What is the Aviation Safety Reporting System (ASRS)?

The Aviation Safety Reporting System (ASRS) is a system where pilots and other aviation personnel voluntarily report a situation in which aviation safety may have been compromised.

The ASRS system is operated by NASA, but used by the FAA to promote safety in aviation.  To encourage reporting, information is held in strict confidence.  Part 91.25 prohibits the use of any reports submitted to NASA under the ASRS in any disciplinary action except information concerning criminal offenses or accidents.  When a violation of the 14 CFR comes to the attention of the FAA from a source other than a report filed with NASA under the ASRS, the FAA will take appropriate action.  In order to minimize the likelihood of enforcement action, a person should report to NASA any violation within 10 days after the violation or date when the person became aware or should have been aware of the violation. Although a finding of violation may be made, neither a civil penalty nor certificate suspension will be imposed if:

• The violation was inadvertent and not deliberate;
• The violation did not involve a criminal offense, accident, or action under 49 U.S.C. § 44709, which discloses a lack of qualification or competency, which is wholly excluded from this policy;
• The person has not been found in any prior FAA enforcement action to have committed a violation of 49 U.S.C. subtitle VII, or any regulation promulgated there for a period of 5 years prior to the date of occurrence; and
• The person proves that within 10 days after the violation or date when the person became aware or should have been aware of the violation, he or she completed and delivered or mailed a written report of the incident or occurrence to NASA.


AC 00-46E Aviation Safety Reporting Program

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What privileges may a private pilot exercise?

A private pilot may fly the helicopter with few restrictions, as long as they are not providing services for hire.

With just a private pilot certificate, the pilot may operate in all airspaces with an aircraft less than 12,500lbs, excluding Class A which requires an IFR rating.  With a few exceptions, the pilot may not be compensated for the flight.  The pilot may be reimbursed for the pro-rata share of expenses of other passengers.  A pilot may act as the pilot in command for a business if the flight is incidental to the business and the flight does not carry passenger or property for compensation.  There are a few exceptions, such as providing flights for charitable organizations, search and rescue operations, test flights, and glider towing.


14 CFR 61.113 – Private pilot privileges and limitations

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What documents are required for a pilot to act as pilot in command (PIC)?

A pilot must carry a government issued photo ID, pilot certificate, and medical certificate.

When exercising the pilot privileges as a required flight crewmember, the pilot must have in physical possession, or readily accessible in the aircraft, a valid pilot certificate or special authorization.  In addition, the pilot must have photo identification.  The identification can be state issued such as a driver’s license, or federally issued such as a U.S. Armed forces ID or passport.  The pilot must also have a valid medical certificate for the level of pilot privileges being exercised.


14 CFR 61.3 Requirement for certificates, ratings, and authorizations.

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What are the limitation of alcohol use and flying?

A pilot should not fly if they have had any alcohol within eight hours of the flight, are under the influence of alcohol or have a current blood alcohol level of .04.

In addition to alcohol, a pilot should not be under the influence of any drug that affects the his or her faculties in any way contrary to safety.  Except in an emergency, no pilot of a civil aircraft may allow a person who appears to be intoxicated or who demonstrates by manner or physical indications that the individual is under the influence of drugs (except a medical patient under proper care) to be carried in that aircraft.

A pilot certificate or rating can also be denied and/or revoked if a pilot is convicted of operating a motor vehicle under the influence of alcohol or drugs.  In addition, pilot certificate or rating can also be denied and/or revoked if he or she is convicted of any Federal or State statute relating to the growing, processing, manufacture, sale, disposition, possession, transportation, or importation of narcotic drugs, marijuana or depressant or stimulant drugs or substances.


14 CFR 61.15 Offenses involving alcohol or drugs
14 CFR 91.17 Alcohol or drugs

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How long does the private pilot’s certificate remain valid?

The pilot certificate remains valid, unless surrendered, suspended or revoked.

Although the pilot certificate remains valid, the pilot will have to maintain a current medical certificate and pass a flight review at least every two years.


14 CFR 61.19 Duration of pilot and instructor certificates
14 CFR 61.56 Flight review

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What is a flight review?

Every two years a pilot must receive ground and flight training with a qualified instructor.

The flight review consists of at least one hour of ground instruction and one hour of flight time with a qualified instructor.  The review should cover applicable regulations and flight operations typical of the type of flying conducted.  The purpose of the flight review is to ensure that pilots are reasonably proficient to conduct safe flight.  Should the flight instructor believes additional training is warranted, a failure is not logged.  There are some exceptions to the flight review and these include current students with a solo endorsement, a pilot who has accomplished a flight proficiency award program, a pilot who passed a practical test for a pilot certificate, rating or operational privilege, or the renewal of a flight instructor certificate.


14 CFR 61.56 Flight review

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To be the pilot in command of a helicopter, what are flight currency requirements?

In order to carry passengers, a pilot in command (PIC) must have conducted 3 takeoffs and landings within 90 days in addition to a current flight review.

To be current to carry passengers at night, the PIC must have completed 3 takeoffs and landings during night time, between 1 hour after sunset and 1 hour before sunrise to a full stop.  In either case, to log the takeoffs and landings, the pilot must have been the sole manipulator of the controls.  For the flight to count for helicopter currency it must have been conducted in a helicopter as the regulation requires the flight to be in the same category (rotorcraft) and class (helicopter) and type if a type rating is required. Under certain circumstances, flight currency could be conducted in a flight simulator. For IFR currency, there are additional requirements.

14 CFR 61.57 Recent flight experience: Pilot in command

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Does a pilot need to notify the FAA of an address change?

Yes.  A pilot must notify the FAA within 30 days of a permanent change of address.

Unless notification is given to the FAA, the pilot cannot exercise pilot privileges after 30 days from the date of the address change.  This notification is not required for temporary changes, such as while being on an assignment.


14 CFR 61.60 Change of address

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What flight time do you log as a private pilot?

At a minimum, a pilot should log the flight time and the ground training needed for a certificate, rating or flight review or to document flight currency.

Pilot in command time should be logged when the pilot is the sole manipulator of the controls for an aircraft for which the pilot is rated.  Solo time can only be logged when the pilot is the sole occupant of the helicopter.

There are some other conditions, but these exceptions generally do not apply to a private pilot, such as when the aircraft requires more than one crewmember.


14 CFR 61.51 Pilot logbooks

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What are the responsibilities of the pilot in command?

The pilot in command is responsible for ensuring the aircraft is in airworthy condition and operated safely.

The pilot in command should determine if the aircraft is in safe condition for flight.  The flight should be discontinued if there is an unairworthy mechanical, electrical or structural condition.  The aircraft should not be operated in a careless or reckless manner as to endanger the life or property of another.  In an emergency, the pilot in command may deviate from any rule to the extent required to meet that emergency.


14 CFR 91.3 Responsibility and authority of the pilot in command
14 CFR 91.7 Civil aircraft airworthiness
14 CFR 91.13 Careless or reckless operations

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