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Can You Make It To The Beach Without A Violation?

What can you do as a private pilot? Quite a bit - like a cross-country to the beach with your friends. Let's see if you can make it there without a violation...


  1. 1) Your friends want to split the gas cost for the trip. (You've got pretty good friends.) Can you ask them to split the tie-down and parking fees, too?

    Yep, FAR 61.113 (c) allows you to split airport expenditures equally (pro-rata).

    You can split the tie-down and parking fees - FAR 61.113 (c) allows you to split airport expenditures equally (pro-rata).

  2. 2) You decide to fly your own plane for the trip. Can you also ask your friends to pay $25 each to help cover the cost of your upcoming annual inspection?

    That's right, you can't split maintenance costs, FAR 61.113 (c) only allows you to split direct costs.

    You can't split maintenance costs, FAR 61.113 (c) only allows you to split direct costs.

    1. 2 - Yes
      Unchecked Checked
    2. 2 - No
      Unchecked Checked
  3. 3) Your plane is broken, so you decide to rent for the trip. When you get the rental airplane, you discover that the last 100 hour inspection was done 200 hours ago. The annual inspection is current - can you still go?

    Yep, 100 hour inspections are only required when operating for compensation or hire - not private rental.

    You can fly - 100 hour inspections are only required when operating for compensation or hire - not private rental.

  4. 4) You're unpacking your flight bag into the cockpit and realize you forgot your logbook at home. You do have your pilot certificate and medical. Can you fly?

    That's right, private pilots don't need to carry their logbook when using their certificate.

    You can fly - private pilots don't need to carry a logbook when using their certificate.

  5. 5) While en-route, you find an un-forecast overcast cloud layer from 2000' to 3000' MSL covering 20 miles of your route. Can you cross over it at 5500' MSL? (You're not instrument rated.)

    Yep, this is known as "VFR Over The Top," and is completely legal for a private pilot.  But, don't push the size of the layer, you could end up stuck over the clouds with nowhere to divert...

    You can cross over. This is known as "VFR Over The Top," which is completely legal for a private pilot.  But, don't push the size of the layer, you could end up stuck over the clouds with nowhere to divert...

  6. 6) You're continuing on the cross country and you find you're about to fly through an active MOA. Can you cross through (VFR)?

    That's right, you can cross through an active MOA without coordinating with ATC, but you need to be careful - military aircraft can be hard to see.  Flight following would be a good idea.

    You can cross through an active MOA without coordinating with ATC, but you need to be careful - military aircraft can be hard to see.  Flight following would be a good idea.

  7. 7) You make it to the beach and decide to take a twilight flight down the coast - but the right nav light is out. The FBO has a replacement, but no mechanic to install it. Can you fix it yourself?

    That's right, you can fix the nav light as preventive maintenance.

    You can fix the nav light as preventative maintenance.

  8. 8) You're preflighting to head home and you find the landing light is burned out. The FBO doesn't have a replacement - and your flight is planned from 1000 to 1300 local. Can you defer the landing light (per 91.213) and fly?

    Yep, you can defer the landing light per 91.213 (d).

    You can fly, just defer the landing light per 91.213(d).

Your certificates are pretty safe...

You scored % Those regs can get complicated - hit the FARs and you'll be up to snuff in no time.


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Nicely done - a violation is probably not in your future...

You scored % Keep studying the FARs, but your certificates are pretty safe for now...


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You're definitely not getting a violation.

You scored % Have you considered becoming an FAA Inspector?


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Aleks Udris

Aleks is a Boldmethod co-founder and technical director. He's worked in safety and operations in the airline industry, and was a flight instructor and course manager for the University of North Dakota. You can reach him at aleks@boldmethod.com.

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