PIC (Pilot In Command), Safety Pilot and the FARs

The Federal Aviation Regulations (FARs) make it clear—the pilot in command of an aircraft is directly responsible for, and acts as the final authority as to, the operation of that aircraft. (14 CFR 91.3(a).  However, the regulations are often silent on several significant questions that frequently arise in the context of pilot in command responsibility. First, who is the pilot in command when more than one pilot occupies the cockpit?  Also, is the pilot in command responsible when a qualified and capable second in command commits an error?  Is the pilot in command responsible for knowing whether his aircraft is being operated with any latent defects that might impact the aircraft’s airworthiness?  Can more than one qualified pilot in the cockpit be held responsible for FAR violations?  The purpose of this article is to explore these questions and provide guidance for those faced with the question of pilot in com mand responsibility under the FARs, and, specifically, in the context of Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) enforcement proceedings.   read more …..

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