A good pilot is always learning -- how many times have you heard
this old standard throughout your flying career? There is no truer
statement in all of flying (well, with the possible exception of
"there are no old, bold pilots.") It's part of what makes aviation
so exciting for all of us... just when you think you've seen it
all, along comes a scenario you've never imagined.
Aero-News has called upon the expertise of Thomas P. Turner,
master CFI and all-around-good-guy, to bring our readers -- and us
-- daily tips to improve our skills as aviators, and as
representatives of the flying community. Some of them, you may have
heard before... but for each of us, there will also be something we
might never have considered before, or something that didn't
"stick" the way it should have the first time we memorized it for
the practical test.
It is our unabashed goal that "Aero-Tips" will help our readers
become better, safer pilots -- as well as introducing our
ground-bound readers to the concepts and principles that keep those
strange aluminum-and-composite contraptions in the air... and allow
them to soar magnificently through it.
Look for our daily Aero-Tips segments, coming each day to you
through the Aero-News Network. Suggestions for future Aero-Tips are
always welcome, as are additions or discussion of each day's tips.
Remember... when it comes to being good pilots, we're all in this
(ADs) are notification from the Government that a problem exists
with an airplane that directly affects safety. ADs describe
procedures required to assure the airplane meets its original
design criteria. ADs become part of the Federal Air Regulations and
therefore are binding as law -- not to mention potentially vital to
No good ADs?
Some owners and associations have said “there’s no
such thing as a good AD.” Drill down their argument and it
almost always comes down to money -- they don’t want to pay
for repairs. Unlike automobile recalls, AD work -- affecting
airplanes that are sometimes decades old -- is not usually paid by
the manufacturer. Owners foot the bill. Most of the time, though,
ADs address real threats, like slipping seat latches in Cessnas and
wing spar failure in 400-series Cessnas and Beech T-34s. On
occasion an AD may seem unjustified, and that’s when
owners’ groups work with manufacturers and the FAA to reach a
compromise that assure safety. But remember that the preamble of
ADs usually includes the words death or serious injury that led to
I rent -- what do I care?
In most cases the aircraft operator is required to comply with
ADs. A renter pilot, however, is still responsible for
airworthiness as PIC. After all, it’s your life (and those of
your passengers) on the line. So it’s vital you determine
from the renting agency that all ADs are complied with.
Finding applicable ADs
To find ADs affected a particular airplane:
- Go to the FAA’s AD website.
- Select “Current ADs by Make” from the left
- Pick the letter corresponding to the manufacturer from the top
of the page (e.g., “P” for Piper, “C” for
Cirrus Design, “R” for Raytheon/Beech, etc.).
- Click on the triangle to the left of the manufacturer’s
- Click on the triangle to the left of the specific airplane
You’d get a list with links to all ADs affecting that
airframe. You’ll need to do the same search for engine ADs,
propeller ADs, and ADs affecting other components by finding the
engine manufacturer from the By Make page.
Aero-Tip of the day: Get familiar with the ADs that apply to any
airplanes you fly, and watch the aviation media for new