Finding the Correct Aircraft Code for IACRA Applications – A Search Link

Ever have a hard time determining the correct aircraft model, make, or code to enter into IACRA for an applicant’s practical test? I know I have! Some aircraft are much harder to find than others, so here is a little help that may make it easier.

First, if you don’t know what I am talking about just yet, when you are entering an IACRA application for a pilot certificate, under the “Certificate Sought” tab there will be an option to “Click here to Enter the Completion of Required Test Information“. Clicking this, will bring you to a page where you will need to enter the information 23about the aircraft that will be used on the test.

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Calculating Descents from Higher Altitudes

One of the major benefits of flying higher, is that you get to descend for a longer distance, using less fuel, and typically at a faster speed across the ground. But taking advantage of these longer descents takes a little planning.

If we consider an aircraft that would descent at 200 knots from FL250 down to an approach altitude of 3000’ MSL, we have a long ways to descend and if we complete this at a comfortable 500’ per minute descent, it would take a 153 miles over 44 minutes to complete the descent. This descent is longer than many cross-country flights that pilots in smaller light general aviation aircraft fly!

To put this in perspective, I have include here a chart that show descent rates of 500’ per minute and 1000’ per minute from various flight altitudes to demonstrate the mileage and time it would take to complete these descents. Continue reading

Generic LSA Aircraft Codes for IACRA When Aircraft Not Found

In a recent practical test, I ran into the IACRA challenge that the aircraft to be used for the test, in this case, a Flight Design CT, was not available in the list of aircraft for the applicant in IACRA.

With a little help from the IACRA Help Desk, I was informed that there are “Generic” codes that can be used for the applicant when an aircraft is not in the list of aircraft that IACRA utilizes.

To help, if you run into this, here is the list of codes that you can use.

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FAA Clarifies Interpretation of ACS material to allow use of non-installed equipment for navigation demonstrations on private pilot practical test

Designated Pilot Examiners have experienced discussion debating what was intended in the private pilot airman certification standards (ACS) for use when demonstrating use of an installed electronic navigation system and demonstrating use of installed navigation equipment function and displays under the task of radio communications, navigation systems/facilities, and radar services. The questions related to if an applicant was required to provide an aircraft with an installed navigation system such as a GPS or VOR system or if a non-installed, but available system such as a portable GPS, a handheld VOR receiver, or an EFB device that was capable of being used for navigation would be allowed.

In a recent communication to FAA Designated Pilot Examiners, but that also has direct relevance to those providing the training for candidates for private pilot practical tests, the FAA clarified the current policy interpretation of the ACS document.

They noted as follows:

“… that the ACS navigation tasks in question can be demonstrated thoroughly either by using an Electronic Flight Bag (EFB), a hand held nav-com transceiver, installed equipment or any combination of these items. It appears that there was a change from “airborne navigation system” in the PTS to “installed navigation system” in the ACS that may have been unintended. In the June 2017 revision to the Private Pilot ACS, we will change the language in PA.VI.B.S1 from “installed” to “airborne.” We will also amend the language in PA.VIII.F.K7 to change “installed” to “available.”

Since the current phrasing was not intended, DPEs should act in accordance with the revised language as stated above for Tasks PA.VI.B.S1 and PA.VIII.F.K7.”

The implication of this for training and testing appears to allow an applicant to demonstrate these tasks in an aircraft with a non-installed, but “available” device that could satisfy the tasks. This is an important clarification for students, instructors, and examiners to make not of in that it will allow testing to be completed in aircraft that may not have a permanently installed navigation system.