Surviving An FAA Ramp Check

Written by Greg Reigel

Continued from page 1

You may need to supplyrepparttar aircraft’s registration certificate. Make surerepparttar 119262 N-number onrepparttar 119263 certificate matchesrepparttar 119264 N-number onrepparttar 119265 aircraft. Also, if you are operating with a temporary certificate, remember that it is only valid for 120 days. The aircraft’s airworthiness certificate will likely be inspected as well. Here again, make surerepparttar 119266 N-number onrepparttar 119267 certificate matchesrepparttar 119268 N-number onrepparttar 119269 aircraft data plate.

Additional aircraft documents that are fair game during a ramp check includerepparttar 119270 operator/flight manual, or operating limitations ifrepparttar 119271 aircraft is a homebuilt aircraft, andrepparttar 119272 aircraft’s weight and balance information. For certificated aircraft,repparttar 119273 weight and balance information should be inrepparttar 119274 manual. For homebuilt aircraft, this information will be contained inrepparttar 119275 aircraft’s operating limitations.


Since a pilot is required to be familiar with all available information for each flight, an inspector may also ask to seerepparttar 119276 aeronautical charts you intend to use on your flight. Make surerepparttar 119277 charts you have inrepparttar 119278 aircraft or your flight bag are current and appropriate to your flight. This seems like a "no-brainer", but you would be surprised how many pilots are flying with sectional charts that are several years old or instrument approach plates that are more than 56 days old. From a compliance perspective and, more importantly, from a safety perspective, use current and appropriate charts.

Interacting With The Inspector

Duringrepparttar 119279 course ofrepparttar 119280 ramp check, you can also takerepparttar 119281 initiative and askrepparttar 119282 inspector questions. Askrepparttar 119283 inspector why he or she suspects you and what informationrepparttar 119284 inspector has that leads to his or her suspicion. You can also askrepparttar 119285 inspector which FAR's you are suspected of violating.

Ifrepparttar 119286 answers to these questions indicates that a simple misunderstanding is present, you can certainly try to clarifyrepparttar 119287 situation forrepparttar 119288 inspector. However, if it appears thatrepparttar 119289 inspector’s issues are more than a simple misunderstanding or if you do not receive adequate responses to your questions, do not volunteer any information torepparttar 119290 inspector. Remain polite and respectful, but don’t giverepparttar 119291 inspector any more information than is required.

Do not try to argue withrepparttar 119292 inspector. Very rarely will you win an argument withrepparttar 119293 inspector. Onrepparttar 119294 contrary, an argument withrepparttar 119295 inspector will usually get you in deeper trouble. You will either providerepparttar 119296 inspector with information that helpsrepparttar 119297 inspector make his or her case against you or you will exhibit a “poor compliance attitude”, or both. Don’t do it. Discretion and respect will serve you better.

Most pilots will never find themselves in a ramp check, due torepparttar 119298 minimal manpowerrepparttar 119299 FAA has available for ramp checks. However, if you find yourself in a ramp check, it is survivable. Hopefully this information, along withrepparttar 119300 right attitude, will get you through it. As always, fly safe and fly smart.

Greg is an aviation attorney, author and holds a commercial pilot certificate with instrument rating. His practice concentrates on aviation litigation, including insurance matters and creditor’s rights, FAA certificate actions and aviation related transactional matters. He can be reached via e-mail at or check out his website at

Carrying Firearms On Aircraft

Written by Greg Reigel

Continued from page 1

At first glance, these statutes seem to be very broad and all encompassing. However,repparttar definitions of “air transportation” and “intrastate air transportation” as defined in 49 USC §40102 limitrepparttar 119261 applicability of these statutes to air carriers. What is an air carrier? It is an individual or business who provides transportation for hire either between two states or within one state using a turbojet aircraft with more than 30 seats. Practically speaking, these definitions limitrepparttar 119262 applicability of this statute torepparttar 119263 airlines and charter operators who are either flying between states or operating larger, turbojet aircraft.

