Trivia Testers : Interception

Question: Most of us know what to expect if we were intercepted during the daytime, but what would you see at night?

  1. The rules of engagement are unchanged.
  2. The intercepting aircraft takes up a position to the right and in front (as opposed to the left).
  3. If night VMC, the same, but including the flashing of navigational lights at irregular intervals.
  4. flashing the landing lights from the rear, then overtaking from above and assuming escort position off the right wing

The answer is number 3. You would see that F-16 (probably near a stall trying to slow down to your cruise speed) rocking its wings to the left and in front of you, as well as flashing its nav lights, followed by a gentle turn (usually to the left) to the desired heading. In acknowledgement, you had better rock your wings also, and follow. At night, you would flash your nav lights as well in response.

Subject: Painting the Town

Question: Which of the following is true regarding FAA rules on obstruction marking and lighting?

  1. Any structure, whether or not it is temporary, must be marked and/or lighted if in excess of 300 feet above ground level (including any appurtenances).
  2. Alternating bands of aviation orange and white used on narrow structures (as opposed to checkerboard patterns between five and 20 feet square on tanks or buildings) must be odd in number, with the top and bottom bands colored orange, and no more than 100 feet wide.
  3. Any failure of a required obstruction light of more than 60 minutes duration should be reported immediately to the nearest Flight Standards District Office.
  4. Spheres used to mark wires across canyons or rivers should be no less than 20 inches wide and spaced 300 feet apart.

The answer is number 2. For choice 1, it’s actually 200 feet. For choice 3, it’s really 30 minutes, and the call should be to Flight Service. For choice 4, it’s 36 inches and 200 feet apart. All the requirements trivia you could ever want to see is in Advisory Circular 70/7460-1K and FAR Part 77.

Subject: Trivial, But Maybe NOT So Trivial

Question: A private pilot is allowed to share expenses with passengers. If a flight with two other people on board costs $100 in actual out-of-pocket expenses, what part of this cost must the pilot pay, if any?

  1. Not one penny less than one third. (In fact, rounding it down to $33.33 would actually be in violation of the FARs.) It only applies to fuel, and oil though.
  2. If the flight is in connection with a charitable airlift and meets all seven stipulations as given in FAR 61.113(d); or the flight is a search and rescue flight santioned by an approved agency or organization as specified in 61.113(e); or he has at least 200 hours and is an aircraft salesman as specified in 61.113(f), only then can the pilot can pay one third.
  3. If ‘out of pocket’ means fuel, oil, airport expenditures, and rental fees, and the flight meets the conditions of choice 2, then yes, he or she can ask each of the passengers to pay one third of those expenses. So the pilot can get away with paying just one third, but there are a few conditions in FAR 61.113. They are however not as restrictive as in 2; the $100 hamburger is a legitimate mission.
  4. Answer number 3 is correct as to the type of expenses, but incorrect as to the proportion. FAR 91.113(c) says that a private pilot may not pay less than the ‘pro rata’ share of these expenses. Aha, but what does ‘pro rata’ mean? It’s Latin legalese, of course, and it means ‘according to the calculated share’, or in proportion. What you would expect that to mean is that the pilot could pay one third (okay, $33.34) , and each of the other two passengers could then pay $33.33. Not so. The FAA considers all passengers, however many, as the ‘other’ party. So the answer is… fifty bucks.

The most correct answer is, in fact, number 3. And that agrees with a Letter of Interpretation on this one, from an FAA Chief Counsel, in case you still have doubts…