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56 votes
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Who has final authority over Air Force One?

The pilot in command has final authority over Air Force One Air Force Instruction 11-202, Volume 3 says the following in Chapter 1, part 1.1.1 (as in, the very first thing in the document): 1.1.1. ...
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41 votes
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Is it allowed to let the engine of an aircraft idle without a pilot in the plane. (For both helicopters and aeroplanes)

You won't see it done in the fixed wing world unless the aircraft is tied down or otherwise securely restrained (like when you tie off the tail to something when hand starting your no-starter ...
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35 votes
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FAA Aircraft Registration Form AC 8050-3 doesn't exist

That's because 8050-1 is the Aircraft Registration Application, and 8050-3 is the Certificate of Aircraft Registration. You submit 8050-1, and the FAA sends you 8050-3.
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30 votes

How can I find my grandmother's OLD instrument rating documentation?

The FAA has an airmen inquiry search portal. I put Nathalie Brown and came up with Nathalie Myrtle Brown with the following details: Certificate: PRIVATE PILOT Date of Issue: 11/25/1968 Ratings: ...
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29 votes
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Under what conditions do airliners retire aircraft and sell them to other airlines?

Some reasons for an airline to sell some of its fleet: they need quick cash (as ratchet freak points out). This usually means the company is in serious trouble they're changing their route network ...
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28 votes
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Why does the airport plate list a VASI that does not exist?

How does an oversight like this exist for such an extended period of time? Because it doesn't get reported. Is this something that should be reported? Yes, it should be reported, otherwise this ...
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28 votes

What is the proper air strip closure procedure with the FAA?

It looks to me like you need to file FAA Form 7480-1, Notice of Landing Area Proposal. There is a checkbox for "Deactivation or Abandonment". The form explains that you have to give 90 days advance ...
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27 votes
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Was the Shuttle Orbiter in contact with air traffic control during its descent & landing?

Well, sort of. The Kennedy Space Center, where the shuttle operations were conducted, has an ATC. but then, the show was run by NASA, not FAA. The shuttle operations were coordinated through the ...
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27 votes
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What is a TRACON?

What is a TRACON (Terminal Radar Approach CONtrol)? A TRACON is a term used in the US for what is elsewhere known as the Terminal Control (ICAO terminology), the control in charge of operations around ...
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27 votes
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What should I do if the FAA requests health records that no longer exist?

I had a very similar situation. Along with the documentation they requested that was available to me, I submitted a letter explaining my lack of the older records. This was apparently acceptable to ...
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26 votes
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Do I need to register my drone?

If: Your unmanned aircraft weighs between 250g and 25kg (including fuel and cargo), You are not flying under the Special Rule for Model Aircraft, also known as section 336 You intend to operate it ...
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26 votes
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Are there any aircraft that were grounded and later approved for flight?

The de Havilland Comet quickly comes to mind, with the airplane grounded after two catastrophic break ups in flight. The Comet was returned to service once the problem had been identified and ...
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22 votes

What is the difference between ICAO, JAA, FAA, EASA, and CAA?

ICAO is the International Civil Aviation Organization, a specialized agency of United Nations. It was created after the Convention on International Civil Aviation (the Chicago Convention) of 1944 was ...
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22 votes

Is there an API to get real-time FAA flight data?

The OpenSky Network has a free open-source API for real-time air traffic data. In its current version it allows users to retrieve live (and partially historical data). The data is retrieved by a ...
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22 votes
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How do I submit a NOTAM?

When I have had to file NOTAMs for skydiving demonstration jumps, I just called AFSS (1-877-4-US-NTMS) and asked to file. The folks at Lockheed are way more helpful than the Feds used to be and will ...
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21 votes
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What is this small number on the top right of an IAP?

It is the year followed by the day of the year of the last ammendment to the chart. If there have been no changes to the chart since it was first issued, this space is blank. In this case the chart ...
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19 votes

Is it allowed to let the engine of an aircraft idle without a pilot in the plane. (For both helicopters and aeroplanes)

I'd say no, you're likely to be busted under 91.13... 14 CFR § 91.13 - Careless or reckless operation (a)Aircraft operations for the purpose of air navigation. No person may operate an ...
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18 votes
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Is it possible to obtain a PPL after having a brain surgery?

According to AOPA's medical guru on their discussion board (members only, or I would link to an example) it is possible to get a medical certificate following a tumor removal but only after a 5-year ...
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18 votes
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Does the FAA dictate that bridges are closed for the Thunder Over Louisville airshow event?

The FAA has no authority over roads, bridges or any other public roads. Usually, it's the the event organizer who's responsible for requesting and coordinating road closures; think of triathlons, ...
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17 votes

Is there an official FAA source for time zone of an airport?

Each airports timezone is listed in the Airport/Facility Directory. I think the FAA is starting to call these "Chart Supplements" now though. You can search for specific airports here but it looks ...
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16 votes
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How do you report reckless pilots?

The FAA provides an online reporting tool here I would say it falls under "aviation concern". In your description if you include tail number and time they should be able to figure out who was flying (...
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16 votes

Why does the FAA place such emphasis on runway incursions in the test standards?

According to what I can piece together from various FAA sources, the FAA determined in 2007 that there were an unacceptable number of incursions and they launched a program to address them. Although ...
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15 votes
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Do Cargo flights carry anyone other than the crew?

Yes, cargo aircraft are like other aircraft in that there is generally at least a jump seat available. Especially larger aircraft will also have additional jump seats, a lavatory, and a galley. This ...
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14 votes
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How do airlines dispose of a passenger jet when it's no longer airworthy?

Generally the planes are scrapped by a recycling company. The parts will either be removed and sold as spares, or chopped up and recycled or disposed of. So a lot will depend on how easy it is to ...
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14 votes

Do Cargo flights carry anyone other than the crew?

I spent many an hour crammed into the jumpseats of 727's (they have 2, both in the broom closet sized cockpit with 3 crew members). I worked as a cargo handler at the FedEx hub in Memphis and at the ...
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14 votes
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Why does the ACS forbid activation of the stall warning during slow flight?

I attended the ACS webinar on June 25th. This is the response from Christopher Morris at the FAA. You can also read the FAQ on the FAA website. If the pilot recognizes the stall warning and ...
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14 votes
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What does the T in RVR-T stand for?

From page 5-1-7, contractions in the AIM: RVRT . . . . . . . . . RVR Touchdown The full list is: RVR . . . . . . . . . . Runway Visual Range RVRM . . . . . . . . RVR Midpoint RVRR . . . . ....
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14 votes

What are the rules for Public-Use Operations?

Short answer: public (federal or state government) aircraft operations can be exempt - but aren't always - from most FAA regulations, provided they're non-commercial operations. Any regulation that ...
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