Legal Research for General Aviation Pilots
This site is designed to inform general aviation pilots and student pilots about the laws and regulations that effect them. As a flight instructor, I am aware of the materials that one must learn in order to earn a certificate or additional rating. The contents of this site go beyond that material to give the reader a general idea of the governement structure and procedures related to the FARs. My objective is not to provide a source of authoritative answers to specific legal questions, but rather to help GA pilots to better understand the details behind the regulations and how to research them.
You can navigate by starting at the first section on Governmental Structure and following the "on to..." links at the bottom of each page, or choose the specific section that intersts you from the following list:
- Governmental Structure -- Explanation of how various government entities converge on the issue of aviation. Includes general history and description of the FAA and NTSB, explaining the general nature of executive agencies and their authority to regulate and specifically laying out the role of the FAA and NTSB. Also features a brief explanation of how state laws may apply to aviation.
- FAR Amendments -- Description of the process of changing the Federal Aviation Regulations, including public commentary on Notices of Proposed Rulemaking with discussion of some selected past FAA rationales of changes to the FARs.
- Preventative Measures -- Some tips on how to become aware of legal intererpretations before it becomes a problem.
- Enforcement Process -- Brief overview of the FAA enforcement process, including appeals to the NTSB and on to the federal courts.
- Primary Sources of Law -- Basics of the documents that make up aviation law.
- Updating -- How to make sure that the regs or cases you are reading are still "good law."
- Example Problem -- A fictional certificate action scenario with some tips on how to research the relevant regulations and case law.
- Secondary Sources -- Some helpful print and online sources of legal information.
Designed and constructed by Cal Lee, CFII, MEI
School of Information, University of Michigan
Last updated 12/7/97