FAA Issues General Aviation Medical Rule

January 10th, 2017

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) today issued a final rule (PDF) that allows general aviation pilots to fly without holding an FAA medical certificate as long as they meet certain requirements outlined in Congressional legislation.

“The United States has the world’s most robust general aviation community, and we’re committed to continuing to make it safer and more efficient to become a private pilot,” said FAA Administrator Michael Huerta. “The BasicMed rule will keep our pilots safe but will simplify our regulations and keep general aviation flying affordable.”

Until now, the FAA has required private, recreational, and student pilots, as well as flight instructors, to meet the requirements of and hold a third class medical certificate. They are required to complete an online application and undergo a physical examination with an FAA-designated Aviation Medical Examiner. A medical certificate is valid for five years for pilots under age 40 and two years for pilots age 40 and over.

Beginning on May 1, pilots may take advantage of the regulatory relief in the BasicMed rule or opt to continue to use their FAA medical certificate. Under BasicMed, a pilot will be required to complete a medical education course, undergo a medical examination every four years, and comply with aircraft and operating restrictions.  For example, pilots using BasicMed cannot operate an aircraft with more than six people onboard and the aircraft must not weigh more than 6,000 pounds. A pilot flying under the BasicMed rule must:

  • possess a valid driver’s license;
  • have held a medical certificate at any time after July 15, 2006;
  • have not had the most recently held medical certificate revoked, suspended, or withdrawn;
  • have not had the most recent application for airman medical certification completed and denied;
  • have taken a medical education course within the past 24 calendar months;
  • have completed a comprehensive medical examination with a physician within the past 48 months;
  • be under the care of a physician for certain medical conditions;
  • have been found eligible for special issuance of a medical certificate for certain specified mental health, neurological, or cardiovascular conditions, when applicable;
  • consent to a National Driver Register check;
  • fly only certain small aircraft, at a limited altitude and speed, and only within the United States; and
  • not fly for compensation or hire.

The July 15, 2016 FAA Extension, Safety, and Security Act of 2016 directed the FAA to issue or revise regulations by January 10, 2017, to ensure that an individual may operate as pilot in command of a certain aircraft without having to undergo the medical certification process under Part 67 of the Federal Aviation Regulations, if the pilot and aircraft meet certain prescribed conditions outlined in the Act.

The FAA and the general aviation community have a strong track record of collaboration. The agency is working with nonprofit organizations and the not-for-profit general aviation stakeholder groups to develop online medical courses that meet the requirements of the Act.

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Amazing Careers in Aviation

December 2nd, 2016


When people think about a career in aviation, the first thought is often of a pilot but there are many other career opportunities one can pursue in this field:

Aircraft Manufacturing

Working in aircraft manufacturing can be an exciting trade to pursue. A person can work as a manufacturing engineer, an electrical installer & technician, and so much more in working in the creation of manufacturing aircraft. Several careers in this field do require some educational background like an engineering degree.

Aircraft and Systems Maintenance

Maintenance of an aircraft is an important position for an individual to have. Everything from aircraft maintenance engineering to aviation maintenance technician and everything in between falls into this area of aviation. You must be 18 years old to begin your career in aircraft and system maintenance. There is current concern of an upcoming aviation mechanic shortage.

Airline and Airport Operations

Want to work as a flight dispatcher? How about working as an air traffic controller which is also facing a shortage? Being an ATC is a challenging job and takes a certain type of person. Is that you? There is also an Airport Director and other operational positions that fall under this area of aviation. These require a college degree plus FAA training. Think of the exciting adventures that await you in these fields of airport operation!

Pilot Careers

Of course the most known career in aviation is working as a pilot. As with aviation mechanics and air traffic controllers, there is concern over a shortage of future pilots. There are many types of pilot jobs an individual can pursue. Did you know a person can learn to fly an aircraft at age 16? Educational requirements vary. A person can work for a regional airline, a major/national airline, a test pilot, air freight/cargo pilot, helicopter pilot, UAV/UAS (drone systems), and so much more!

Want to get started and need help finding funding?

Going to school can be expensive and it can be difficult to find the funding to pay for your aviation education. When researching schools, it can be just as important to research ways to fund your education, including looking at grants and scholarships.

Find out more here: Funding Your Aviation Education

There are so many career options available and offered through Aviation Schools Online. Find what you want to do in aviation and go after it! We can help!

Clear skies!


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Air Travel Safety Tips from the FAA

November 22nd, 2016


Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Administrator Michael Huerta is encouraging travelers to Fly Smart this holiday season.

