No Reduced Vertical Separation Minimum (RVSM) Applications for Planes w/ADS-B

August 20th, 2017

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is proposing to change the Reduced Vertical Separation Minimum (RVSM) authorization process by eliminating the need for U.S.-registered operators to apply for RVSM authorization when their aircraft meet altitude-keeping requirements and are equipped with qualified Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast (ADS-B) Out systems.

The FAA has been a major force in the implementation of RVSM since it was first introduced in 1997. RVSM reduced the vertical separation between aircraft above 29,000 feet from a minimum of 2,000 feet to 1,000 feet. This saves fuel and increases airspace capacity. RVSM airspace has now been implemented worldwide.

Currently, operators must prove their aircraft design satisfies RVSM performance requirements and that they have policies and procedures for the safe conduct of RVSM operations, before the FAA approves their RVSM authorization. Until recently, they also had to have a separate program to maintain RVSM systems and equipment. The FAA granted authorizations to operate in RVSM airspace only after finding that the pertinent requirements were met.

The proposed changes for RVSM authorizations would allow the FAA to leverage the technology in ADS-B Out systems to monitor altitude-keeping performance on RVSM-capable aircraft whenever they fly in U.S. ADS-B airspace. Properly equipped aircraft could conduct RVSM operations immediately, lowering costs and eliminating the delays associated with application processing. ADS-B becomes mandatory for aircraft operating in most U.S. airspace on January 1, 2020.

The current RVSM approval process would still be available for operators whose airplanes do not routinely operate in airspace where the FAA has sufficient ADS-B data to determine RVSM performance, or when a foreign country requires a specific approval.

Read the FAA’s Proposed Rules here.

How to Become a Professional Drone Pilot

July 20th, 2017

What Is a Drone or a UAV?

A drone, or an Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV), is an aircraft that flies without a human pilot on board, and is instead flown by a pilot on the ground with a controller. The complete system is know as UAS, or an Unmanned Aerial System.

Drone is the most commonly used term, and it covers a wide range of unmanned aircraft from small ones to large ones like the MQ-9 Reaper unmanned aerial vehicle shown above.

Reapers are remotely piloted and can linger over battlefields, providing persistent strike capabilities to ground force commanders. This Reaper is deployed to the 46th Expeditionary Reconnaissance and Attack Squadron from Creech Air Force Base, Nev. (U.S. Air Force photo/Tech. Sgt. Erik Gudmundson).

The use of the drones in military began in World War II and have become increasingly relied upon by many countries around the world. The Israelis have successfully used UAVs as decoys and reconnaissance and to jam the enemy’s communications.  In addition to military use, the drone has become important in civilian use as well.

The challenge for the FAA and NASA, with increasing commercial and recreational drones use, is managing airspace.

Michael Huerta of the FAA recently said “One of the many things we have learned during the past few years is that when it comes to drones, the future can become the present in the blink of an eye. With this in mind, we have to figure out how to manage drone traffic in airspace that is shared with manned aircraft. Toward that end, we’re working with NASA to develop a concept for an unmanned aircraft traffic management system – an effort called UTM.”

His full speech can be read here: “Drones: A Story of Revolution and Evolution”

Commercial Use

Initially, the most common use of drones was by photographers and videographers, largely for marketing purposes. But, there are many other businesses that can benefit from using drones. There is a huge market for drones in agriculture, construction, environmental concerns, engineering, media coverage, real estate, internet and more.

Employment Opportunities

According to the Insurance Journal, “U.S.aviation officials believe that as many as 2.7 million drones will be used for commercial purposes. These same officials predict that small unmanned aircraft systems (sUAS) or drones ‘will be the most dynamic growth sector within aviation within a few years’ “.

These facts indicate that employment opportunities involving the use of drones will explode as well. Predictions have been made that 100,000 new jobs will be created in the coming years.

