Questions tagged [usa]

Use this tag for questions which are specific to the United States, but not regulatory in nature. For questions about aviation regulations in the US, use the faa-regulations tag.

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10
votes
2answers
29k views

Can foreign pilots get an FAA ATPL and work for a US-based commercial airline?

Could a non-US citizen come to the US, receive flight training, earn an FAA CPL and be hired by a US-flagged airline? Are there any specific rules regarding the employment of foreigners as pilots for ...
32
votes
6answers
29k views

How much, generally speaking, does it cost to learn how to fly?

One of my life goals is to learn how to fly a plane. I can't do it now due to time constraints, but I am curious: How much, in general terms, does it cost to learn how to fly? I.e. piloting lessons, ...
50
votes
10answers
37k views

Can you fly a light GA airplane into a major hub? What operational considerations are there if you do?

I did my training around the Seattle area, and was told that landing at SeaTac Airport (the region's major International/Commercial airport), while not strictly forbidden, was definitely frowned upon ...
17
votes
3answers
9k views

What is the security policy for getting into a Control Tower in the US?

Are there any regulations the FAA has ruled to get into a Control Tower? Do people need any special kind of security clearance? Are there forbidden items or other special rules? I'd also want to know ...
18
votes
2answers
2k views

What keeps certified GA aircraft from being affordable?

A personal (pipe) dream of mine is to own a new aircraft, but the costs for certified GA aircraft is borderline outrageous. A new Cessna 172, considered an entry level aircraft, can go for well over \$...
37
votes
6answers
74k views

What does it take to maintain a private pilot certificate?

What, if any, requirements are there to maintain a private pilot certificate? For example: Do I have to renew my certificate after a period of time? E.g. annually, 5 years, 10 years Do I have to ...
16
votes
4answers
44k views

Where is RC aircraft flying allowed in the US?

In the US, where are you allowed to fly RC aircraft? AMA says you should stay away from airports and below 400 feet. Is there any actual law about this? I'm guessing you are free to fly on your own ...
8
votes
1answer
2k views

What is a red airway on the VFR sectional?

The VFR sectionals show a number of airways/routes marked in red. Here are several near KMTH, you can see B-646 extending east of the NDB: There are others in Alaska that are lettered A, R or G, e.g. ...
7
votes
2answers
7k views

What are concrete examples for class G up to 14500?

It is said that there are some places where class G goes up to 14500 and then class E starts. However, I find they all overplayed with some special use airspace by looking at NorCal and SoCal ...
32
votes
5answers
10k views

Why are visual approaches (in the US) preferred by US pilots, but not European pilots?

I listen to ATC a lot and often hear airliners cleared for visual approaches in the USA. Interestingly, if it's European airliner pilots they deny the visual approach and request ILS even if they are ...
17
votes
3answers
8k views

What is the legal altitude to fly through Yosemite Valley (US)?

I have a question regarding flying in the Yosemite Valley national park, which I flew over last weekend in an open-cockpit gyroplane. The sectional states you must be a minimum of 2,000 ft about the ...
23
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1answer
56k views

How do I contact Flight Service while in flight?

How do I contact a Flight Service Station (FSS) in the United States in order to receive weather information or open a flight plan after I've already departed.
21
votes
1answer
13k views

Where did the “K” identifier prefix for US airports come from?

Airports in the United States are (mostly) three letters, prefixed with a K. Where did this standard originate? Why K? This is similar to "where did the U.S. N ...
12
votes
2answers
3k views

Can an airport without an FAA controlled tower have their own tower and controllers?

Can an airport not eligible for an FAA tower and controllers choose to fund their own air traffic control tower? Can that airport require pilots to taxi, approach, land, and take off according to ...
7
votes
2answers
1k views

What mental health standards must a candidate meet in order to qualify for a pilot's medical certificates?

What are the mental health standards (if any) that a candidate pilot must meet in order to qualify for a medical certificate? Answers for Canada, the US, and Europe would be particularly interesting ...
36
votes
5answers
9k views

What prevents someone from hijacking a radio frequency mid-air?

For someone who wants to stay anonymous and probably terrorize the skies, what protective measures do we have? Without even thinking too deep, I can imaging the following scenarios for someone who's ...
25
votes
1answer
21k views

Is it legal to smoke in your own plane?