“I’m asking air travelers to take an active role in aviation safety when they fly this holiday season,” said FAA Administrator Huerta. “Fly Smart and be prepared. Your actions can save your life and those around you.”

Flying is incredibly safe. In fact, this is the safest period in aviation history. Government and industry have significantly reduced the risk of accidents by working together on airplane design, maintenance, training, and procedures – but emergencies can happen.

“While tens of millions of passengers will rely on air travel this holiday season to connect them to destinations around the world, pilots across the country stand ready. On each and every flight, pilots and crewmembers work together to ensure that the passengers and cargo we carry arrive safely and efficiently to their destinations. Over the next few weeks, airports and aircraft will be a little more crowded, and as always, we encourage passengers to be patient and listen carefully to crewmember instructions. Aviation is the safest mode of transportation in the world, and passengers have played an important role in maintaining that incredible record by working with crewmembers and complying with federal guidelines,” said Capt. Tim Canoll, Air Line Pilots Association, International President.

“Bring a spirit of community, watch the safety briefing and listen to your Flight Attendants. As aviation’s first responders we are proud to help usher you safely and securely on your travels,” said Sara Nelson, International President of the Association of Flight Attendants.

Travelers can make their flight even safer by taking a few minutes to follow these guidelines:

  • In the unlikely event that you need to evacuate, leave your bags and personal items behind. Your luggage is not worth your life. Passengers are expected to evacuate an airplane within 90 seconds. You do not have time to grab your luggage or personal items. Opening an overhead compartment will delay evacuation and put the lives of everyone around you at risk.
  • Pack safe and leave hazardous materials at home. From lithium batteries to aerosol whipped cream, many items can be dangerous when transported by air. Vibrations, static electricity, and temperature and pressure variations can cause hazardous materials to leak, generate toxic fumes, start a fire, or even explode. When in doubt, leave it out.
  • Leave your Samsung Galaxy Note7 smartphone at home. You are prohibited from transporting this recalled device on your person, in carry-on baggage, or in checked baggage on flights to, from, or within the United States.
  • If you have spare batteries, pack them in your carry-on baggage and use a few measures to keep them from short circuiting: keep the batteries in their original packaging, tape over the electrical connections with any adhesive, non-metallic tape, or place each battery in its own individual plastic bag. You cannot fly with damaged or recalled batteries.
  • Prevent in-flight injuries by following your airline’s carry-on bag restrictions.
  • Use your electronic device only when the crew says it’s safe to do so.
  • Pay attention to the flight attendants during the safety briefing and read the safety briefing card. It could save your life in an emergency.
  • Buckle up. Wear a seatbelt at all times.
  • Protect young children by using a child safety seat or device. Your arms cannot hold onto a child during turbulence or an emergency. An FAA video shows how to install a child safety seat on an airplane.

Fly Smart this holiday season and learn more at FAA.gov/passengers.

FAA Administrator Huerta discussing traveler safety:


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Funding Your Aviation Education

November 2nd, 2016


Going to school can be expensive and it can get to be difficult to find the funding to pay for your aviation education. When researching schools, it can be just as important to research ways to fund your education.

Taking loans only, whether through private loan, federal financial aid, or funding direct from the school, can add up and leave a mountain of debt to repay upon graduation. Instead of relying primarily on loans, consider some options to help fund your education.

Before you get started on your funding quest, take a little time to brainstorm first. Grab a notepad and just start writing down your qualities. Are you short, tall, a minority, have a parent in the military, love coca-cola, are you left handed? Those last two might seem a little odd but believe it or not, there are funding opportunities for just about everything. (Yes, there is a scholarship for left handed people.) Running out of ideas, grab a good friend or a family member that can help you come up with ideas for your hunt!

Get a Grant

Grants are a great way to pay for education. They can be challenging to locate and knowing where to look can certainly make a huge difference. When submitting your FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) for a federal loan, consider applying for the grants that are offered as well. You may just qualify to get a little additional funding that won’t need to be repaid.  Also consider checking out the American Flyers website which has great information about grants.


Another fantastic way to save from racking up debt is looking into scholarship options. There are hundreds available and you just have to know where to look. Consider creating an account with scholarships.com a great site that acts as a search engine just for scholarships. Also visit the FAA’s website with current information about grants and scholarships specifically for those pursuing an education in aviation.

Remember that list you made? This is one area that list can come in handy. Consider everything to which you have a membership or card, think about where you live. Cities, businesses, banks, they all have scholarships to offer students. Take a little time and ask. Not sure if the local grocery store has one, email the corporate office. The worst they can say, is no. Who know though, you might find a little extra money, even just $50 can pay for a textbook.

