91.307 Ambiguity

Discussion in 'Aerobatics' started by wanttaja, Dec 29, 2015.

  1. wanttaja

    wanttaja Pattern Altitude

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    Ron Wanttaja
    This is something I've wondered about for ~45 years.

    14 CFR 91.307 says, in part:

    "(c) Unless each occupant of the aircraft is wearing an approved parachute, no pilot of a civil aircraft carrying any person (other than a crewmember) may execute any intentional maneuver that exceeds—"... and continues with the definitions of aerobatic flight.

    The "Other than a crewmember" part bugs me. This implies that if ONLY required crew is aboard, no parachutes are required. So if one is flying solo, they don't have to wear a 'chute.

    Has there been any formal clarification of this from the FAA?

    Ron Wanttaja
     
  2. flyingron

    flyingron Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    That's the way I've always heard the FAA applying it: it means what it literally says. You do not need parachutes to fly acro solo. Both the pilot and the passenger need one if you are flying a passenger. The only gray area is flight instruction. While I don't have something with the force of a legal counsel letter to show you, I believe the FAA sense is that they are crewmembers.

    Note that CFI's providing instruction are specifically exempted when doing spins or any maneuver that's required for a flight test (chandelliers and Crazy 8's). The FAA has held that you don't need to be working on the specific rating (CFI for spins or Commercial for the commericial maneuvers for example) to be so exempted.
     
  3. bradg33

    bradg33 Line Up and Wait

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    There's a Chief Counsel Opinion out there in another context (night currency, I believe) that pretty clearly states that flight instructors giving instruction are "crew" and not passengers.
     
  4. EdFred

    EdFred Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Safety pilot is also a crew member. So if you want to do acro under the hood, you could be good to go as well.
     
  5. Ted DuPuis

    Ted DuPuis Super Moderator Management Council Member

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    Aerobatics in IMC sounds like a great idea!
     
  6. flyingron

    flyingron Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    Alas, then the safety pilot wouldn't be required. It also would be illegal under 91.303 in most cases. Acro requires 3 miles visibility.
     
  7. Ted DuPuis

    Ted DuPuis Super Moderator Management Council Member

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    I have very nice instruments. People have complimented me on how nice my instruments are.
     
  8. denverpilot

    denverpilot Taxi to Parking

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    I've never worn a chute, and have a whole lot of entries by a CFI that say "spins" in the comment line in the logbook, and a few entries where nobody else was along.

    I'd forgotten about that line and you made me laugh out loud at my desk... :)
     
  9. Ted DuPuis

    Ted DuPuis Super Moderator Management Council Member

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    You're welcome. :D