One of the books that should be in every pilot’s library is a current copy of the Federal Aviation Regulations/Aeronautical Information Manual (the FAR/AIM). Every so often the FAA updates the FARs. This is one of those times.
The FAA recently released a 50-page Notice of Proposed Rule Making (NPRM) on proposed changes to Part 61 of the FARs.
Among the proposed changes is the extension of the duration of student pilot certificates for people under the age of 40 from 24 calendar months to 36 months. This is the same duration as a third class medical certificate for people in this age group.
Another change would allow pilots to use personal computer aviation training devices to meet instrument currency if certain conditions are met (you still need to have a qualified instructor with you) and the proper endorsements made.
The NPRM also deletes the requirement for supplying your Social Security number to obtain a pilot certificate.
There are some proposed clarifications to existing regulations as well, such as changing the wording on the definition of a cross-country flight for a private pilot certificate in a single-engine aircraft from “at least 50 nautical miles” to “more than 50 nautical miles.”
To see the NPRM for yourself and to comment, go to DMS.dot.gov or Regulations.gov and follow the instructions. It is listed under Docket Number FAA 2006-26661. Hard copy comments should be sent to Docket Management Facility, U.S. Department of Transportation, 400 Seventh Street SW, Nassif Building, Room PL-401, Washington, D.C., 20590-0001. Comments must be made by May 8.