G.I. Bills

Have parents who are or were in the military? Were you or are you in the military? Consider utilizing your options of the G.I. Bill to help fund your education. You’d be amazed of the benefits that can come your way when using this bill to pay for school.

Tribal Funding

Do you belong to any Native American Tribes? If so, consider contacting your potential school and your tribal council about the possibility of using tribal funding to cover your education. Whatever school you attend, ask up front about working with someone in finances that specializes in utilizing tribal funding. This is another great way to fund your education.

Responsible Borrowing

Finally, the most common method of funding an education, loans. For schools that qualify, Federal loans are available for student in two forms, subsidized and unsubsidized. This basically means, they are both loans they both will require repayment. The big difference, the government pays your interest on subsidized loans while you are enrolled while unsubsidized loans you will be responsible for that interest.

Remember when taking loans, only borrow what you need to pay for education. Loan money is for school and school related items. Borrow the minimum, you aren’t’ required to take the full amount you are approved to receive. Take a little time, factor your expenses for school for that loan period and only borrow that amount. Remember, school loans are for school, not vacations or holiday presents.

Aviation Schools Online wants to help you become a successful student in finding the right school for you. Knowing what you need to fund your education and what avenues for alternate funding you might qualify for can be useful in choosing the right school. Be bold, after all, you’re planning a career in aviation, go after your goal and go after those options to fund your education!

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FAA to Boost Pilot Professional Development

October 12th, 2016


The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has proposed to enhance the professional development of U.S. air carrier pilots to make certain that they adhere to standard procedures and prevent behavior which could lead to pilot errors. The rule would require leadership and command training, and mentoring training for pilots-in-command. It would also require each air carrier to establish a committee to develop, administer, and oversee formal pilot mentoring programs.

“Pilots have an enormous responsibility for the safety of their passengers and crew,” said FAA Administrator Michael Huerta. “We have some of the best pilots in the world and should take full advantage of our pilot’s wealth of experience to raise professional standards and cockpit discipline.”

The Notice of Proposed Rulemaking would provide newly hired pilots with an opportunity to observe and become familiar with flight operations procedures before serving as part of a flightcrew. The FAA would require air carriers to revise the curriculum for pilots seeking to upgrade to pilot-in-command. Air carriers would also provide leadership and command, and mentoring training for all pilots-in-command. Air carriers would establish Pilot Professional Development Committees to develop, administer, and oversee formal pilot mentoring programs. A committee would consist of at least one manager and one pilot and would meet on a regular basis.

Following the Colgan Air Flight 3407 accident, air carriers and unions responded to the FAA’s Call to Action and pledged support for professional standards and ethics committees, a code of ethics, and safety risk management meetings. Today’s proposal responds to the Airline Safety and Federal Aviation Administration Extension Act of 2010, which directed the FAA to issue a regulation to address professional development, leadership, and mentoring of air carrier pilots. It also responds to National Transportation Safety Board recommendations on pilot professionalism, leadership, and adherence to the sterile cockpit rule. The sterile cockpit rule prohibits pilots from engaging in any activity during a critical phase of flight which could distract or interfere with his or her duties.

The proposed rule incorporates the work of the Flight Crewmember Mentoring, Leadership, and Professional Development Aviation Rulemaking Committee (ARC), the Flightcrew Member Training Hours Requirement Review ARC, and the Air Carrier Safety and Pilot Training ARC. All three ARCs were comprised of labor, industry, and FAA experts who provided recommendations to the FAA. The FAA also analyzed recent changes to pilot certification and qualifications to serve as an air carrier pilot-in-command.

Source: http://www.faa.gov/news/updates/?newsId=86647


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The Purpose of the FAA

October 6th, 2016


In aviation the FAA (Federal Aviation Agency) plays a large role in what one might learn when getting an education in aviation. So what exactly is the FAA, how did they come into being, and why are they even in force?

The Role of the FAA

The FAA was originally founded with The Federal Aviation Act of 1958 which established the agency under the name FAA (Federal Aviation Agency) as they are still known today. In 1967 the FAA became a part of the Department of Transportation.

The FAA has many roles in the safety of civil aviation including:

  • Regulating civil aviation to promote safety
  • Encouraging and developing civil aeronautics, including new aviation technology
  • Developing and operating a system of air traffic control and navigation for both civil and military aircraft
  • Researching and developing the National Airspace System and civil aeronautics
  • Developing and carrying out programs to control aircraft noise and other environmental effects of civil aviation
  • Regulating U.S. commercial space transportation

What the FAA DoeslogoFAA

As previously mentioned, the FAA plays many roles in the field of avionics, flight safety, and development of new techniques and laws. To touch on a few details of some of what they cover, let’s look at some of the responsibilities, the FAA handles.