U.S. Statute 49 CFR §1550.7 is a more specific “catch-all” that applies to aircraft weighing more than 12,500 pounds and whererepparttar 119264 aircraft’s operation is not otherwise subject torepparttar 119265 statutes and regulations addressed above. This regulation requires that an operator “must conduct a search ofrepparttar 119266 aircraft before departure and screen passengers, crewmembers, and other persons and their accessible property (carry-on items) before boarding”, regardless of whether boarding and loading occurs from a sterile area.

Another regulation that affects your ability to carry a firearm on a flight operated by a charter operator is 14 CFR §135.119. Under this regulation “no person may, while on board an aircraft being operated by a certificate holder, carry on or about that person a deadly or dangerous weapon, either concealed or unconcealed. Section 135.119 does not apply to LEO’s or to “Crewmembers and other persons authorized byrepparttar 119267 certificate holder to carry arms”. Thus, although this regulation appears to limitrepparttar 119268 possession of firearms, ifrepparttar 119269 charter operator grants you permission, either directly or within its operations specifications, you would be exempt from this regulation and able to carry firearms subject to any other applicable statutes or regulations.

Finally, if you are flying in a private aircraft that is not being operated by a common carrier from one state to another, and no other statutes apply to your flight, you will still be subject to 18 USC §926A regardingrepparttar 119270 interstate transportation of firearms which states that “any person who is not otherwise prohibited by this chapter from transporting, shipping, or receiving a firearm shall be entitled to transport a firearm for any lawful purpose from any place where he may lawfully possess and carry such firearm to any other place where he may lawfully possess and carry such firearm if, during such transportationrepparttar 119271 firearm is unloaded, and neitherrepparttar 119272 firearm nor any ammunition being transported is readily accessible or is directly accessible fromrepparttar 119273 passenger compartment of such transporting vehicle”.

This statute allows you to transport firearms between states subject torepparttar 119274 statute’s conditions: that you can lawfully possessrepparttar 119275 firearm at your points of departure and arrival, andrepparttar 119276 firearm is unloaded and inaccessible duringrepparttar 119277 trip. However, what if you are a CCW permit holder and you want to carry concealed between states? Well, fortunately 18 USC §927 states that Section 926A does not pre-empt applicable state law. Thus, if you can lawfully carry a concealed weapon inrepparttar 119278 state in which you boardrepparttar 119279 aircraft and inrepparttar 119280 state in which you land, you are not subject torepparttar 119281 unloaded and inaccessible restrictions of Section 926A.

For operations of private aircraft within one state, you will only be subject torepparttar 119282 laws ofrepparttar 119283 state within which you are operating. You will need to review your state’s statutes to determine whether they impose any restrictions on possession of firearms within non-sterile areas of airports. You will also need to be familiar withrepparttar 119284 airports you will be visiting to determine whether each airport has any restrictions (e.g. posting to prohibit concealed carry etc.).


What does all this mean? Well, forrepparttar 119285 majority of people traveling on commercial aircraft,repparttar 119286 ability to transport firearms onrepparttar 119287 aircraft is severely restricted. In almost all cases, unless you are flying in a private aircraft, carrying firearms with you on an aircraft, either on your person or in your carry-on luggage, is prohibited.

You may still bring firearms and ammunition with you on a flight, but they will need to be unloaded and contained in a locked case within your checked luggage in compliance with your airline or aircraft operator’s policies. Your best bet is to check with your airline or aircraft operator ahead of time to make sure you know and can comply with their policies for transporting firearms. With a little planning and preparation, it can be done.

If you are flying on a charter aircraft that weighs less than 12,500 pounds, you can only carry firearms withrepparttar 119288 operator’s permission and as long as you can lawfully do so at both your departure and arrival airports.

For those of you who fly in private aircraft and carry firearms with you, knowingrepparttar 119289 areas at an airport within which you can and cannot possess a firearm will help you avoid accepting a clearance or taxiing to an area within which possession of firearms is prohibited. So long as you remain outside of airport sterile areas, your possession of firearms will only be subject torepparttar 119290 laws ofrepparttar 119291 state in which you are flying.

As always, fly safe and, especially if you are carrying firearms, fly smart.

Greg is an aviation attorney, author and holds a commercial pilot certificate with instrument rating. His practice concentrates on aviation litigation, including insurance matters and creditor’s rights, FAA certificate actions and aviation related transactional matters. He can be reached via e-mail at or check out his website at

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