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Flight log requirements for flight

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I have a simple question. When a helicopter is flown, are there any requirements from the FAA to maintain a log of such flight? If so what are they, can you point me to a reference? Any additional requirements for emergency services like medical flight helicopters or law enforcement?


It’s an important part in determining the airworthiness of the aircraft. Existing regulations, specifically § 91.417[a][2], require each owner or operator to keep records containing the total time in service of the airframe, each engine, each propeller, and each rotor.


This is accomplished by the owner or operator recording and tracking in some form and manner the time in service of the airframe, engines, propellers, and rotors from the moment the aircraft leaves the surface of the earth until it touches it at the next point of landing.


In addition, § 91.417[a][2][ii], and similar provisions in §121.380[a][2][iii] and 135.439[a][2][ii], require owners, operators or certificate holders to keep records that show the current status of life-limited parts of each airframe, engine, propeller, rotor, and appliance. Also see CFR §43.10 and §1.1 "time in service."

Edited by iChris
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Logging and accountability times vary with the type of aircraft and type of operation, as well as with the operator.


Turbine aircraft also track cycles and landings.


The means of keeping and recording that information vary widely.

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Aircraft used in public service, including the military and most law enforcement operations, are not required to follow FAA maintenance procedures, nor indeed pilot licensing procedures.


This is an interesting area “Public Aircraft Operations.” It can be a slippery slope with some government agencies trying to balance between public operations and civil operations.


What Aircraft are Considered Public Aircraft? Public aircraft are defined in 49 U.S.C. § 40102(a)(41) (see Appendix 1).


Are All Operations by Government Entities PAO? Not necessarily; the statute restricts PAO to those that do not have a commercial purpose and, where applicable, to flights with certain persons on board. A government entity may unintentionally conduct civil operations that would be subject to the regulations in 14 CFR. All government entities are advised to become acquainted with the basics of the statutory requirements.


Are All Operations by the Armed Forces PAO? Not necessarily; the U.S. military is covered under a separate paragraph of the statute (49 U.S.C. § 40125[c] to include much of its routine operation. Separate provisions in that paragraph determine the status of certain operations performed by civil contractors that require a designation by the Secretary of Defense.


Does the FAA Prescribe Regulations for PAO? No, the FAA has no regulatory authority over PAO other than those requirements that apply to all aircraft operating in the NAS.


Which Regulations in 14 CFR Do Not Apply to PAO? In general, regulations that include the term “civil aircraft” in their applicability do not apply to PAO (e.g., part 91, § 91.7, Civil Aircraft Airworthiness).


Can I Carry Passengers on an Aircraft That is Conducting a PAO? All persons carried on board must be crewmembers or meet the statutory definition of “qualified noncrewmember” (refer to Appendix 1, 49 U.S.C. § 40125(a)(3)). Carriage of a person other than a crewmember or a qualified noncrewmember makes a flight civil under the terms of the statute. It is important to note that a qualified noncrewmember is someone whose presence is required to perform the governmental function associated with the flight; providing air transportation is not a governmental function (except as provided for in 49 U.S.C. § 40125[c].


What Constitutes a Governmental Function? The statute provides several examples of governmental functions in 49 U.S.C. § 40125(a)(2). This list is not inclusive and other governmental functions may exist. Functions not listed should not be presumed to be acceptable; contact the International Law, Legislation, and Regulations Division (AGC-200) regarding a legal interpretation to identify additional functions.


If I Am a Government Entity with an Aircraft that Does Not Have a Civil Airworthiness Certificate, May I Use it to Conduct a PAO? Yes, however, aircraft that do not have a Civil Airworthiness Certificate may not operate as a civil aircraft. Government entities are cautioned to become familiar with the requirements for PAO status so that they do not unintentionally conduct civil operations with these aircraft. For example, a government entity using surplus military aircraft without civil airworthiness certificates could not receive compensation for any operations with those aircraft (i.e., could not operate them as civil aircraft under any part of 14 CFR).


Does a Contract With a Government Entity Automatically Grant PAO Status to a Civil Operator? No, public aircraft status is not automatic. The determination of public aircraft status is made on a flight-by-flight basis; both the government entity and the contracted civil operator share responsibility for determining whether:


• A particular flight meets the statutory requirements for a PAO before the operation takes place, and

• If the status has been properly communicated between the contracting entities and the FAA.


If I Am a Civil Operator Contracting my Services to a Government Entity, What Actions Should I Take Before Conducting a PAO? The contracting government entity should provide the civil contractor with a written declaration of public aircraft status for designated, qualified flights. This written declaration should be made in advance of the proposed public aircraft flights. Government entities need to determine who is qualified to make a written declaration (which determines responsibility) for the entity. The FAA recommends that the declaration be made by a contracting officer or other official familiar with the public aircraft statute, and be separate from any contract between the government entity and contracted civil operator.


(1) Once a civil operator receives a declaration from the contracting government entity, the contractor should submit a copy of the written declaration to the FAA Flight Standards District Office (FSDO) responsible for the operator. This will serve as notice to the FAA that there is a contract between the civil operator and the government entity that anticipates the conduct of PAO.


(2) The civil operator and the contracting government entity are responsible for jointly determining whether each flight conducted under the contract qualifies for PAO status under the terms of the statute.


REF: AC 00-1.1A - Public Aircraft Operations

Edited by iChris
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I'm flying a public use aircraft right now, and use it in public aircraft operations. We adhere to all airworthiness requirements, pilot certification and currency requirements, and appropriate regulations.


Public aircraft operations do provide additional leeway, especially in light of the updates to AC 00-1.1A. http://www.faa.gov/documentLibrary/media/Advisory_Circular/AC_00-1_1A.pdf


We also maintain an airworthiness certificate. Not all public use aircraft do.

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Not withstanding the correct aircraft maintenance log FAR requirements, Guitarmonster is on a separate mission to acquire information about a specific Law Enforcement flight activities. Here is a post he made on the Law Enforcement Forum last month in which no one replied:


Question about requirements on flight log for LE helicopter

Started by guitarmonster, May 26 2015 13:22
I have a simple question about helicopter flights for law enforcement. The simple question is this: When a state police helicopter is deployed on a call, are there any requirements imposed by the FAA or other agency that would require a log for that flight? If so can you give me a reference to such a requirement?
He could, I assume, care less if the aircraft is maintained properly. That is not his agenda. Guitarmonster's agenda is to probe the flight activity of a specific State Police aviation unit. The reference above to EMS operations is a smoke screen to his true earlier question about a state police helicopter operations.
Guitarmonster- Since no one has answered your true question, I will.
There is absolutely NO FAA requirement for any law enforcement agency to maintain flight logs or records specific to any flight or operation. Only the aircraft maintenance logs, as described above, are required to be maintained.
Each individual Agency will set their own policy and SOP regarding flight events, dispatch logs and record keeping.
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My aircraft are all public use/mil surplus. We follow the specific army maintenance programs established for the OH58 and the UH1H. All pilots are dual rated FAA CFIs and we don't cut corners on Mx. In fact my DoM has no problems grounding an aircraft nor do I for any MX issue. Other than my personal log book and an occasional police report specific to my actions on a call, there are no records keeping requirements. agencies may have internal documents to track certain operations and uses but nothing mandated by the FAA or another government agency.


If you want to know what a helicopter was doing at a certain day and time at a location, call a supervisor and ask. If they can tell you more than likely they will. If it was supporting an ongoing or sensitive investigation, they won't.

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