Airspace and Air Traffic Management: This is the management of safe, efficient use of navigable airspace to keep all those in flight safe. They operate airport towers, air route traffic control centers, and flight service stations. The FAA is the force behind the rules that are in place and developing of new air traffic rules when needed. They also assign use of airspace and control air traffic. It’s a lot for this administration to handle but they do so efficiently and effectively keeping travelers safe.

Air Navigation Facilities: The FAA is responsible for the visual and electronic aids that assist in air navigation. They maintain, operate, and assure the quality of these facilities. The FAA is also responsible for sustaining other systems that support air navigation and air traffic control. Some examples include voice and data communication equipment, radar facilities, computer systems, and visual display equipment at flight service stations.

Civil Aviation Abroad: Promotion of aviation safety and encourage civil aviation abroad is important. The FAA works with foreign authorities, exchanging aeronautical information, and certify foreign repair shops, airmen, and mechanics. They also negotiate mutual airworthiness agreements with other countries and take part in international conferences all in an effort to maintain travel safety for this countries travelers and aviation employees.

Commercial Space Transportation: That’s right, you read correctly. Commercial…Space…transportation. The FAA regulates and encourages the U.S. commercial space transportation industry. They license commercial space launch facilities and private launches of space payloads on disposable launch vehicles.

Research, Engineering, and Development: The FAA is continuously looking for ways to improve the safety and systems of air navigation and air traffic control. They help develop better aircraft, engines, equipment, aviation systems, and procedures. They also do research on aeromedical practices. All of this is done in effort to make air travel safe for all involved.

Safety Regulation: The FAA issues and enforces regulations and minimum standards on aircraft manufacturing, operation, and maintenance. They also certify airmen and airports servicing air carriers.

The FAA plays many roles in the safety of those who fly, both as traveler or as employee of airlines. They manage the development of systems, equipment, and laws that govern the many areas of aviation. Always looking to develop better ways to create safe travel and air traffic management, the FAA will continue to work for everyone. Knowing that your role in aviation is important is a helpful tool to guiding the way to getting an education in aviation.

If you are looking to get into a career in aviation, check out the different schools and jobs you can obtain by searching our Aviation Schools Online site!

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The FAA is Hiring Experienced Air Traffic Controllers

September 12th, 2016


 FAA Press Release:

September 9, 2016- The Federal Aviation Administration is now accepting job applications from people with previous air traffic control experience. The FAA will accept the applications from Sept. 7 through Sept. 20, 2016.

Experienced air traffic controllers include eligible military air traffic controllers and others with air traffic controller certification.

The job vacancy announcement for the position of Air Traffic Control Specialist is now available on USAJobs.gov, the federal government’s official online job site. The job vacancy announcement provides the details about eligibility and the required qualifications. The FAA encourages applicants to ensure they meet all criteria before beginning the online application process.

Candidates must have 52 weeks of full-time air traffic control experience and air traffic certification or an air traffic control facility rating in a civilian or military air traffic control facility. More than 14,000 air traffic controllers work for the FAA.

To learn more, visit our Jobs page.


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HFI Offers Aviation Scholarships

September 6th, 2016


Apply for an HFI Scholarship!

Helicopter Foundation International (HFI) annually offers scholarships for students preparing for careers in rotorcraft aviation. Apply today and become part of the industry of tomorrow!

The Bill Sanderson Aviation Maintenance Technician Scholarship promotes the choice of helicopter maintenance as a career. Bill Sanderson Scholarship winners attend a course from a selection offered by airframe and powerplant manufacturers.

The Commercial Helicopter Rating Scholarship is awarded to pilots who have already obtained their private license and are enrolled in a commercial helicopter rating program at an FAA-approved Part 141 school or international equivalent.

The Maintenance Technician Certificate Scholarship is awarded to mechanics or technicians who are enrolled in a maintenance technician certificate program at an FAA-approved Part 147 school or international equivalent.

The Michelle North Scholarship for Safety is awarded to a pilot who has already attained a commercial rating and demonstrates an outstanding aptitude for safe flying and aviation best practices.

The deadline to submit applications is Nov. 30, 2016. To learn more and apply, visithelicopterfoundation.org/scholarships. Questions? Contact HFI’s curator, Marty Pociask, at marty.pociask@rotor.org.