Drone use in farming, firefighting, law enforcement, surveying, cinematography, aerial photography, real estate marketing and the insurance industry are a few examples of the new job opportunities.

Pilots, those with engineering degrees, and UAV operators with varied experience will have new career opportunities. An estimate of starting salaries for drone operators, although they vary, will range somewhere between $50,000 to $60,000 per year; although UAV operators willing to work overseas can make much more.

There is a high demand for drone pilots! Find UAV/UAS pilot flight training near you here.


Brian Wynn, president and CEO of the Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International and Tony Carmean, of the cinematography firm, Aerial MOB, helped the FAA establish new rules for UAV operation. Below is an explanation, according to these new rules, of the requirements for becoming a drone pilot:

How Do I Receive Certification to Be a Remote Pilot?

Effective August 29, 2016, the FAA has created its first and only airman certificate specifically for the use and operation of small unmanned aircraft systems (UAS), called the “remote pilot certificate with a small UAS rating.”

For Commercial Work:

  1. A Part 107 drone airman or remote pilot certificate
  2. Must speak, read and write in the English language
  3. Must be at least 16 years of age
  4. Must not have or not be aware that he/she has a physical or mentalcondition that would make operating a drone unsafe.
  5. Must pass an aeronautical knowledge test at an FAA-approved testingcenter, or hold a current Part 61 private pilot certificate or higher and complete an UAS online training course provided by the FAA.

Government and Military:

UAS pilots in governmental and military settings may need the usual commercial pilot requirements. Bachelor of Science degrees in UAS piloting are offered all over the world. There are several colleges, which are accredited by the Aviation Accreditation Board International, and offer courses in UAV operations.

For the Film and TV Industry:

Pilots must have at least a current Part 61 private pilot certificate.

Recreational Use

You do not need any training to fly a drone for fun. Recreational use has drones flying off the shelves, but the a safety campaign instituted by the FAA has imposed safety guidelines for their use.

In December of 2015, the FAA regulations for UAVs require that drones weighing 0.55 to 55 pounds be registered online. Register you recreational drone here.

They must fly at 400 feet or below, be in line of sight at all times and not be flown within five miles of an airport.

Remember, always avoid flying drones wildfires with aerial firefighting!

Pilot’s Medical Certificate ‘BasicMed’ Q & A

February 13th, 2017

BasicMed Takes Affect May, 1, 2017

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, 2017, pilots may take advantage of the regulatory relief in the BasicMed rule or opt to continue to use their FAA medical certificate.

BasicMed Q & A:

Q: How did the FAA come up with these BasicMed requirements?

A: The FAA did not develop these requirements. The requirements are from the U.S. Congress, which enacted the FAA Extension, Safety, and Security Act of 2016 (PL 114-190) (FESSA) on July 15, 2016. ection 2307 of FESSA, Medical Certification of Certain Small Aircraft Pilots, directed the FAA to “issue or revise regulations to ensure that an individual may operate as pilot in command of a covered aircraft” if the pilot and aircraft meet certain prescribed conditions as outlined in FESSA. The FAA regulations implement the provisions in § 2307 of FESSA.

Q: How does BasicMed affect FAA medical certificates? Does FAA still offer the third class medical?

A: BasicMed does not affect medical certificates at all. Nothing about the FAA’s medical certificate program has changed with BasicMed, and you can still apply for a first, second, or third class medical the way you always have. BasicMed is merely an additional qualification you can use to fly, in lieu of holding a medical certificate.

Q: Is there a grace period for meeting BasicMed?

A: You can operate a covered aircraft either with a medical certificate, or by using BasicMed privileges. If you don’t meet all of the BasicMed requirements, then you must hold an FAA medical certificate.

Q: Does BasicMed affect sport pilots?

A: No. If you are exercising sport pilot privileges in an aircraft that meets the definition of a light-sport aircraft, then you may continue to operate using either a driver’s license or an FAA medical certificate. BasicMed privileges are not intended to be exercised by sport pilots, who can exercise Sport Pilot privileges with only a driver’s license.