I was just curious, in the past, smoking on planes was permitted. What is the law surrounding smoking in your own private plane?
24
votes
4answers
8k views

Is it legal to use handheld radios to listen to aviation frequencies in the USA?

Is it legal to use handheld radios to listen to (general aviation) airport frequencies in the USA? Can I go to an airport with a handheld radio and listen to their frequencies?
15
votes
2answers
2k views

Are there legal limits associated with the use of the autopilot in the US?

A lot of new avionics basically fly small planes for you. Looking at a Beechcraft with a pretty cool glass cockpit, it claims to do everything for you except within 50 feet of the ground. Basically ...
15
votes
3answers
6k views

Where I can get historical jet fuels prices?

I would like to analyze jet fuels prices in 2014. Where can I get jet fuel prices for 2014, only in USA and Russia? As there are different types of fuels, it would be okay to get prices for one (...
12
votes
1answer
777 views

Can a U.S. President have a non-government owned aircraft that would routinely be given the call sign AF1?

Can a US president use a personally owned jet with the call sign AF1? Would the Air Force be obligated to add security and defense measure to this aircraft if the president refused to fly in the VC-25?...
10
votes
2answers
816 views

What FAA sources of weather information can pilots use to mitigate the risk of flying in icing conditions?

Pilots flying under the FAA jurisdiction have many official sources of weather information available to them. Specifically as it relates to icing conditions, what official sources of weather ...
8
votes
2answers
4k views

How are Landing Fees Collected?

Some airports (mostly busy Class B airports from what I gather) have a landing fee. For example, in the Airport Facility Directory for San Francisco, there is a section under "AIRPORT REMARKS" that ...
14
votes
2answers
8k views

What is the range and accuracy of ATC radar systems?

What is the average range, accuracy, and update frequency of radar systems used to monitor airspace in the USA? I'm primarily interested in capabilities for tracking smaller general aviation aircraft ...
12
votes
1answer
1k views

Why is the aiming point distance shorter in the US vs. Europe for long runways?

In essence, if you compare EGLL and KJFK (but it works for other airports too) you would see that US airports generally adhere to the rule of 1000 ft in distance between threshold and aiming point ...
8
votes
1answer
1k views

Can a lost aircraft get a DF Steer?

When I got my pilots license in 1975, a lost airplane could call almost any FSS and get a DF (Directional Finder) steer. The range was probably upto 30mi. I would request a practice one every 3-4 ...
7
votes
2answers
14k views

What is the difference between Distant (D) NOTAMs, Local (L) NOTAMs and FDC NOTAMs in the US?

I would like to know the difference between Distant (D) NOTAMs, Local (L) NOTAMs and FDC NOTAMs in the US. Is their meaning obsolete or still in use by the FAA?
7
votes
2answers
951 views

What would they call the US President's personal plane?

Air Force One is called that because it is operated by the Air Force. The President's personal helicopter is called Marine One because it is operated by the Marines. What would the President's ...
3
votes
2answers
610 views

Why are TFRs issued around stadiums during games in the U.S.?

I want to know the FAA's reasoning behind issuing TFRs whenever a game is going on in a stadium. Is it just because of a large crowd of people? Do engine noises just bother people? Could an aircraft's ...
18
votes
8answers
13k views

How quickly can someone learn to fly?

I'm a US-citizen living in Japan, and the costs here are insane ($500 per hour). So I'm thinking to go to the US or Australia for my pilot's license, but how long am I'm going to need to live there? ...
17
votes
2answers
38k views

How much should it cost to get IFR-rated? What to look for?

(Related to this question) Many pilots have told me that an IFR rating is the most valuable thing i can do to improve my flying and margin of safety. I know there are courses as quick as, "Get ...
34
votes
1answer
4k views

Who has final authority over Air Force One?

U.S. FAA FAR 91.3 ("Responsibility and authority of the pilot in command") says that: The pilot in command of an aircraft is directly responsible for, and is the final authority as to, the ...
26
votes
1answer
3k views

How do landing fees work at larger airports?

Many larger airports (class Bravos) have a landing fee. What's the process for assessing and collecting the fees? How do these landing fees work with general aviation aircraft? Where can I find out ...
15
votes
2answers
9k views

How long will it take a new pilot to start flying more advanced planes like a Cirrus SR22T or Piper Malibu?