 Helicopter Foundation International is a 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to preserving the rich heritage of helicopter aviation, improving its safety, and educating the next generation.

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The FAA’s New Drone Rules Are Effective Today

August 29th, 2016


Important Information About the FAA’s New Small Drone Rule

The Federal Aviation Administration’s (FAA) new comprehensive regulations go into effect today for routine non-recreational use of small unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) – more popularly known as “drones.”

The provisions of the new rule – formally known as Part 107 – are designed to minimize risks to other aircraft and people and property on the ground. A summary is available here.

The FAA has put several processes in place to help you take advantage of the rule.


If your proposed operation doesn’t quite comply with Part 107 regulations, you’ll need to apply for a waiver of some restrictions. You’ll have to prove the proposed flight will be conducted safely under a waiver. Users must apply for these waivers at the online portal located at www.faa.gov/UAS

Airspace Authorization:

You can fly your drone in Class G (uncontrolled) airspace without air traffic control authorization, but operations in any other airspace need air traffic approval. You must request access to controlled airspace via the electronic portal at www.faa.gov/UAS, not from individual air traffic facilities.

You may submit your requests starting today, but air traffic facilities will receive approved authorizations according to the following tentative schedule:

Class D & E Surface Area                       October 3, 2016

Class C                                                October 31, 2016

Class B                                                December 5, 2016

We will try to approve requests as soon as possible, but the actual time will vary depending on the complexity of an individual request and the volume of applications we receive. You should submit a request at least 90 days before you intend to fly in controlled airspace.

Aeronautical Knowledge Test:

Testing centers nationwide can now administer the Aeronautical Knowledge Test required under Part 107. After you pass the test, you must complete an FAA Airman Certificate and/or Rating Application to receive your remote pilot certificate at: https://iacra.faa.gov/IACRA/Default.aspx

It may take up to 48 hours for the website to record you passed the test. We expect to validate applications within 10 days. You will then receive instructions for printing a temporary airman certificate, which is good for 120 days. We will mail you a permanent Remote Pilot Certificate within 120 days.

The new regulations don’t apply to model aircraft operations that meet all the criteria specified in Section 336 of Public Law 112-95 (which is now codified in part 101), including the stipulation they be operated only for hobby or recreational purposes.

Source: http://www.faa.gov/news/updates/?newsId=86305

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The FAA Announces A New Center of Excellence

August 17th, 2016


Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Administrator Michael Huerta announced that the agency has selected the University of Oklahoma and Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University teams to lead the new Air Transportation Center of Excellence for Technical Training and Human Performance (COE TTHP). The COE will conduct research and development on technical training for air traffic controllers, aviation safety inspectors, engineers, pilots and technicians.

“This world-class, public-private partnership will help us focus on the challenges and opportunities of this cutting-edge field of research,” Administrator Huerta said. “We expect this team will help us educate and train aviation professionals well into the future.”

The academic team members all have nationally-recognized collegiate aviation-related education programs and core members also own and operate their own aircraft and airports. A partnership of principal investigators from the different universities will perform the research projects. The universities will engage senior faculty as well as graduate-level and undergraduate students in their research activities.

The FAA expects the COE will be fully operational and engaged in a robust research agenda within the next few months.

The FAA will take advantage of advancements in teaching, such as part-task training, modeling, immersive human-in-the-loop simulation, and adaptive learning technologies that are standard in other technical workforces. The COE will examine human factors issues such as changes in learner expectations and academic best practices for training a new generation of learners. The center also will research innovative training methods for this new generation. This includes new technologies such as mobile learning as well as new ways of collecting and managing training data.

The FAA’s Center of Excellence program is a long-term, cost-sharing partnership between academia, industry and government. Congress authorized Air Transportation Centers of Excellence under the Federal Aviation Administration Research, Engineering and Development Authorization Act of 1990. This legislation enables the FAA to work with center members and affiliates to conduct research in airspace and airport planning and design, environment and aviation safety, as well as to engage in other activities to assure a safe and efficient air transportation system.

The FAA has established 12 Centers of Excellence in critical topic areas focusing on: unmanned aircraft systems, alternative jet fuels and environment, general aviation safety, commercial space transportation, airliner cabin environment, aircraft noise and aviation emissions mitigation, advanced materials, general aviation research, airworthiness assurance, operations research, airport pavement and technology, and computational modeling of aircraft structures.

For more information about the FAA Centers of Excellence program, visit the COE web page at http://www.faa.gov/go/coe.

Source: The FAA Announces A New Center of Excellence

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