Q: The driver’s licenses that are currently issued by my State don’t meet the REAL ID requirements. Will I be in compliance with BasicMed if I use my non-REAL ID-compliant driver’s license?

A: Yes. Any valid driver’s license issued by a State, territory, or possession of the United States can be used to meet the driver’s license requirement in BasicMed.

Q: What documents do I need to carry during flight to exercise BasicMed?

A: Only a valid driver’s license (in addition to the other required documents not identified under BasicMed, such as your pilot certificate and photo ID).

Q: What documentation do I need to keep?

A: You only need to keep a copy of your Comprehensive Medical Examination Checklist and your medical education course completion certificate. You can store these in your logbook, or you can store them electronically in any format, as long as you can produce an accurate representation of these documents at the request of the FAA. You don’t have to carry these documents while flying under BasicMed.

Q: Can I exercise my CFI, as PIC, under BasicMed?

A: Yes, as long as you are flying a covered aircraft.

Q: Can I use BasicMed to act as a safety pilot, rather than holding a medical?

A: Only if you’re acting as PIC while performing the duties of safety pilot. The statutory language prescribing BasicMed said it only applies to people acting as PIC. BasicMed cannot be exercised by safety pilots who are not acting as PIC but are required crewmembers.

Q: Do I still have to have a flight review required by § 61.56?

A: Yes. BasicMed does not affect any pilot requirement other than the holding an FAA medical certificate.

Q: I’ve mislaid my BasicMed course completion certificate. Can I still fly under BasicMed?

A: No. Although you don’t need to have them in your personal possession, you must be able to produce the BasicMed course completion certificate and the completed CMEC (or an accurate and legible representation of those documents) if you are asked by a representative of the FAA Administrator. You should contact the provider of the medical course to obtain a replacement course completion certificate.

Q: Can I use BasicMed privileges to take an Airline Transport Pilot practical test?

A: Yes. A person taking any FAA practical test is exercising no more than private pilot privileges because the operation is not being conducted for compensation or hire.

Q: I’m a Designated Pilot Examiner. Can I give check rides while using BasicMed?

A: No. You have to hold a medical certificate when performing the duties as an Examiner in an aircraft when administering a practical test or proficiency check, per 14 CFR 61.23(a)(3)(vii).

Q: I use an electronic pilot logbook. Can I use this to store my BasicMed documentation?

A: You can attach those documents to your electronic logbook, or you may store them in any other fashion as long as an accurate and legible representation of those documents can be made available upon request, the same as for your pilot logbook.

Q: The medical course required that I enter my personal information and the name and license number of the physician who conducted my individual medical examination. Why is the FAA collecting this information?

A: The legislation (FESSA) requires the FAA to collect that information. The pilot’s personal information will be used to conduct the NDR check. The FAA will store the information it is required by FESSA to collect in the airman’s record.

Q: Some States allow active duty service members to continue to use an expired driver’s license for the purposes of operating a motor vehicle, for a specified period. Would these expired driver’s licenses be valid under BasicMed?

A: Individuals can use expired driver’s licenses in this circumstance, as long as the individual possesses documentation from the State, territory, or possession (along with their expired driver’s license) indicating the continued validity of the driver’s license, based on that state’s active duty military status exception you cited. The documentation can be information from a website of that State/territory/possession. The individual must also possess documentation indicating their active duty military status. Hold, or Have Held, a Medical Certificate Since July 15, 2006

Q: I can’t remember if my medical certificate was valid after July 15, 2006. How can I find out if I meet the BasicMed requirements?

A: You may contact Federal Aviation Administration, Medical Certification Branch, AAM-331, P.O. Box 26200, Oklahoma City, OK 73125-9914 (phone: 405-954-4821) to ask when your most recent medical certificate expires or to request a copy of your most recent medical certificate.

