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.

Reference(s):

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.

Reference(s):

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.

Reference(s):

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.

Reference(s):

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.

Reference(s):

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.

Reference(s):

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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Are you allowed to drop objects from the helicopter?

Objects may be dropped from an aircraft as long as adequate precautions are made to avoid injury to personnel or damage to property on the ground.

Although regulations allow for the dropping of objects, this exclusion is not intended for mischief or hazardous flight conditions to occur.  Remember, the pilot in command may not operate an aircraft in a careless or reckless manner so as to endanger the life or property of another.

Reference(s):

14 CFR 91.13 Careless or reckless operations
14 CFR 91.15 Dropping objects

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What are the medical requirements for a private pilot?

At a minimum, a private pilot must have a current third-class or higher medical certificate when acting as pilot in command.

A current first-class or second-class medical certificate is an alternative, as these two qualifications are more stringent.  However, a first and second-class medical certificate are generally reserved for commercial operations.  If under 40 years of age, the third-class medical certificate expires after that 60th month.  If 40 years old or older, a third-class medical certificate expires after the 24th month of the date of issue.

Reference(s):

14 CFR 61.23 Medical certificate: Requirements and duration

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What regulations apply specifically to Robinson helicopters?

Special Federal Aviation Regulation (SFAR) No. 73 to Part 61 governs training requirements and experience requirements for operating an R22 and R44 helicopters.

This requirement is primarily due to the increase vigilance needed by the pilot with regards to safely operating the low-initial rotor system.

Reference(s):

14 CFR Appendix SFAR No 73, Robinson R-22/R-44 Special Training and Experience Requirements

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