL)" is a good one, but it too is limited in how far back in time you are able to follow the revision history of any given FAR. Certainly, for many regulations, it will not allow you to look back as far as the September 1993 "alphabet reorganization" of the national airspace system. To see further back in time, going directly to the Federal Register is often the best way to go, if you know the date and page number to go to.

The Federal Register may also be searched for NPRM's dealing with a given topic, etc. This is a good way find information about regulatory changes that were proposed, then dropped. "Google" isn't very effective as a search engine for the Federal Register. A temporary subscription to a search engine offered by a company called Hein Online is a better way to go. Some libraries, especially university libraries, may have a subscription that patrons may use.

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