Here is my scenario. I'm 53 years old and getting ready to sell my business and retire. I've always been fascinated with aviation and have done lots of research and taken multiple training flights. ...
11
votes
2answers
1k views

Why does a pilot want to hold a Squawk Code when leaving Class B airspace?

I was listening to liveATC today... Controller clears this guy into the class B for a transition and throws him a code. Some time passes and the pilot has now transitioned the bravo and is leaving the ...
54
votes
1answer
7k views

What is significant about the number 8069 ft?

On a sectional chart legend, the airport icon with a solid magenta or blue disk is labeled as "Hard surfaced runways 1500 ft to 8069 ft in length". This seems like an extraordinarily arbitrary number ...
16
votes
4answers
6k views

What damage can occur and what penalties will you face for flying a quad rotor into a restricted airspace?

I live near the Cleveland International Airport. I have a Quadrocopter and the fence doesn't seem to be very high. I could probably fly my quadcopter into the airport. Is this legal? Can I crash a ...
16
votes
3answers
1k views

What's usually going on in a “hot” military operations area (in the US)?

Like many people in aviation, I've been around pilots who've flown in or through the edge of a Military Operations Area (MOA) while operating under visual flight rules. Usually they ask ATC if the MOA ...
15
votes
2answers
1k views

Why isn't there a procedure for dual-engine failure in twin-engine airplanes?

I'm licensed to fly multi-engine aircraft. I currently fly the DA-42NG. However, nowhere in my training and in the official POH was I introduced to procedures for handing a dual-engine failure in-...
12
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2answers
3k views

What security clearances does a foreign citizen doing a flying course in the United States have to pass?

I remember reading that the security for foreigners doing a flying license in the United States were rigorous (as would be expected). As a European Union citizen, what would I expect to need to do ...
9
votes
2answers
15k views

What does it cost to get an ATP certificate from scratch?

If someone decides to become a professional pilot - meaning an airline or business jet pilot in the USA - what does it cost to get the certifications and ratings and build enough hours to become ...
8
votes
1answer
7k views

Where to obtain a list of active NDB approaches?

Does anyone know where to find a list of active NDB approaches? I can find a list of ones proposed to be eliminated, but I'm having a problem coming across a list of remaining ones.
7
votes
2answers
3k views

How do the various DUATS differ?

In terms of technical capability, what are the comparative advantages and disadvantages between the following? CSC DUATS from Computer Sciences Corporation DTC DUAT from Data Transformation ...
6
votes
4answers
5k views

Why are civilians not allowed to fly demilitarized US fighter jets?

I have seen it is possible to fly demilitarized Russian fighter jets in the US. Why is it impossible to fly American demilitarized fighter jets?
32
votes
5answers
21k views

What is Class F airspace, and why is it not used in the US?

I've read that ICAO defines Class F airspace but the FAA has chosen not to use the airspace class in the US. What is the ICAO definition of Class F airspace and how does it differ from other airspace ...
13
votes
2answers
2k views

What about hours flown solo without a student pilot certificate?

My instructor has ruined my training. 2.5 months ago when I started private pilot training (FAR61) I had zero knowledge about aviation. After 1.5 months he signed me off for solo and I finished all ...
12
votes
1answer
3k views

What regulations in the US exist for jetpacks?

In 2010 Fox News posted an article in which they quoted a representative of the FAA saying that the FAA might not regulate jetpacks (the representative did say that they could fall under Part 103). Do ...
10
votes
2answers
1k views

What are the best practices for gathering preflight weather and information?

As a VFR student pilot, I'm still developing a pre cross-country flight routine. Weather has without a doubt been the most difficult portion of my preflight information to digest, as there are so many ...
9
votes
3answers
5k views

How much does the FAA private pilot's license checkride cost?

I can't find a strong number for this and I would like to know. I'm compiling a list of total cost for each part of getting a private license (training, study material, headset, medical exam, etc), ...
8
votes
2answers
2k views

How does one deal with a UNICOM operator directing aircraft like at a towered airport?

Seems like an odd scenario, however I have experienced this a few times now. A non-towered airport will have someone on the radio directing traffic and reading out weather info like barometric ...