Q: Can I exercise BasicMed and hold a medical certificate at the same time?

A: Yes. If you are operating under BasicMed, then you must comply with the BasicMed operating limitations (e.g. flying only within the U.S. and at or less than 250 knots). When operating under BasicMed, you are not exercising the privileges of your medical certificate. You can’t operate under BasicMed and switch to operating using your medical, or vice versa, during flight.

Q: My medical certificate expired in 2011 and I submitted an application for an FAA medical certificate using MedExpress but I never went to an AME for my physical exam. Does this application prevent me from using the previous medical certificate to meet the requirement to hold a medical certificate at any point after July 15, 2006?

A: No. Since an AME never accessed your application, you didn’t complete the application process and you may use the previous medical certificate (before you submitted your MedXpress application) to comply with BasicMed.

Q: My most recent medical certificate was suspended by the FAA and then later reinstated. May I operate under BasicMed?

A: No. If your most recent medical certificate was suspended (even if it was later reinstated) you must obtain a new FAA medical certificate of any class before operating under BasicMed.

Q: Do I have to always “hold or have held a medical certificate” in the past 10 years?

A: No. There is no 10-year requirement, or a 10-year “look-back”. You only need to have held a medical certificate at any point after July 15, 2006. If you meet that provision, then you never have to hold a medical again, unless you develop one of the conditions identified in 14 CFR 68.9 that require you to get a special issuance (i.e., psychosis, epilepsy, heart replacement, etc.), Comprehensive Medical Examination

Q: How do I find a physician to conduct the BasicMed medical examination?

A: Any physician who is familiar with your complete health history would be a good choice. Also, some AMEs may elect to provide medical examinations under BasicMed.

Q: My state-licensed physician who conducted my medical examination refused to sign the CMEC. What can I do?

A: You should check with your physician to see what the medical reasons were behind his or her decision not to sign the CMEC. You may not operate under BasicMed without a completed CMEC, and the FAA strongly recommends addressing those medical issues before flying under any circumstances.

Q: Can a physician extender (such as a nurse practitioner or physician assistant) conduct the medical exam?

A: A physician extender is a health care provider who is not a physician but who performs medical activities typically performed by a physician, on behalf of the physician. Physician extenders are generally nurse practitioners or physician assistants. Registered nurses, medical technicians, and medical support personnel may assist certain elements of an examination but are not considered physician extenders. Section 2307 of FESSA requires that the examination must be performed by a state-licensed physician, but the language of the statute did not specifically exclude participation of a physician extender. As long as the physician is the signatory for the medical checklist, he or she can delegate some or all elements of the actual physical exam to a physician extender.

Q: I just received a 3rd class medical certificate. Can I use my medical certificate to meet the requirements for a comprehensive medical examination?

A: No. Section 2307 of FESSA did not allow for an exam associated with an FAA-issued medical certificate to substitute for a comprehensive medical examination. An AME is not prohibited from conducting a comprehensive medical examination concurrently with an examination for an FAA issued medical certificate.

Q: I had cardiac valve replacement in 1988, and held a special issuance for that condition until March of 2007, when my most recent special issuance/medical certificate expired. In December of 2009 I had a myocardial infarction (heart attack) but I was not flying at the time and did not have a current medical certificate. I have not applied for an FAA medical certificate since my previous medical certificate expired in 2007. Can I fly under BasicMed?

A: No. You have to first get a special issuance for your 2008 heart attack, per 14 CFR 68.9. When you apply for that medical certificate with special issuance, you will have to report your 1988 cardiac valve replacement, but the new special issuance is only specifically required because of your 2008 heart attack. This is because the special issuance issued to address your 1988 cardiac valve replacement was not revoked, suspended, or withdrawn. Any new diagnosis of any of the mental, neurological, or cardiac conditions identified in 68.9 require a special issuance for those conditions. However, in order to receive a new special issuance medical certificate, you must meet all requirements to hold a medical certificate. This includes not only being eligible with your history of a 2008 heart attack, but also remain eligible for your 1988 heart valve and any other medical conditions that you may have.

