The Best of All Possible Worlds

Wouldn't it be nice to have the privileges of an instrument pilot but retain the VFR freedoms of choosing your own path in the clear blue? Well, for those of you who have earned an instrument ticket, there are a few strategies at our disposal that might be worth reviewing. There's nothing underhanded about them either; these options aren't ploys or smooth moves. They're well defined ATC procedures. The only "trick" is knowing the few strings that are attached. Here's how to use the system without abusing it...

ADs: Pay Now Or Pay Later

Airplane owners know the dread -- that Number 10 envelope in the mail from the Federal Aviation Administration. Using your airplane registration information (you did update the FAA last time you moved, didn't you?) they've hunted you down to tell you... it's time to spend more money on your airplane.

ADIZ and TFR — Dizzy!

The NBAA reports that with the arrival of spring and more VFR days, the government has seen a dramatic increase in the weekend violations of the Air Defense Identification Zones (ADIZ) around Washington, DC and New York City, when compared to VFR winter weekends. This gives the Feds reason to get antsy, and the Office of Homeland Security has another excuse to curtail our right to fly!

Keep Out! Part II

Last time, we looked at prohibited and restricted airspace. This time we're going to discuss the other four types in detail (plus an additional thing or two). As you may recall, these remaining types comprise what is known as non-regulatory Special Use Airspace, or SUA.

Keep Out! (Part I)

Our national airspace system sure isn't getting any less complicated, but any long-awaited rescue through increasingly available and ostensibly more accurate means of navigation seems instead to have come at the expense of positional awareness: i.e., we're losing it!

Is Your Airport Secure?

In this business, I have to keep my finger on the pulse of aviation. Imagine my surprise when I received a memo from the National Business Aircraft Association (NBAA), noting that on the subject of airport security, that complacency is not an effective countermeasure against terrorist attacks.