CRJ200 Airline Pilot

The personal experiences, thoughts of an CRJ captain


Another Year, Another FAR/AIM

Posted by Jeffrey on September 30, 2008


Boeing 777

There are a few things that happen every year: New Year’s, Easter, the 4th of July, and a new FAR/AIM.

One of my best flight instructors once said, “If you don’t have a current FAR/AIM, all you have is a history book.”

If you are reading this blog you probably know what a FAR/AIM is. If you aren’t a pilot, but plan on becoming a pilot, it is an acroynm that you will eventually learn to love and hate.

FAR is the acronym for “Federal Aviation Regulations.” It is the definitive, though sometimes ambigious and open to interpretation, laws of the skies. It is written by the FAA and states what we can and can’t do in the world of aviation. It is composed of many sections (i.e., Parts) for many different areas of aviation. In my job, I am held to Part 121, which outlines the operating requirements for domestic, flag, and supplemental operations, or more simply, airline operations, in my case.

Here is a list of the FAA Regulations that are most likely to affect you:

  • Part 61 – Certification of Pilots, Flight Instructors, and Ground Instructors
  • Part 91– General Operating and Flight Rules (If you fly just for fun, you fall under Part 91 operations)
  • Part 141 – Flight Schools generally operate under Part 141
  • Part 121 – Airline Operations
  • Part 135 – Commuter and On-Demand Operations (better known a “Charter Airlines”)

Confused yet? That’s alright. I’m about to make it easier for you here in a few minutes.

Now the FAA doesn’t seem to know anything about making things easy for the pilot and general public. When I went looking for the regulations on their website,, it took a few minutes to narrow it down and get to the right page. (Note: I’ve included the links to the appropriate pages above.) They don’t seem to understand how things are searched for and they don’t present it very well either. Oh, well.

Back to what I was talking about. Now these FAR’s are long and if you have an Internet connection and want to look them up on the website that’s great…but it’s not very useful. You can also subscribe to AOPA (, to access the FAR information through their portal but again, if all you are doing is subscribing to get the FAR’s, just get it for free from the FAA. Granted AOPA has a lot of great material as well, so it’s your choice.

The best option is to buy a book published by ASA or Gleim, so that you can refer to it.

When I was a flight instructor, I carried my FAR/AIM around with me like a bible. Though I was a pretty good at remembering regulations, eventually I would be asked something that I didn’t know and would have to look it up.

And if you are really serious about your flying and want to stay sharp, consider getting flash cards so that you can review them regularly:

  • Flashcards for FAR– Maintain a solid core knowledge of the Federal Aviation Regulations (FAR’s) with these flashcards or if you’re an instructor, prepare your students for their checkride.
  • FAR Flashcards for ATP (Parts 119, 121, and 135)– Flashcards keep your cockpit skills sharp and help you prepare for that important test, checkride, or interview!

Talk to any pilot and they will tell you how important it is to stay up of the latest regulations least you break one and get violated and get your certificate suspended or revoked.

Well, I didn’t cover the Airman Information Manual (AIM) so I will do that during my next entry.

Till next time…

And don’t forget to sign up for my RSS feed or email updates, to stay current on my entries. You can sign up on the top left corner.


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