Q: When I was 13 years old I had a clinical diagnosis of bipolar disorder. I’m now 35 and have always been symptom-free as an adult. Do I really need to get a special issuance to fly under BasicMed?

A: Yes. To operate under BasicMed, 14 CFR 68.9(a)(1)(iii) requires you to undergo one special issuance if you have ever had a diagnosis of bipolar disorder. You still have to apply for a medical certificate with special issuance even if you are, or have been asymptomatic for a long time.

Q: I had a cardiac valve replacement as an infant. I’m now 35 and have held a medical for 15 years, and have reported the valve replacement on previous applications for medical certificate. Do I need to get a special issuance to fly under BasicMed?

A: Yes. That the FAA may have not required you to have a special issuance with your previous medical certificates is immaterial. You have to apply for a medical and special issuance for the cardiac valve replacement, pursuant to 14 CFR 68.9(a)(3).

Q: I have coronary heart disease that has required treatment, and I also have epilepsy. I understand 14 CFR 68.9 requires me to get one special issuance for each condition. Do I get two separate special issuances, one for each?

A: No. A special issuance addresses all conditions you may have, whether just one or several. You need to apply for a special issuance medical certificate and, if you are eligible, the FAA will grant a special issuance covering all of your conditions. If you have been granted a special issuance for your current condition(s) that require special issuance for BasicMed under FESSA, and then later you are diagnosed with one or more additional conditions, then you would need apply for a new medical certificate through the special issuance process.

Q: I showed my physician the checklist for the comprehensive medical examination and she is willing to sign it. May I have my physician complete the comprehensive medical examination prior to the effective date of BasicMed?

A: No. The physician may not conduct a comprehensive medical examination for BasicMed until the rule goes into effect May 1, 2017.

Q: Can a physician place restrictions or conditions on the airman in conjunction with the sign-off of the comprehensive medical exam? Can a physician later rescind his sign-off?

A: Section 2307 of FESSA provided no provision for the physician to allow conditional approval of an airman in BasicMed or to later withdraw approval. The physician may only declare at the time of the examination that he or she is not aware of any medical condition that, as presently treated, could interfere with the individual’s ability to safely operate an aircraft. If a physician has reservations regarding an airman’s current or future health status, he or she should discuss the concerns with the airman and use clinical judgment to determine whether he or she should sign the declaration.



The New BasicMed Rule for General Aviation

January 25th, 2017

Recently the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) issued a rule that those in flight are excited to learn will soon come to fruition. As of May 1, 2017, the FAA issued the BasicMed rule which will come as a very welcome relief to affected pilots. “Much of the general aviation community is ecstatic about BasicMed,” AOPA President Mark Baker said of the new alternative to medical certification. “May 1 can’t get her soon enough!”

In order to qualify for BasicMed, pilots are required to get a physical exam by a state-licensed physician and continue to have examinations every four years, have the associated checklist completed, and then complete the online aeromedical course. However, the FAA will no longer require an FAA medical certificate as a requirement for flying. To continue using BasicMed, pilots will be required to comply with aircraft and operating restrictions:

  • 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 within the past 48 months
  • Be under the care of a physician for certain medical conditions
  • Have been found eligible for special insurance of a medical certificate for certain specified mental health, neurological, or cardiovascular conditions
  • Consent to a National Driver Register check
  • Fly only certain small aircraft, at a limited altitude and speed, and only within the United States
  • Not fly for compensation or hire

The FAA does state that the use of this rule by any eligible pilot is voluntary and persons may choose to use this rule or continue to operate using any valid FAA medical certificate.

Read the full FAA Final Rule here.

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.

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!


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 Administrator Huerta discussing traveler safety:


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 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!

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.



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.

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